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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting book, readable, full of information
While most of us are losing our minds (literally cell by cell), some people are razor sharp well into their nineties. Is this just heredity or good luck, or is there something we can do to keep our mind and memory from going the way of Alzheimer's? Dr. Khalsa thinks so. In fact he presents quite a program for rejuvenation. The question is, does he have the goods in...
Published on December 29, 2004 by Dennis Littrell

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought
Easy to read and full of useful information. Dr Dharma's enthusiasm is encouraging to anyone seeking further knowledge in this complex area. His holistic approach rings true to me and I very much appreciate his emphasis on working together with one's usual medical doctor as well as other complementary health professionals. His suggested dosages of nutritional supplements...
Published on March 14, 2007 by Mrs. D. M. S. Robertson


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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting book, readable, full of information, December 29, 2004
This review is from: Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory (Paperback)
While most of us are losing our minds (literally cell by cell), some people are razor sharp well into their nineties. Is this just heredity or good luck, or is there something we can do to keep our mind and memory from going the way of Alzheimer's? Dr. Khalsa thinks so. In fact he presents quite a program for rejuvenation. The question is, does he have the goods in this book to help YOU?

To be honest, I don't know, but I read the entire 454 pages with interest and mostly approval. Not being a brain scientist myself, nor a doctor of medicine, I can only offer a layman's reaction. Generally speaking, Khalsa sees the brain as another organ in the body that can benefit in the same way that the rest of the body can benefit. He offers the exciting prospect (along with some evidence) that even old people can grow new dendrites, in effect increasing their brain power. Especially interesting to me were his memory tests (that you can take yourself) to determine whether it is likely you are on your way to Alzheimer's or dementia, or just having a bad day.

There are four elements of his "brain longevity program": exercise, nutritional therapy, stress management, and pharmacology.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain that in turn increases nourishment to the brain and allows for better removal of waste products. Khalsa believes that exercise also increases the supply of the "nerve growth factor" (NGF) hormone to the brain while enhancing neuronal metabolism. (p. 324) He reports that brain cells may die because they do not receive enough NGF. Certainly if one follows a sedentary lifestyle it would not be surprising to learn that with reduced blood flow, the brain becomes undernourished. So exercise--YES!

Okay, what about "nutritional therapy"? Yes, that's the usual program of cut out the animal fats, eat less in general and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Good for the body, good for the brain. He also recommends nutritional supplements like ginkgo biloba and ginseng. He is concerned about free radicals in the blood which he believes contribute to the ageing process, and shows us how to reduce their number. Obviously, being overweight is a health risk, but Khalsa believes that being overweight also impairs cerebral circulation and creates millions of free radicals which can damage cells everywhere in the body including in the brain.

What really hit me was the importance of "stress management." Khalsa believes that excessive and chronic production of cortisol (which the adrenal glands secret in reaction to danger and other stresses) is "so toxic to the brain that it kills and injures brain cells by the billions." (p. 8)

And then there's pharmacology. Khalsa likes to go natural first, but when the situation is acute, he is not opposed to prescribing medicine. He especially likes deprenyl which he calls "the memory drug." He has a lot to say about neurotransmitters and their function and how they break down. He sees a connection between depression and subpar brain function, and believes that curing depression can rejuvenate the brain by itself. He recommends DHEA for some of his patients who have low levels of that precursor hormone in their systems. Indeed, he notes that hormonal deficiencies can figure prominently in memory and cognitive loss.

What sets this book apart from others I have read on the subject of health and well-being is the completely holistic approach taken by Dr. Khalsa. He is both a medical doctor trained in Western medicine and an alternative physician trained in the ancient ways of the East. He acknowledges the lack of experimental proof for some Eastern practices and medicines, but still believes they can be effective even if we are not sure how they work. After all, what has worked for millions of people for thousands of years must have something going for it.

The book is divided into three parts. First there is the story of his discovery of the brain longevity program. Then there is Part Two on "How the Brain Works," followed by Part Three, "Designing Your Own Brain Longevity Program." I can tell you that, skeptic that I am, I am nonetheless already at work on following Khalsa's guidance, and I am altering my lifestyle to incorporate parts of his program. One thing is clear to me: his program can't hurt, and there is a fine chance that it will do a lot of good.

But you judge for yourself. Even if you don't follow any of the program you will benefit from reading this excellent book because it includes so much information about health. Additionally, there is a lot of sound psychology and even some spiritual insight that Khalsa provides. Here are a couple of nuggets, the first is what one might expect, and the second an example of Khalsa's wide-ranging knowledge base:

"One quick word about the so-called Recommended Daily Allowances: NONSENSE! I believe they're just too low. These daily allowances, until recently, were called Minimum Daily Requirements." (p. 243)

"Visual sensory memory, called iconic memory, is employed by circus knife-throwers as they try to convince their audiences that they're actually throwing knives. In fact...the knives they 'throw'--which barely miss the person strapped to the target--are actually punched through the target from behind. However, when the audience watches a knife 'leave' the thrower's hand, they swivel their heads toward the target...In reality, all they see is the iconic afterimage of the knife." (p. 138)

I didn't know that, and there's a lot else I didn't know about how our brains work and don't work until I read this book. By the way, a good part of the credit for how well this book is written goes to professional health writer Cameron Stauth who worked with Khalsa.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boost your brainpower, December 27, 2003
This review is from: Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory (Paperback)
This book contains good news based on the latest scientific discoveries, which it uses and applies together with ancient wisdom, to present a practical guide towards retaining and enhancing cognitive ability despite the biological aging process.
The 5 principles of brain longevity are: 1. The brain is flesh and blood; 2.The powers of the brain are virtually limitless; 3. The brain is capable of infinite joy and pleasure; 4. The brain has a plastic quality and can renew itself; 5. Much about the brain remains a mystery.
Part I covers the discovery of brain longevity therapy, Part II explains how the brain works and Part III deals with designing a brain longevity program. This includes the brain longevity diet, nutritional therapy (including the role of vitamins A, B, C and E, minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc, amino acids like phenylalanine, glutamine, methionine, arginine and tryptophan, substances like co-enzyme Q10 and tonics like gingko biloba, phosphatidyl serine, acetyl-l-carnitine, ginseng, DMAE and green tea.
This section also includes methods of stress management, mind/body exercises and the assessment of the efficacy of various medicines like deprenyl.
Khalsa's book is highly recommended to people who wish to take responsibility for their own health with special emphasis on maintaining the highest levels of cognitive ability. It concludes with a Resources and Referrals section and a thorough index. I also recommend the book Mind Boosters by Ray Sahelian, an examination of natural substances that promote cognitive longevity.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Book for Every Brain, January 15, 2000
By A Customer
Being in the age range of beginning forgetfulness, it's easy to feel that this is a normal part of life. Dr. Dharma's book really turned my head around (literally speaking!) to the idea that the brain is a physical organ, and can be nurtured as such. Using natural health--exercise, supplements, meditation and many other self-empowering techniques, we can reclaim our mental health. Middle age is often the time when we realize the fruits of our hard work and wisdom gained, and our lives can really take off. At this important time of our lives, brain power is of the utmost importance for learning ability and creativity. I am thankful that this book exists!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book on Naturally Achieving Brain Longevity, January 12, 2004
By 
DV (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory (Paperback)
I read this book about a year ago and I thought it was excellent. I couldn't put it down and read it in just a few days despite my extremely busy schedule. I'm just basing it off what I can remember.
He talked about the physiology of what happens to the body with stress, exercise, sleep and boy, these were enlightening. I started a few months prior to reading this book seeing the effects of stress, exercise, sleep on weight loss and I came to similar conclusions that Singh did. It really helped validate what I had already learned, but he was able to talk about it more scientifically.
The book is well-written. It also talks about what happens to our bodies when we don't manage stress, get enough sleep, get adequate exercise, and if our diets are poor. He goes into the pros/cons here.
He gives ways to develop brain longevity by fixing the prior and supplementation through vitamins/minerals/natural supplements. It's a great insightful book and life changing.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. This book offers hope to the hopeless!, November 17, 1999
By A Customer
Have not even finished this book yet and probably never will. I am hanging on every word. If you come to a place where you can no longer accept brain degeneration without a fight, this is your book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is an important book every one should read., October 14, 1999
By 
JEAN PORTER (mykie) STANFORD (Monterey California Peninsula) - See all my reviews
I am trying to order six copies for my family members, but cannot see the soft copy listed. It's one of the most important ideas to come out of the biological sciences; the disruption of normal cortisol production and the destruction it wreaks on the brain. It took a hard-working genius to put together the proven theories of Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D, and Herbert Benson, MD into a finished and readable form for us to follow. I profoundly thank Khalsa.theory.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A holistic/allopathic plan for improving cognitive function, January 17, 1998
In Brain Longevity Dr. Khalsa offers hope for our steadily increasing, aging population. His program, designed to aid in preventing loss of cognitive function and improve on what we have, is based on sound nutrition, supplemental tonics (antioxidants and herbs for the most part), mind body exercises, and an occasional boost from pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Khalsa's education and medical credentials are impressive, an evident attribute as he explains brain anatomy and biochemistry and how stress interferes with the brain's harmonious functioning. His reliance on eastern relaxation exercises and chants, gleaned from his sikh religious affiliation, render a timely spiritual dimension to his program. Similar to the works of Dr. Andrew Weil, Khalsa's program is a welcome relief from the usual dry, arrogrant approach commonly employed by the medical establishment.

Alternating research studies, principles of pharmacokinetics and case studies, he presents his material convincingly. His case studies encompass a broad spectrum of patients whose cognitive function has improved, and range from executives and former drug addicts with mild symptoms to patients in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Khalsa illustrates the individual tailoring of his program, especially in regard to the use of pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers.

As his major thesis, Khalsa attributes stress and its subsequent release of cortisol to be the major cause of brain cell deterioration. His program presents a plausible solution for both preventing stress and regenerating new neurons to repair existing damage.

No magician sprouting a cure-all from a bandstand, Dr. Khalsa emphasizes that this is not a magic bullet approach, but a major lifestle plan with a variety of steps and options, a plan that also improves cardiovascular health and promotes well-being.

My only regret is that his studies weren't available twenty years ago when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease directly related to the stess of suddenly losing a child after a traumatic accident.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating, Provocative Discussion of the Mind and Memory, June 2, 1997
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this book. Dr. Khalsa has a
passion for his work that carries over into his
writing. In straightforward fashion he moves from a very good discussion of how the brain works to a well organized plan for how anyone can employ nutritional, stress reduction, and exercise techniques as well as pharmacological therapies to prevent brain degeneration, optimize performance, and even reverse the course of such conditions as age related memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. I began reading this book to educate myself. I came away a "convert" to Dr. Khalsa's program. He convinced me to make some lifestyle changes that no doubt will enhance my overall well being and quality of life. I can think of no higher praise for a book than this
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Insightful, February 5, 2003
By 
DV (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory (Paperback)
Dr. Khalsa has some amazing insights into our health. He has confirmed for me the things I'm discovering about my body and the American health system. Before reading his book, I was already doing the majority of the things for his Brain Longevity Program, but found that even at 34 yrs old, I was starting to have some memory issues. As he vividly describes the functions of the brain, various body chemicals, I think my excessive exercise has caused high cortisol levels. I will integrate his medicinal tonics and mind/yogic exercises to complete the program and begin doing that within the next couple weeks. I'm looking forward to improving my memory, brain functions. I love his case studies where he gives examples of all walks of life. This book is very well-written!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, well written, good mix of science and explanation, July 9, 1998
By A Customer
Five years ago I received a nasty head injury. Before the accident I was pushing my neural limit, employed as a scientist concurrent with writing my doctoral disseration. I learned a great deal about how the jigsaw puzzle between our ears works. I bought the book because he stated the brain grows new neurons. I and friends who have had "spectacular recoveries" know this. The book is a multifaceted approach to how our neural networks, and our selves, integrate. Good work.
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