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Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory (Harvard Medical School Guides) Paperback – April 13, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From a leading expert at one of the world's most respected medical schools--a complete program for achieving optimal memory, for life!

Ever find yourself walking into a room and forgetting why? Having trouble remembering that pesky password or your siblings' birthdays? Don't panic. Memory lapses like these are common, especially after age forty. But memory loss isn't inevitable or irreversible. You can achieve optimal memory at any age--and this book shows you how.

Dr. Aaron P. Nelson, a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty and a clinical neuropsychologist, has helped thousands of patients with memory and other cognitive problems. In his easy-to-understand guide you'll find:

  • How to know if you've got a problem and how to have it evaluated
  • How factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, and a sedentary lifestyle can hurt your memory
  • A complete memory-optimizing program, including mental exercises, nutrition, tips for remembering important things, and more
  • Current and future treatment options for serious memory impairment

About the Harvard Medical School health guide series

Each book from Harvard Medical School gives you the knowledge you need to understand and take control of your health. In every book, a world-renowned expert from Harvard Medical School provides you with the latest information on diagnosis, traditional and alternative treatments, home remedies, and lifestyle changes that can make a powerful difference in your health.

About the Author

Aaron P. Nelson, Ph.D., is Chief of Neuropsychology, Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Susan Gilbert is a medical journalist who writes for the New York Times and other publications.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Medical School Guides
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007144470X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071444705
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in this book, you are probably over 50 and are concerned whether your occasional memory lapses are normal or early symptoms of something serious. This book does an excellent job at fleshing out the difference between the two

However, the author explains there are two schools of thoughts. Some neurologists view memory deterioration on a continuum directly related to age. These view Dementia and Alzheimer's as almost inevitable if we were to live an extremely long life. A supporting statistic is that 47% of individuals 85 years or older do have Alzheimer's. Other neurologists do differentiate between normal aging and disease. They don't view Alzheimer's as inevitable.

The author advances many steps you can take to preserve your memory. Most of those are lifestyle driven to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system (eat fresh produce, avoid saturated and trans fats, take vitamin supplements, do lots of aerobic exercise). Indeed, what is good for the heart is very good for the brain. Brain fitness depends greatly on how well it is irrigated by blood vessels. The author also mentions behavioral steps to preserve memory. Those include becoming an active lifelong learner, remaining engaged in hobbies and community. He also mentions steps to improve your memory including using a PDA to log in daily schedule and using mnemonic techniques to remember grocery lists.

The book also reveals not so well known info. He shares a very long list of prescription drugs that do affect cognitive function. He also indicates that heart surgery, cancer, and cancer treatments can impact memory. He also indicates that vitamins C & E combined are as effective as prescription drugs in lowering the risk and managing early symptoms of Alzheimer's.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an easy read and is well written. I follow the research to a certain extent in this area and the book is very up to date. I read it in one day. The title can be misunderstood (Reason for 4* and not 5*). The author actually only provides little information on optimizing memory - I would suggest you read some other book like 'super power memory' if you are looking for that. This book will only give you an overview of training your memory and not specifics. However, if you want to learn how physiologically it happens and just learn about brain and memory in general this book is really good. You may want to omit chapters 7-8 if you are not really interested in learning about diseases/disorders affecting the brain.
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Format: Paperback
This book has classic methods for achieving optimal memory at

any age. The authors describe the following:

- how to control hypertension

- the benefits of a formal exercise program

- reducing alcohol to enhance memory

- optimal sleep

- managing stress

- Vitamins B and C and their role in memory management

- reduction of medications as a condition precedent to mental

wellness

This book contains important discussions on how to avoid or reduce classic Alzheimer and dementia-like scenarios in the later years. The volume is worth the price charged for the value of

the information contained. This book has optimal medicinal

and alternative medicine approaches to the subject of memory

management in mid-life and beyond.
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Format: Paperback
I am 13 yrs old, and about to enter a BIG, very competitive HS, so you know how hard that can be. I was getting very worried about my memory, about how I immediately forget why I entered the room, etc., then i saw this book. I thought, well, let's see how this helps. As being a top notch college, I knew from first sight that this Harvard book would be good, but I never expected it to be so understandable at the same time. I took their little tests in the book and found a dramatic change. So just now, this book will really help.
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My stepmother has early Alzheimer's. Her neurologist (at a leading hospital) recommended this book (in fact, he thinks so highly of it that he has it for sale in his office -- he's not associated with it, doesn't make money from it, but just wants it available to his patients). I bought it on Amazon, saving money. It is excellent. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone facing memory problems (both disease-related and just general aging problems), and for their caregivers. It is both explanatory and practical. Highest recommendation.
And best of luck to everyone battling -- or watching a loved one battle -- this cruel and awful disease. Bless you all.
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I like the way the author explained how the memory really works and what one can do to optimize it and he even lay out all of the sources one can practice. Over all it is a great book to learn about memory if you are interested finding out how.
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Easy to read but comprehensive in its coverage. Great examples. Good reading for all adults. Recommended to me by a Phd and he was correct in its meeting my questions on how the brain stores memories and why we forget.
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