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Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance Hardcover – October 11, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In order to make muscles grow, one must eat right, exercise and force the muscles to do new things; the same is true of one's brain-which is just one of the things to learn from this short but informative audiobook from one of the world's leading experts on how the brain works. Works of this sort usually aren't well suited to audio, and this one is no exception. Unless listeners are studiously taking notes while listening, they will need to find a hard copy when the time comes to apply Amen's advice. However, Amen's friendly and warm narration relates the precepts of his brain-boosting program in a way that makes them easy to understand and absorb. The audiobook becomes repetitive when Amen tries to reinforce certain points, but this production is otherwise enjoyable and will leave listeners eager to implement some of the strategies outlined. Amen is a renowned keynote speaker and frequently appears on TV, so there's no surprise that his engaging and exuberant style makes this a fascinating exploration of how the brain works.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
“This book is wonderful. It gives the reader great understanding and hope that changes in oneself can be made. If you put these changes into action, a happy and healthy brain is yours.” —Bill Cosby
“Each of Daniel Amen’s books contains special nuggets that can be found nowhere else, as well as a wealth of useful, general information that he brings together under one roof. This book offers excellent advice as well as a great deal of new information. An extremely useful and easy-to-read book.” —Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction and The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness
“Making a Good Brain Great is the long-awaited synthesis of a true visionary’s work. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in self-improvement, and especially parents and other caregivers of children—this book is a gem for those of us who want to raise healthy kids.” —Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys and The Wonder of Girls
“The most important gift we have to share is wisdom. In this timely book, Dr. Amen shows us how to create a great brain so we can make the world a better place.” —Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., president/medical director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation, and author of The Better Memory Kit and The End of Karma
“A must-read for those who live by their wits.” —Dennis B. Alters, M.D., child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry, and author of Wizard’s Way
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Dr. Amen also explains how the brain can be damaged and how to protect it, the type of physical and mental exercises, diet, vitamins and supplements and thinking patterns necessary to develop and utilize the full potential of the brain.
He also talks about various psychiatric disorders their diagnoses and treatments, when someone should seek professional psychological / psychiatric help etc. He talks about the importance of looking at the brain images like and orthopedist looks at X rays or MRI's of the skeleton before diagnosing. This is not to replace other methods in psychiatry or clinical psychology but to assist those techniques in diagnosis and treatment. Many psychiatrists neglect looking at brain images claiming that it is unnecessary. I am no psychiatry expert but I believe many psychiatrists belittle brain imaging technology because they are not trained in it. Obviously, to be helpful the brain images must be carefully interpreted by professionals trained to do so. I have personally witnessed once in another clinic that brain imaging was not carefully interpreted to daignose but was used only to charge the patients. This is a bad intentioned application that can not be generalized. I believe that with proper use this technology is even more promising in the future.
Dr. Amen is a very good talker in the CD. The questions raised and their explanations follow a clearly understandable and enjoyable sequence. Anybody interested in developing his / her knowledge of the brain,in maximizing his / her brain's potential and / or in solving certain emotional / psychological problems will benefit from listening this audio CD or reading the book several times regularly.
What I wanted to add is that it is a very readable, practical and enjoyable book for anyone. For anyone with a brain (all of us!), it's an inexpensive investment in return for a lifetime of benefits. Dr. Amen focuses a lot on prevention of problems, especially those related to aging and the brain. As a former biochemist, his suggestions make sense and I have implemented them in my own life.
If you are on SSRIs (e.g. Zoloft), have ADD/ADHD or other issues, there is a lot of value added material about how certain supplements can be VERY helpful and as effective as some drugs. He also includes warnings where it is appropriate and they seem to lean on the conservatie side.
I don't have any reservations about this book or the credibility of the author. It's a "no brainer" decision from my perspective, I don't know of one that is better and I read a lot!