THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH IS BETWEEN YOUR EARS
SEVEN PRINCIPLES THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE
You are only young once, but you can stay immature inde?nitely.
I was recently on a plane from San Francisco to Honolulu, where I was going to participate in a very important debate at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. In the seat next to me was an elderly woman, Mary, who recognized me from my public television shows. As I was opening my computer to start obsessing over the debate, Mary leaned toward me and asked, “Is it ever too late?”
“Too late for what?” I said, trying to get my mind focused on the task tomorrow.
“I am seventy- six years old,” she whispered. “Is it ever too late forme to have a better brain?”
“Only if you just plan on living until you are seventy- seven,” I said with a smile, now looking into her pretty green eyes. “If you want to liveuntil you’re ninety, now would be a good time to start!”
She chuckled. I relaxed. People like Mary have always fueled the passion I have for my work.
“The fountain of youth is between your ears,” I continued. “It is your brain that makes the decisions that keep you healthy, happy, and on track to live a long time, and it is your brain that makes the bad decisions that ruin your health and send you off to the undertaker early. If you want to live a long, happy life, the ? rst place to start is by having a better brain.”
Mary told me she loved my television shows because they were so practical and she had already made many changes in her life. She also told me about her son who was a problem drinker but who stopped imbibing after watching my programs. He saw he wanted no part of the damage he saw on the SPECT scans that alcohol can do to the brain.
At the Amen Clinics we use a sophisticated brain imaging study called SPECT to help us understand and treat our patients. SPECT stands for single photon emission computed tomography, a nuclear medicine study that looks at blood ?ow and activity patterns. It looks at how the brain works. It is different from computerized axial tomography (CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are anatomical scans that show what the brain physically looks like. SPECT shows how the brain functions. Over the last twenty- one years, Amen Clinics has built the world’s largest database of brain SPECT, now totaling over seventy thousand scans on patients from ninety different countries.
SPECT basically shows three things:
1. Areas of the brain that work well
2. Areas of the brain that are low in activity
3. Areas of the brain that are high in activity
A healthy scan shows full, even, symmetrical activity in the brain.
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