A Book Review: Younger Brains, Sharper Brains by Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
by Maggie Dail, M.A., Learning Specialist
Part II The Braverman Protocol
Step I: Early Testing (Chapter 7)
While our annual health check-ups may be considered comprehensive, an essential organ, the brain, is ignored. Dr. Braverman M.D. uses BEAM (Brain Electrical Activity Mapping) to assess the functioning of the four brain chemical families.
“When your brain is in harmony, the image looks like a full spectrum rainbow; when there are deficiencies or excesses, one color may dominate the picture.” This reports brain voltage and processing speed. “It is like a stress test for the brain.” P. 88, 89 With recent advancements, “PET scans are predicting dementia.” P. 89 and “MRI detects silent disease. (dementia, Alzheimers and silent strokes) P. 90, 91
All of these tests are expensive, “However, by following this program, you will be able to make your brain more resilient without the expense of early detection.” P. 91
Since the BEAM and PET are not available to all due to the high cost, there are other exams that Dr. Braverman uses:
- TOVA (test of Variable Attention) – 20 minutes – can lead to diagnosis of ADD or MCI
- Wechsler Memory Scale – verbal, visual and delayed recall memory, attention/concentration
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – many types of intelligence, but not emotional intelligence
- MMSE (Mini Mental State Exam) – 10 minutes –global cognitive function—orientation, word recall, attention, basic calculation, language, visuospatial registration – screens for Alzheimer’s, less reliable for MCI
- GAMA (General Ability Measure for Adults)- IQ, self-administered, timed-abstract designs, shapes, colors p. 91-93
Braverman has created ways to define your cognitive baseline at home:
- http://www.pathmed.com – two important assessments – My Brain Quiz; Age Print Quiz
- Another on website – Nature Quiz
- If MCI is greatest health risk: The Braverman Brain Advantage Test (in book p. 95-120 – including help with understanding the score)
Step Two helps us understand Life Style changes that can help maintain our cognitive function. We will summarize that next time.