A IO-Step Program to Optimize Your Memory. – The Memory Solution – Review – book review
The Memory Solution
by Julian Whitaker, MD with Peggy Dace
Avery Publishing Group, 120 Old Broadway, Garden City Park, New York 11040 USA; 800-548-5757 1999, softcover, $13.95 US, 278 pp.
As we grow older, it’s often the small niggling changes that we perceive as signs of aging, that eat away at our confidence. One of the most prevalent complaints of the older population is difficulty with memory. Although anyone can experience memory lapses during particularly stressful times or after an illness or injury, “forgetfulness” usually begins to trouble people in their 50’s and 60’s. Dr. Whitaker has specialized in the treatment of degenerative disease for 25 years, and has found that the therapeutic power of vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural hormones, and “smart” drugs, is not only effective for his patients’ physical health, but improve memory and cognitive function, as well. This should not be surprising as the brain is an organ and needs vital nutrition to function optimally.
Part 1 of The Memory Solution begins with the assurance that memory loss is not inevitable, then goes on to explain how the brain works and some of the known causes of cognitive deterioration. These include free-radical damage, blood sugar abnormalities, inflammation, and stress, as well as environmental toxins that affect the brain (mercury fillings, MSG and aspartame). “Many of the pharmaceutical drugs are poisonous to the brain,” states Dr. Whitaker. Again, it’s clear that the same causes of degenerative disease such as atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes are also involved in memory loss and other cognitive disorders.
Part 2 of Dr. Whitaker’s book outlines the 10 Steps for Sharper Memory and Mental Edge. This protocol is easy to understand and comply with, and yet provides a wide range of benefits for the brain. These steps include a whole-food diet with large amounts of plant foods, supplementation with relevant vitamins and minerals, useful herbs, essential fats, exercise, stress reduction, restful sleep, exercising the brain with mental workouts, hormones and “smart” drugs.
In his summary, Dr. Whitaker advises on how to evaluate your progress on this program. One way is to keep a journal, another is to get feedback from people close to you. Yet another is his recommendation of a website http://www.brain.com where you can access the THINKfast software. This is an interactive tool that gives a composite score of reaction time, perceptual threshold, working memory, and memory capacity. (It even sounds like fun!) This is a wonderfully helpful tool for the average person (with online access) to monitor their level of cognitive function and progress with Whitaker’s program.
The Memory Solution reaffirms that the same dietary and environmental “lifestyle” factors apply to our brain and mental function as to the rest of the body. In a holistic approach, what is good for any part is good for the whole, and vice versa. Dr. Whitaker is well-known in the complementary/alternative community, and is the editor of the popular Health and Healing Newsletter. His medical advice is soundly based on science and more than 25 years’ experience, and these 10 prescriptions to optimize brain function have helped thousands of his patients enhance and restore their memory and cognitive functions.
COPYRIGHT 2001 The Townsend Letter Group
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group