Book Review: “Age-Proof Your Mind”

Dr. Zaldy S Tan’s book Age-Proof Your Mind: Detect, Delay, and Prevent Memory Loss – Before It’s Too Late provides us with steps we can take to help prevent memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Zaldy Tan is the director of The Memory Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Due to factors such as genetics and childhood environment experiences beyond our control, there is no guaranteed method to prevent Alzheimer’s. However many research has shown that there are things we all can do to tip the odds in our favor against the development of Alzheimer’s — or at least delay it.

Dr. Tan cites many such research studies in the book. He explains the reasons why our minds age and how to protect against brain aging in clear everyday language without excessive technical jargon. Although the book is amply footnoted; so those who are interested can seek out the detailed technical literature.

Memory Stress Test and Memory Improvement Program

In chapter 11, there is a memory stress test where you can take at home (with the help of a friend) so that you can determine the state of your memory at present. However, it does mention that the test is not a substitute for a thorough clinical memory evaluation.

Chapter 12 is the memory improvement program where it provides memory techniques such as visualization, association, chunking, and Loci method to help you remember things better. There is also the “Sixty Minute Brain Workout” to exercise your concentration, recall, and executive function.

Chapter 4 “Oxygen Damage and the Brain: To E or Not to E” is especially informative about the role of vitamin E in protecting the brain against oxidative stress.

Appendix A has some food recipes for brain-healthy dishes.

Page 117 has a photograph of Albert Einstein’s brain.

Main Points

To summarize a few points from the book …

Proper diet, adequate exercise, and stress reduction will help keep your brain healthy. Controlling and reducing inflammation is also beneficial. Anti-oxidants (such as vitamin E) is helpful for promoting brain health.
The book also has several case studies of some patients.