How Dr. Daniel Amen Repairs the Brain with Healthy Living



the title of this talk is the brain warriors way you'll see why in a minute but I actually want to started in August 2010 I just finished my second book on the connection between physical health and mental health and I was really happy it was a Sunday morning and I just remember how happy I was on the way to church with my wife and daughter and when we got there I told tan and my wife he said why don't you drop Chloe off the children's church I'll go save as' seats and as I walked toward the sanctuary I saw hundreds of Donuts for sale for charity and it really irritated me because there's not one healthy thing about Donuts and then right around the corner there was bacon and sausage cooking on the grill and my brain is like seriously and right before I walked into the sanctuary it's a huge Church in Newport Beach California where I live they're cooking hundreds of the hot dogs for after church and now I'm furious because I begin to see I'm going to church to get my soul fed these bastards are trying to kill me and then as I sat down the minister started talking about the ice cream festival they had the night before and now I'm psychotic I'm so angry that when my wife finds me in church I'm typing on my phone and she hates this thing she thinks of it as the other woman and she gave me that look you know that only your wife can give you like why the hell are you on that thing in church don't you know you're going to hell and so I showed her what I was typing go to church and get doughnuts bacon sausage hot dogs ice cream they have no idea they are sending people to heaven early save them then kill them this is not the plan and that Sunday I have no idea what the minister said I prayed that God would use me to change the culture of food at church and you'll see throughout this 20 minutes together I have an attitude problem and during the prayer I'm like the dumbest prayer you've ever prayed how would that ever happen you're a psychiatrist you do imaging you're trying to change your profession by actually adding medical information rather than diagnosing you know mental health issues based on symptom clusters that sounds stupid but during the prayer I just talked back to my attitudinal self and I said I don't care it's my prayer this is wrong and so what I want to tell you is intention matters two weeks later know why exactly how it happened Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church called me I never met pastor Warren some of you may know him he's the author of The Purpose Driven Life our generations best-selling book Saddleback Church is one of the largest churches in the world with 16 campuses he'd seen me on public television I talked about something called the dinosaur syndrome big body little brain you're going to become extinct based on research that I'd done and he said dr. Amon I'm fat my church is fat will you help me and I'm like you had me from Hello together with my friend Mark Hyman we created a health program for Saddleback Church called the Daniel plan the church based healthcare initiative based on five pillars faith why do you care food fitness focus which we'll talk about today which is brain health and friends you get sick together does the desaad where you get better together the first week in January 2011 15,000 people signed up and the first year they lost a quarter of a million pounds better energy focused creativity sleeves mood reductions and stress blood pressure and now literally thousands of churches around the world are doing the Daniel plan we wrote a book together with an international bestseller intention works but make no mistake you're in war for the health of your brain everywhere you go someone is trying to shove bad food down your throat that will kill you early the real weapons of mass destruction are highly processed pesticides sprayed high glycemic low fiber food like substances stored in plasticized containers that are destroying the health of America Isis has nothing on our food industry those same companies use neuroscience tricks to hook your pleasure centers I was a little disturbed when the labor secretary was actually the CEO of Carl's jr. who did this ad because what they're doing is they're making you believe that if you eat this that you will have a body like this or if you eat this she will want you she will not want you it's a lie tech companies continue to create addictive gadgets that steal our attention and distract us from our loved ones Microsoft has published a study that said the human attention span is now eight seconds the goldfish is nine seconds this is evolution going the wrong way a study in the Harvard Business Review said that only 10% of managers have both focus and energy it's a war and the war has consequences your bad habits have consequences we know Alzheimer's disease is expected to quadruple in the next 35 years there is no cure for it on the horizon and 50% of people 85 and older will be diagnosed with it and the really bad news what we now know based on imaging it starts in your brain literally decades before you have any symptoms so this 59 year old woman I diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease these are SPECT scans it's the imaging studies we do at our clinics around the United States the image on the left is a healthy scan the image on the right is a 59 year old woman who has Alzheimer's disease odds are she had negative changes in her brain in her 20s so those of you that are waiting to get sick before you get serious about being well you want to read in addition depression has gone up 400% since 1987 and it is one of the major risk factors for Alzheimer's disease as his diabetes brand-new study showed that 50% of the United States and this is because of the food we we are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and diabetes damages every organ in your body it's not just a blood sugar problem it turns out to be a blood vessel problem and any organ that's deprived the blood flow is damaged and then as I mentioned I published two studies that said as your weight goes up the actual physical size and function of your brain goes down and with 2/3 of Americans overweight one-third of us obese it is the biggest brain drain in the history of the United States in fact it's now considered a national security crisis because 70% of people who try to sign up for the military are rejected and the number one reason is white problems the exciting thing that I discovered is the answer is actually not to see these as separate disorders but rather different expressions of the same unhealthy lifestyle that have exactly the same cure what we call the brain warriors way so let me talk about what we do with aiming clinics we have six clinics around the US and the first thing we do is look at your brain because if we don't look we don't know and in 1991 I started to do this study called brain SPECT imaging speckle and activity it looks at how your brain works so here's an example of a healthy scan compare it to someone who was a drug addict the real reason not to use drugs they damage your brain when I saw these scans they were so awful I took them home to my four children and effectively induced anxiety disorders in all four when it came to drug abuse and then I thought while I should scan myself and when I scan myself at the age of 37 it looked terrible like why did my bracelet look so bad and I played football in high school and I had meningitis as a young soldier and I wasn't sleeping and I had a lot of bad brain habits and when I saw my brain I think everything I've done in my life since then was to make it better and 20 years later my brain is full or fat or happier and the reason is so when I saw my scan the first time I developed a concept I called brain Envy Sam a psychiatrist by training and so I had to read Freud and Freud had this concept of penis envy and but he was wrong he was about two and a half feet too low in the body which you really need to care about is the three pounds of fat between your ears and so you know as I developed brain nd I developed this program to do everything I could to have a better brain and a better life and in fact I'm so obsessed with it that I got divorced in 2000 and I told myself if I ever got married again I'm going to scan you know the most important part of this woman's body I want to see is her brain so when I met my wife almost 12 years ago about two weeks into our relationship she's really cute she's really smart I really liked her and I said you haven't seen the clinic yet so she came she agreed to get scanned put her in the camera she had a great brain so I married her and it's worked out really well and the rule in my house is if you date one of my children for more than four months you have to get scanned you haven't seen the clinic yet don't you want to see the clinic and so my son in-laws both have been scanned and they got to stay and procreate so the imaging tells us if a brain is healthy if it's aging too fast if you have something like Alzheimer's disease brewing in your brain if it's been injured if it works too hard or not hard enough and ultimately how do you know unless you look [Laughter] so I've been trying to change the perfect by you know psychiatry by come on you have to look if you don't look you don't know stop lying about it imaging actually completely changed the discussion around mental health for me I learned no one wants to see a psychiatrist no one wants to be labeled as defective or abnormal but everybody wants a better brain so what if mental health was really brain health and our work was honored last year and Discover Magazine we were listed as one of the top 100 stories and science Tesla was number eighteen twenty was the discovery of a new dinosaur species and our work brain scans may lead to better diagnosis was nineteen we're really excited about that so imaging is really important but here's what's new in my life if you want to keep your brain healthy for as long as possible you need to prevent or treat all of the things that steal it and I've developed a mnemonic I have a new book coming out in November called memory rescue and it's based on this really one simple idea that if you want to keep your memory your brain and your memory healthy for as long as possible or even reverse it if you have brain damage you have to attack all of the risk factors that I put in this pneumonic bright minds and I'm running out of time so I can't go over all of it but B is for blood flow low blood flow is the number one predictor of Alzheimer's disease retirement and aging when you stop learning your brain starts dying inflammation damages every organ in your body genetics if it runs in your family you need to be serious now not ten years from now head trauma just a huge issue in our country toxins like smoking drugs alcohol mold mental health issues like depression triples the risk of Alzheimer's disease immunity infections we could go on and on about that hormone deficiencies diabesity which is a combination of being diabetic and overweight sleep problems and we have interventions for each of these things in fact for inflammation low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with the smaller brain and so how easy is it to eat more fish or take fish oil supplements genetics if you have this in your family curry or curcumin actually been shown to decrease the plaques thought to be responsible for Alzheimer's disease head trauma obviously have to protect yourself toxins this is very cool app you should download called think dirty it lets you scan all of your products and see how toxic they are a scale of 1 to 10 how quickly they're killing you mental health issues we call it kill the ants the automatic negative thoughts immunity boost your vitamin D level hormone replacement I'm a huge fan of it die be diabetes you have to change your diet it's just so important to get your food right and sleep is just critical so let me show you how this worked as Mel said I did the world's first and largest study on active and retired NFL players at a time when the NFL was lying and I knew they were lying and so we got 200 NFL players and showed high levels of damage in more than 90 percent of them a nine-year-old should have figured that out that's not hard brain is soft skull is hard skull has sharp bony ridges but my heart was never to go okay you guys have a problem my heart was to fix it and so we put our players on this program so here's the level of damage that we saw we published this study but on our program 80% of them showed improvement often radical improvement we were so happy about that one of my players Duval loved his brain just looked awful and but this is his brain 12 years 12 months later and oh by the way he lost a hundred and ten pounds because he didn't want to be a dinosaur you know big body little brain you're going to become extinct but my favorite story in all of this in 1980 when I told my dad I was going to be a psychiatrist he asked me why I didn't want to be a real doctor so that's the kind of relationship we had he's a very blunt person and not all that polite I'm like who says that to their child and then when I started looking at the brain and realize I had to get physically healthy and I started nudging him to get healthy he goes oh great you're a nut doctor and now you're a health nut he said what's with all the nuts and but three years ago he had mold in his house he's 85 and then he developed a chronic cough and then a heart arrhythmia and then heart failure and now he's depressed because this person who's been going to work for seventy years who was chairman of the board of a four billion dollar companies very powerful person now he can't work and one day he looked at me and he said Danny I'm sick of being sick what do you want me to do now this is a guy who used to say I don't get heart attacks I give them and here he is in the chair and I said pop I want you to do everything because without you I'm going to be really sad and he's so stubborn he did everything he assessed his brain he got his important numbers checked he's texting me food labels can I eat this can I not eat it and other people are trying to get him to cheat that's love and he's like no I'm going to do with Danny says he perfectly my idea of a brain healthy meal takes targeted supplements we start working out first it's 3 pounds then it's 6 then it's 12 and it's 20 for over six months he loses 40 pounds he's back playing golf and this guy can do a six-minute plank I don't know about you I cannot do a six-minute play and my promise to him is that he will be better at 90 then he was at 60 but what it is is you just have to make a series of really smart decisions and ask yourself every day is what I'm doing today good for my brain or bad for it thank you so much [Applause]

31 Comments

  1. Alzheimer and microbes ….

  2. How can I get an appointment with you and analyzed my brain! Please!

  3. Just some people in the church don't realise what they can use different food without much effort.Not everybody thinking about what they eat.Most of people using bad food because it's more tasty and because it's a bit cheaper and easier to prepare.I often looking at redd meat on the shelf and think how nice it would taste,but turning around and going to shelf with fish and vegetables 🙂 it's also takes effort

  4. I'm pissed that I've watched half this video and he hasnt talked about how to increase brain health..

  5. Amen's rocks

  6. Churches are killing people with the crap they eat. Pure evil

  7. LOL, "Isis has nothing on our food industry"!

  8. I really like his humor

  9. I love you are TED talks and your books, and you're a groundbreaking research is just remarkable yet STILL no doctor will listen and 100% of them continue to write all of these meds like their candy . I could literally just say give me so loft and it's done I was actually on Zoloft for a year and it really messed me up. Because I self educated myself pretty thoroughly they will always be dismissive and not want to hear you out what I really wonder is what do they learn at that school that this is the set praise what they're supposed to say what they're supposed to describe or do they really not know? Are they just playing stupid . When I asked for spect scan how is basically laughed at by several clinics / psych and med. the worst part is when you go in and you're actually informed on the topic they write you off as a med seeker because you are " in the known ' you understand how the brain works say you don't want certain medications etc . You want to talk about sick ! I was given Zoloft and mirtazapine at the same time you want to talk about a train wreck .. ! this could go on forever so I'm going to leave it at that and hopefully he will do more to talk send Dr will start to listen to him

  10. Yall watch it at 1.5 speed. U still get all the indormation in

  11. don't bad mouth donuts mutta fucker,

  12. Where can you get a good brain imaging in europe?

  13. Thank you for showing me those brain scans. It puts thing more into perspective. A shift in paradigm is what I needed. And using your own experience makes it more "real" to me. Thank you, Dr. Daniel Amen.

  14. Does this “Dinosaur Syndrome” also apply to anorexics? Does this mean that their weight gain recovery is also decreasing the size of their brain?

  15. Dr. Anderson advocates coconut oil for his nursing home's Alzheimer's &dementia diet. He explains 3 core benefits: … Coconut oil is rich in MCTs, which provide ketones as brain backup fuel. This can help offset the lack of energy from glucose that is common to a brain with dementia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6JAqimRQkk

  16. So are brain damages reversables ( the NFL player story make it looks like it but it is considered a fact that they are ireversibles so i'm confused )

  17. DO NOT PAY THIS BLATHERING PC OF SHIT ONE DIME.. EVER!  My mother died of this very condition September 21st 2009 after a long, long sad fight with this tragic sickness that there is absolutely (NO) current cure for. Do not give this grifting thief one dime of your money. If you have TRUE interests in helping with this condition for you, or loved ones.. Gift today, to the only (nonprofit) organization working (nonstop) to find a TRUE and REAL solution to this this awful destructive disease.. Look up and gift to gift to the "Alzheimer Foundation".

  18. Lol I think most nay Sayers in the comments are going to hate this guy because of his wife.

  19. Beautiful…subjective symptom clusters used rather than delivering medical information derived objectively.
    I have always had a disagreement with psychiatry diagnosing their patients using subjective questions to determine 
    what "drug" to administer so as to alleviate the symptoms rather than discovering the cause of the problem.

  20. thankyou

  21. Love it! đŸ‘đŸ’„

  22. Too bad PBS allows this quack to represent them during their pledge week programming. what's next? Dr. Oz's Bigger Penis Juice Formula? Sad!

  23. That tongue flickering he did was kinda gay…

  24. This is bullshit. Yes eating healthy unprocessed food helps, but you can have eat Big Macs a few times a week and still have excellent brain health and be very happy. Diet is not everything. IMHO, feeling fulfilled in life, having strong relationships, and having a sense of purpose is the most important for mental health.

  25. A bunch of BS

  26. Ouhps, he is religious. He needs a brain scan and probably a brain smart program. Than his thinking will improve significantly 😳

  27. ohhhhhh cute , love it!

  28. Fantastic information on PBS. Thank you so much!!

  29. u are a fraudulent see through gimmick

  30. this guy is so funny!

  31. Dr. Amen I do respect you but you need to make a lot of money for your high class younger wife. She is the master mind behind the advice. I don't trust you, like I don't trust Trump.

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