Monday, March 19, 2012

100 Simple things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss

By Jean Carper

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II

You must buy this book!

I have reviewed over 200 books, but this one — among them all so far — is one that should be read by everyone.

If you believe the title, Carper’s book is about Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss, but when you read the book you quickly realize it is a book about healthy living, having a healthy lifestyle, and following a regimen that will bring you strength, vitality, and wellness.

100 suggestions seems like a lot; however, when you get going (each suggestion only takes up two or three pages) in this small, 294-page book.  She has over 200 references for the book, and she gives you the web site where you can go to check out her sources:

What I especially enjoy is finding a book that underscores and supports the lifestyle that I have already adopted.  I found that many of the suggestions by Carper are things I am already doing.  Most healthy readers will find the same thing; however, most healthy readers (like myself) will also be interested in obtaining just a little more, going for that extra edge (the extra mile), and not just getting their current lifestyle reinforced but finding something that pushes them a little harder, a little farther, too.

A couple of the suggestions I have highlighted include #24, “Build ‘Cognitive Reserve’—Fill up your brain with lots of fascinating stuff.”  That idea delighted me because of the book reviews and essays I write.  I think loving school, too, helps anyone build a cognitive reserve right from the outset.  Getting immersed in information, learning, knowledge, and experiences builds a useful lifelong benefit.

In addition to writing about the importance of higher education, Carper also upholds the value of reading and writing in her #56, “Learn to Love Language — Linguistic skills build bigger, smarter, stronger brains” (p. 168).

There are so many of her ideas that are just smart and worthy of adoption.  Whether you have heard much of this before, Carper offers the research to support her ideas.  We all need reminders to live properly and to be concerned about good health.

Two parts of the book need highlighting.  First, within each chapter Carper ends with “What to do?” where she translates what she has said in explaining the idea of the chapter into practical, down-to-earth, specific kinds of things readers can do to achieve the results they want.  For example, in #80, “Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” she writes as the first sentence of “What to do?”: “Don’t think of sleep as an inconvenience but as a legitimate way to subdue some of the brain’s most devastating enemies.  Take naps. . . . (pp. 233-234).

Also, the second part of the book that needs highlighting, I thought her section at the back of the book, “Putting it all together: Your anti-Alzheimer’s plan” was especially good for it underscored what everyone can begin doing right now — or, in other words, what the absolute, bottom-line, essentials are that can be started immediately: 1) surprise your brain, 2) get physical activity, 3) eat the right stuff and take supplements, and 4) take care of yourself.

You must buy this book!  (I’m encouraging my wife and my other family members to read it.  It’s that good!)  We purchased copies of the book and gave it as a gift to each of our four children.

100 Simple things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss can be purchased at

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