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How Does the Brain Affect Our Lives? (Part 19)

A Book Review: Younger Brains, Sharper Minds by Eric R. Braverman, M.D.

by Maggie Dail, M.A., Learning Specialist

Dr. Braverman relates that our highest levels of memory and attention appears just after puberty which happens to also coincide with an increase of hormones. When hormones continue to decline later in life during menopause and andropause, cognitive ability tends to wane as well. At the time of writing this book, Dr. Braverman had been using over 20 bioidentical hormones with his patients for more than two decades. These bioidentical hormones provide the best treatment for dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment. (p. 195-197)

Braverman goes on to explain the difference between synthetic and bioidentical, natural hormone supplements. He discusses two pharmaceutical hormones used by doctors – Provera and Premarin. Plus, he names other non-bioidentical hormones in use today: Android, Testred, Virilon, Prempro, cadaver growth hormones and birth control pills. These can create problems for the patient. He warns against these, but also reminds his readers to discuss with a doctor, preferably one who understands these distinctions.

Further, Braverman discusses in more detail 19 hormones you need to know: aldosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), DHEA-S (DHEA-Sulfate), EPO (Erythropoietin), Estrogen, Estradiol, Estriol, Estrone, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), Increlex or insulin-like growth factor (IGF), Melatonin, Parathyroid hormones (PTH), Pregnenolone, Progesterone, Testosterone, Thyroid T-3 and T4, Vasopressin and Vitamin D. (p. 199-206)

Dr. Braverman describes menopause in women with around 42 different possible symptoms with may appear in varying degrees. Since our focus is on the cognitive function here are a few: attention deficiencies, depression, insomnia, nervous tension. (p. 208-210)

Next, he discusses andropause. For men symptoms may include: anxiety, decreased beard, hair and nail growth, depressed, excessive sweating, fatigue, irritability, joint and muscle achiness, loss of skin elasticity, loss of vitality and sleep disturbances. (p. 210-211)

For more information see the book or his blog:

Next time we will review what Braverman says about Brain - Balancing Medications - his sixth and final step.


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