#6: Prof Sabina Brennan; How we Impact our Brain

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#6: Prof Sabina Brennan; How we Impact our Brain

 
 
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Professor Sabina Brennan is the author of the book ‘100 Days to a Younger Brain‘, which details how we can maximise our cognitive and brain health for as long as possible, through lifestyle.

She is a neuroscientist with specific interest in the risk factors and impact of lifestyle on dementia, cognition and brain health across the lifespan. Currently as a Research Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience department at Trinity College Dublin, she made her move into this field through studying her psychology undergraduate degree at the age of 42, after leaving her previous career in acting (a leading role on Ireland’s soap opera, Fair City).

As well as her work in lifestyle and neuroscience, Sabina is passionate about challenging the stereotypes that pervade ageing in the West, asserting that there is much to celebrate in our later years and that we are capable of much more than society would allow us to think. She has created around 30 short animations in multiple languages across the globe to share education on brain health and lifestyle.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why Sabina wrote the book (2:33)
  • Why we are not doomed to decline despite our brains shrinking with age (8:25)
  • How even a brain that appears to be ravaged by Alzheimer’s dementia may not result in any outward appearance of disease (10:25)
  • Sabina gets into the difficult area of how best intentions can sometimes steal independence from loved ones and patients (20:30)
  • The concepts of brain resilience and reserve (22:55)
  • The odd lack of awareness about our brains (29:14)
  • Sabina does a deep dive into how sleep is perhaps the most important thing for our brain health (32:20)
  • Learn why stress can be both bad and good for us (47:50)
  • How your attitude and approach to life can make or break you (56:26)
  • We close with reflecting on how we are absolutely sabotaging ourselves as we age through how society views the process of getting older (01:06:09).

Links

  • ‘100 Days to a Younger Brain’ is available in all good book stores.
  • Check out Sabina’s website at http://www.sabinabrennan.ie
  • Follow her on Twitter @Sabina_Brennan.
  • Also take a look at her (excellent) animations on dementia, ageing and brain health at http://freedemliving.com

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