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Dr. Daniel Amen - Independent Retired Football Players Summit


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Dr. Daniel Amen discusses his institute's studies and archives on the long-term effects of brain injuries at the Independent Retired Football Players Summit.

Published in: Sports, Health & Medicine
  • I've read the book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and a few others. I highly recommend the works of Dr.Daniel Amen.
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Dr. Daniel Amen - Independent Retired Football Players Summit

  1. 1. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Retired NFL Brain Imaging Study Daniel G. Amen, MD Amen Clinics, Inc. Independent Retired NFL Players Association
  2. 2. <ul><li>Discuss reality of brain damage in the NFL and the fallout of brain damage </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss our study in collaboration with the LA Chapter of the Retired NFL PA </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit more players for the study </li></ul><ul><li>Share some shocking preliminary findings </li></ul><ul><li>Give hope and direction </li></ul>Goals of Talk
  3. 3. First, Some Basic Principles
  4. 4. Your Brain Is Involved In Everything You Do <ul><li>Who you are… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>player </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>father </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>friend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>employer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How you... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>think </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>feel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interact </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. When your brain works right, you work right When your brain doesn’t work right, you have trouble
  6. 6. Healthy Happy Effective Consistent Reliable Successful Unhealthy Depressed Poor Memory Low Motivation Temper Issues Financial Trouble
  7. 7. Brain Is The Most Complex Organ In The Universe <ul><li>100 billion neurons </li></ul><ul><li>more connections than stars in universe </li></ul><ul><li>2% of body’s weight, uses 20-30% of kcals </li></ul><ul><li>Information travels ~ 268 miles/hour </li></ul><ul><li>On average you lose 85,000 cells/day </li></ul>
  8. 8. Brain Is Very Soft Housed In Hard Skull <ul><li>Your brain is very soft </li></ul><ul><ul><li>consistency of soft butter, tofu, custard or between egg whites and jello </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skull is really hard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>many sharp ridges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brain Injuries Matter </li></ul>
  9. 9. Do not have to lose consciousness to have a bad brain injury
  10. 10. <ul><li>Smoking </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive caffeine </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental toxins </li></ul><ul><li>Obesity </li></ul><ul><li>Brain injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep deprivation </li></ul>Many Things Can Hurt The Brain
  11. 11. Many Things Help The Brain <ul><li>Social connections </li></ul><ul><li>New learning </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy diet </li></ul><ul><li>Fish oil </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing </li></ul><ul><li>Gratitude </li></ul><ul><li>Meditation </li></ul>
  12. 12. To Understand The Brain You HAVE To Look At It! healthy brain Trauma
  13. 13. How Do You Know Unless You Look?
  14. 14. The Brain Can Change Right interventions help Wrong interventions hurt
  15. 15. healthy brain Trauma Anthony Davis
  16. 16. Before After
  17. 17. <ul><li>Amen Clinics -- 4 Centers </li></ul><ul><li>Patients from 75 different countries </li></ul><ul><li>Use SPECT to look at brain function, which measures brain blood flow and activity </li></ul><ul><li>18 years, 50,000 studies, world’s largest database </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on education and prevention </li></ul>Amen Clinics Brain SPECT
  18. 18. Healthy
  19. 19. Stroke: Why you shouldn’t smoke!
  20. 20. Alzheimer’s Disease
  21. 21. Brain Injury
  22. 22. Cocaine Methamphetamine
  23. 23. Alcohol Heroin
  24. 24. Significant NFL Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Low frontal lobes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>focus and judgment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low temporal lobes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memory, mood </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low cerebellum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>coordination and processing speed </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Significant NFL Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Memory problems </li></ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Slow processing speed </li></ul>
  26. 26. Significant NFL Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Memory problems </li></ul><ul><li>Low energy </li></ul><ul><li>Attentional problems </li></ul>
  27. 27. Significant NFL Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Memory problems </li></ul>
  28. 28. Significant NFL Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Memory problems </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation problems </li></ul><ul><li>Temper problems </li></ul>
  29. 29. WE NEED YOUR HELP <ul><li>Goal to recruit up to 100 NFL players </li></ul><ul><li>Not currently on psychiatric medications </li></ul><ul><li>Able to come to Newport Beach, CA twice, two months apart for before and after scans </li></ul><ul><li>No charge to players </li></ul><ul><li>See me or Dr. Willeumier to sign up </li></ul>
  30. 30. What Can You Do Now To Keep Your Brain Healthy?
  31. 31. #1: Love Your Brain Age 37 Age 52
  32. 32. #2: Protect Your Brain <ul><li>Brain is soft and your skull is hard </li></ul><ul><li>Brain injuries can ruin your life </li></ul><ul><li>So wear your seat belt, drive in safe vehicles, no soccer headers and stay off the roof </li></ul>
  33. 33. Roofing Accident
  34. 34. #3: Stop Poisoning Your Brain <ul><li>Do not put toxic substances in your body </li></ul><ul><li>Poison your brain, you poison your mind </li></ul><ul><li>So, not much alcohol, no illegal drugs, including marijuana, stop smoking, limit your caffeine intake, and stop painting without good ventilation </li></ul>
  35. 35. #4: Protect Your Memory <ul><li>Critical to take memory problems seriously and not just dismiss them as normal aging </li></ul><ul><li>95% of people with Alzheimer’s disease not diagnosed until moderate to severe </li></ul><ul><li>When not much can be done </li></ul>
  36. 36. Early Alzheimer’s Disease
  37. 37. #5: Learn Brain Healthy Ways To Deal With Pain <ul><li>One of the most frightening symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Affects sleep, mood, memory and focus </li></ul><ul><li>Scans show use of chronic pain meds, such as Oxycontin, may be harmful </li></ul><ul><li>Long term use similar to alcohol </li></ul>
  38. 38. Oxycontin
  39. 39. Natural Treatments for Pain <ul><li>Fish oil </li></ul><ul><li>Acupuncture </li></ul><ul><li>Hypnosis </li></ul>
  40. 40. #6: Feed You Brain Eat Right to Think Right <ul><li>Lean protein </li></ul><ul><li>Good carbohydrates </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease bad fat, not all fat </li></ul><ul><li>Omega 3 Fatty Acids -- fish, such as tuna and salmon, avocados and walnuts </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul>
  41. 41. #7: Exercise Is Foundation of Youth <ul><li>Boosts blood flow </li></ul><ul><li>Increases chemicals important for learning, memory and stimulating growth of new brain cells </li></ul><ul><li>30 minutes 3 or 4 Xs week all you need </li></ul>
  42. 42. #8: Mental Exercise <ul><li>Exercise generates new cells in brain </li></ul><ul><li>New cells last for about four weeks </li></ul><ul><li>If not stimulated by new learning they die </li></ul><ul><li>This is why people who only work out at the gym out are not nearly as smart as those who work out and then go to the library  </li></ul>
  43. 43. Conclusion <ul><li>Brain damage is a serious problem in the NFL </li></ul><ul><li>It needs to be tested for, including scans, and treated whenever found </li></ul><ul><li>It is often a job related injury </li></ul><ul><li>All players need to be on a brain healthy program when they play and after they retire </li></ul><ul><li>There is significant help available, and it is critical to take advantage of it </li></ul>
  44. 44. Daniel G. Amen, MD Amen Clinics, Inc.