The Pathway To Better Brain Health

Your journey begins here

Between 15 and 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 have mild cognitive impairment. If you’re one of them, the Pathway to Better Brain Health is dedicated to you.

I help people with MCI by showing them practical, proven ways to protect their mind, giving you a better chance of slowing cognitive loss and reducing the risk for dementia.

Hope for those with MCI

THERE IS PLENTY THEY CAN DO FOR YOU

Tony Dearing, creator of GoCogno.com

For a long time, mild cognitive impairment was a befuddling diagnosis.

Most people had never heard of it, and the doctor was likely to say, “There’s nothing I can do for you.”

Some doctors still say that. But don’t you believe it. Our knowledge about MCI is growing at an exponential rate, and so are the treatment options. These days, there’s a lot they can do for you. And a lot you can do for yourself.

And that’s what this site is all about.

If you’ve been diagnosed with MCI, you should know that:

Most people with MCI do not develop dementia.

About 30% will progress to dementia within five
years, but others may stabilize for long periods of time. Some will even see memory return to normal.

There are many causes of cognitive impairment other than dementia, including: depression, sleep disorders, hearing loss or a vitamin deficiency.

All of these are treatable. If they are identified and addressed, memory can improve.

Yet here’s the reality: Whatever the underlying cause, anyone diagnosed with MCI has a higher risk of dementia.

But you can lower that risk — dramatically. My goal is to show you how.

Defending your cognition

YOUR GENES ARE
NOT YOUR DESTINY

"Recent discoveries have led neuroscientists to understand that genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger." — Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Associate Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic and author of "Brain Food."

You didn’t ask for MCI, and you did nothing to deserve it.

But there are many things you can do about it.

We’re learning more every day about cognitive impairment, and based on these rapid scientific advances, we know now it's possible to slow MCI down or even halt it.

One way to do that is by embracing health habits that give your brain a boost.

That’s not necessarily the answer people are looking for. We expect medicine to cure what ails us. You go to the doctor, the doctor gives you a pill, and you get better. But in this case, that’s not the reality.

There is no FDA-approved medicine for the treatment of MCI. Someday, that will change, and hopefully sooner than later. In the meantime, your doctor has something as good as medicine to offer you. To understand what that is, consider the words of the Dana Foundation:

“While a pharmaceutical approach to preventing AD has proved elusive, practical lifestyle choices to reduce AD are based on good science and good sense. Research in a variety of areas has confirmed that sensible everyday choices can significantly reduce the risk of AD.”

But you need to know what these lifestyle choices are, and that’s what I share with hundreds of people like you in my weekly brain health email.

Knowledge is power

BRAIN HEALTH DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

There are promising experiments going on right now that may lead to breakthroughs someday.

But you don’t have years to wait. You’re looking for things you can right now, today. Well . . .

  • Did you know people who eat green leafy vegetables have a brain age 11 years younger?
  • Did you know a brain training game you can do on your computer at home has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 29 percent?
  • Did you know there’s a city in California where the Alzheimer’s rate is below 5 percent, and what helps keep the residents of this town all but immune to dementia are the lifestyle choices they make?

These are the kinds of real-world, scientifically proven approaches I offer in my brain health email. Every week, my goal is to show you some simple, meaningful step you can take to protect your cognition and reduce your risk of dementia.

Here’s what people with MCI are saying about my weekly email:

"Thank you, Tony. You are such an important voice for individuals with MCI."

"Your video really taught me a lot about my symptoms. I’m looking forward to more. Thanks."

"Thank you! This was the first video I’ve watched. I was impressed."

"I enjoy your pieces very much, Tony. Your continuing search for more knowledge about MCI benefits so many of us. Thank you."

I welcome you to get my weekly brain health email, and as a bonus, I also want to give you “MCI & You,” my 14-page guide to the causes, symptoms and treatment of mild cognitive impairment. Both the guide and the weekly email are free. Get them today by signing up below.

Fields marked with a * are required.
 

Get on the Pathway

MY 4 ESSENTIALS
OF BRAIN HEALTH

And now, on to the Pathway to Better Brain Health.

Because if you’re determined to protect your cognition, you have to start somewhere. And the Pathway is here to guide you in the right direction.

What I outline below are four essential ingredients of brain health. They are:
• Physical activity
• Brain training
• Blood pressure management
• Mindfulness/meditation

Whichever one you choose, if you put your effort into it, you'll be giving yourself a genuine chance to slow cognitive decline and substantially cut your risk of dementia. 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

"It is not controversial to say the single most important thing a patient with MCI can do to slow the disease is physical activity, preferably a walk.” — Dr. Anders Hansen 

The brain benefits of physical activity are proven and profound.  

And it doesn’t have to be “exercise” if that’s not your thing. Even a brisk walk will do.

You don’t have to do a lot of working out to get the benefit, but you do have to do it for a sustained period (six months or more). Learn more by watching this short video.

Any form of moderate physical activity can be good for you, but one popular option is the SilverSneakers program. It’s a free fitness program for adults 65 over that’s covered by Medicare and many health plans, and gives you access to thousands of gyms and fitness classes across the country. Click on the button below to learn more.

BRAIN TRAINING

If scientists came up with a pill that could reduce your risk of dementia by 29 percent, that would be huge.

We’re still waiting for that pill. But 10 years of research on a brain training activity called “Double Decision” has shown a similar result.

“Double Decision” is a game-style exercise you can do on your computer.

Many leading medical centers now recommend “Double Decision” to patients with MCI and in some cases, patients are receiving it as part of their treatment.

But you can also do this brain exercise and others like it at home. It’s available via the BrainHQ website and mobile apps. To learn more, or get started on your own personalized braining training program, click the link below.

(P.S. – I have no connection with BrainHQ and receive no financial benefit by recommending it. But I use it personally, and I know the body of scientific evidence behind it, and that's why I advocate it.)

MANAGING YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

Brain health isn’t all that sexy. Some of it is bland, basic stuff. But if you do it, it can have a profound benefit. That’s especially true of blood pressure.

“Know your numbers,” and if you have high blood pressure, the effort you make to get it back in a healthy range can be one of the single most effective ways to protect against dementia.

In fact, there are studies that suggest the proper treatment of high blood pressure can lower the risk of dementia by up to 50 percent. That’s huge.

There are plenty of good resources out there for managing blood pressure, but a great place to start is the website of the American Heart Association. Click the button below.

GO TO THE AHA WEBSITE

MINDFULNESS / MEDITATION

For most of my adult life, I viewed meditation and mindfulness as some kind of mumbo-jumbo. I tried meditation a few times, and decided it wasn’t for me.

Boy, was I wrong about that.

The more I began to learn about brain health, the more I discovered that unrelenting, unaddressed stress can contribute to cognitive decline — and worse yet, it can greatly accelerate the pace of cognitive decline. 

A diagnosis of MCI can be highly stressful. The key is to manage that stress though some form of meditation or mindfulness.

There are countless forms of mindful stress management: yoga, breathing techniques, nature walks, visualization, prayer, exercise or listening to music are just a few.

What worked for me, when nothing else seemed to, is the Headspace meditation app. I started using it a couple of years ago, and it’s been life-changing. I want you to find what works for you, but in terms of my No. 1 recommendation, it’s Headspace. Click the button below to learn more.

GO TO HEADSPACE

(P.S. — Again, this is not something I gain any financial benefit from. It’s just something I use and believe in and can recommend without hesitation.)

Thanks for your interest

MY ONLY GOAL IS
TO SERVE YOU

So where do you go from here? That’s up to you. And you’re the best one to decide. Pick one of these essentials that you want to begin working on and take that first step down the Pathway to Better Brain Health. Later, you an gradually make other changes.

I’m here to join you on that journey, offering you encouragement, support and most of all, reliable information on what’s been shown to work.

You’ll get that from me every week in my brain health email, and in all the various brain health guides, tips sheets and booklets that I offer. (Yes, they’re all free, too.)

I’m here to answer your questions as well. Feel free to reach out to me. I’m always glad to hear from you.

Yours in brain health,