The Colors of the Wind

The Colors of the Wind

The wind whistles, roars and purrs. It teases, soothes, or rips us with cold stabs to match its winter song. Poetic? Yes, but literally and subtly true.

As the speed of the wind increases, its pitch rises. A diminishing breeze sings a corresponding lower tone. When the wind dances, its movement speeds up, creating musical glissandos, with its pitch gradually changing like the howling of a wolf. How much fun it is to listen to the melodious voice – of the wind. (more…)

73% Rate Brain Health As Biggest Concern

73% Rate Brain Health As Biggest Concern

Hi. It’s Dr. Sklar with the thought of the week. This week, it’s about cognition, which as you know is one of my favorite topics. I recently was on a menopause summit called Menopause is a Trip. It was a great summit and I spoke about hormones and cognition. At the end of the menopause summit in which 5,000 people participated, a survey was done to find out what the biggest health concerns were of the people who had listened to the summit. Not surprisingly, 73% of the respondents said the areas of brain function, cognitive health, and memory were their biggest health concerns and rightly so. Two-thirds of the people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. One in three people will die with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia and we expect a huge rise in the coming years in the number of cases of people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. (more…)

‘Ingrid Goes West’ skewers social media culture

‘Ingrid Goes West’ skewers social media culture

“Ingrid Goes West” (2017). Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnusson, Pom Klementieff, Meredith Hagner. Director: Matt Spicer. Screenplay: David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer. Web site. Trailer.

We all want to be liked. But how far are we willing to go to achieve that outcome? And what if it gets the better of us, becoming an unhealthy obsession? That’s the stuff of which the incisive new comedy-drama “Ingrid Goes West” is made of. (more…)

Dancing AND Cognition

Dancing AND Cognition

Little did I know when I sent out my blog last week about taking a hip hop class for fun that there actually is scientific evidence about the value of dance in preventing cognitive decline. There’s an excellent article that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 that studied a large group of older adults over 75 years of age who were engaged in a whole variety of leisure time activity, everything from things that mainly use your brain such as reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and being in discussion groups as well as more physical activities like tennis, golf, gardening, and dancing.

And when they looked at the literature and they studied these people for 21 years to see what the incidence of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia was, which is dementia caused by blocked blood vessels, they found out the following things. If you’re a regular reader, your incidence of dementia is decreased by 35%. If you are a crossword puzzle doer, especially if you do crossword puzzles more than 4 times a week (you need to do these things frequently) your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia was reduced by 47%.

But what really took the prize was dance. If you dance on a regular basis, you can reduce your risk of dementia by as much as 76%! It needs to be dance that’s spontaneous and innovative. If you use the same memorized routines and memorized steps, which then engage the same old neural pathways in your brain, it is less effective in preventing cognitive decline. So you want to be in a class where you are innovating, taking rapid cues, and learning on the spot. This type of dance ends up being very effective because it integrates a whole lot of different activities: physical, cognitive (meaning you’ve got to use your brain), emotional, and musical.

So you can really impact your risk of cognitive decline in the future by the leisure time activities that you are engaged in. I say, get out your dancing shoes.

Dr. Susan Sklar is the founder and medical director of the Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine where she helps midlife men and women look and feel better and lead longer, healthier lives. She uses the view of Restorative Medicine which recognizes that hormonal and other biochemical changes cause humans to age in ways that are not necessary or inevitable.  Replacement and balancing of these natural substances result in improved vitality and a longer healthy span of life with less chronic illness.   Dr. Sklar has completed her fellowship training in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine after  more than 25 years of experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, placing her uniquely at the forefront of the care of men and women in midlife health transitions.  She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California.

‘Marjorie Prime’ wrestles with loss, the future of humanity

‘Marjorie Prime’ wrestles with loss, the future of humanity

“Marjorie Prime” (2017). Cast: Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Tim Robbins, Lois Smith, Stephanie Andujar, Hannah Gross, Azumi Tsutsui, Hana Colley, Leslie Lyles, Bill Walters. Director: Michael Almereyda. Screenplay: Michael Almereyda. Play: Jordan Harrison, Marjorie Prime. Web site. Trailer.

Coping with loss is something that most of us have had to deal with at some point in our lives. This can take a variety of forms, too, from the loss of a loved one to the loss of something we value to even the loss of some part of our own selves. How we handle such situations varies from person to person, depending on our individual circumstances and coping capabilities. Some of us soldier on, getting through the circumstances and moving on with our lives. But others among us may need some assistance in approaching these challenges, especially if they’re associated with strong emotions, a tremendous or unrelenting sense of loss, or unresolved aspects that prevent us from progressing. Such are the questions raised in the haunting new sci-fi drama, “Marjorie Prime.” (more…)

Stress and Your Brain

Stress and Your Brain

This week, I want to talk to you about stress, because stress is one of the biggest factors in why we have brain decline. Stress is not some intangible kind of airy concept; it is a definite set of physiologic responses that end up killing your neurons (brain cells). High levels of the cortisol hormone that get released when we’re stressed actually shrink your brain, particularly the area called the hippocampus where you lay down new memories. In addition to being damaging to your brain, these stress hormones cause other problems. They increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, among other things. (more…)

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