The Better Brain Book
David Perlmutter, MD Board-Certified Neurologist
Riverhead Books 2004
“The same forces that are aging your body are aging your brain, only they hit your brain earlier and harder.”
“These culprits are at the core of virtually all brain problems, from mild memory issues to brain fog to severe Alzheimer’s disease. They are:
- 1) The proliferation in the brain of destructive chemicals called free radicals.
- 2) The decline in the ability of the brain cells to make energy.”
The brain is the most metabolically active organ of the body; it uses 20% of consumed oxygen to make the energy to fuel all of its activities.
“Energy is made in the specialized parts of the cell called the mitochondria.”
“There is a price to pay for making all this energy. Every time a cell makes energy— any cell, in any part of your body—it also produces toxic substances call free radicals.”
Free radicals are unstable, and bond with molecules in healthy cells, damaging tissues and organs, such as the heart, joints, skin, and the fats of ones brain.
Over time, free radicals can destroy substantial amounts of the brain and nerve tissue through this process of oxidation.
“When the mitochondria of your brain cells are injured, they become less efficient, produce less energy, and increase free radical production.”
“Free radicals can inhibit the brain’s ability to produce neurotransmitters, which have a profound impact on memory, learning, mood, and even balance and hand- eye coordination.”
“Free radicals pose another potentially deadly problem for the brain—they promote inflammation.”
Inflammation is linked to nearly all chronic brain diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.