Is your brain healthy? Computer generated image of a human brain with red lights
Health, Mindset
May 28, 2021

Is your brain healthy?

Achieve a brain breakthrough with neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta

When was the last time you thought about your brain health? Many of us are focused on our appearance, weight or physical health, but your brain health is just as important to live a long, joyful life. Neuroscience has been making great strides, with game-changing discoveries happening all the time. Case in point: We now know that neurogenesis – the process by which the brain creates new neurons – can happen at any age, not just when you’re young. That means you can be sharper, happier and more productive as you get older. But it doesn’t just happen. You have to “exercise” your brain.

The brain’s “use it or lose it” phenomenon is now well-known. We do the daily crossword or buy a book of Sudoku puzzles to get our “workout” in. Yet this may not be enough. In this podcast, American neurosurgeon, medical reporter and writer Sanjay Gupta joins Tony for an engaging conversation about brain health and its effects on your life. From movement to nourishment to rest, Tony and Sanjay share life hacks that have been proven to improve both the quality and longevity of your life from Sanjay Gupta’s newest book, Keep Sharp: How To Build a Better Brain at Any Age.

Learn and laugh with these experts as they take you on a journey through cutting-edge information and inspiration about brain health and exciting developments for the future of this science, including:

  • The three things that make the biggest difference between a toxic brain and a healthy brain
  • One of the most beneficial things you can do for your brain overall – and it’s much easier than you think
  • The latest science on the two words no one wants to talk about
  • More about how you can heal yourself and your brain, improve your memory and experience the world more fully

Brain health is tied to many of Tony’s top principles, including growth. As Sanjay says in the podcast, “Practice makes perfect, but it is change that creates brain breakthroughs.” It is when we feed our minds by learning new skills, a new language or a musical instrument, that we build resilience. A healthy brain is also tied to your emotional connections: the more meaningful connections we make with others, the better memory we will have. Finally, brain health is connected with nutrition. As Tony teaches, healthy eating is the fuel for both your body and your mind, affecting your sleep, concentration and more.

We all have the capacity to heal ourselves and our brains. With the right knowledge, you can achieve your own brain breakthroughs.


1:00 TR introduces today’s guest, a renaissance man
1:30 Sanjay’s new book, Keep Sharp
2:00 TR: How did that journey begin and what influenced you?
2:58 The first female engineer hired by Ford
3:20 Sanjay’s mom: “if you don’t hire me, you never will.”
4:30 Sacrifice
5:25 Medical marijuana and being able to shift
7:00 Sanjay during Covid-19
7:30 Sanjay did not see the merits of medical marijuana originally
8:00 94% of the studies were designed to look for harm, only 6% looking for a benefit
8:35 I different picture started to emerge
9:05 TR: You did such a good job bringing the human emotion to it
10:08 Total transparency
10:20 TR: What made you decide to write Keep Sharp?
11:20 Sanjay wrote his book before Covid-19
12:05 The mental impact of Covid-19
13:09 You can build new brain cells at any age
15:20 Defining a healthy brain
16:40 We use 10% of our brain 90% of the time
17:20 Neurogenesis
18:40 Practice makes perfect, but it is change that builds resilience
18:50 TR: Are there skills that you’ve never tried, learning a language, singing?
20:15 TR: Is there dopamine that comes from creating these new pathways?
23:17 TR: Pattern recognition, pattern utilization, pattern creation is what makes people masterful
23:35 Fundamentally, people know the right things to do
25:00 A healthy brain is tied to a wider circle
27:25 Sanjay uses his daughters as a sounding board
29:00 Brisk walking is far better than intensely exercising for the brain
29:50 Get vulnerable
34:12 The brain is exquisitely sensitive to sugar
34:40 You may be overly indulging your body and starving your brain.
35:14 TR: Tell people what the long-term impact of starving the brain is
35:40 Changes in your brain that sets you up for dementia potentially
36.28 TR: Where is the link between side effects of covid and obesity?
39.50 TR: We seem to be outsourcing our health to the pharmaceutical industry, but they can only do so much.
42:00 Medical AI and being the CEO of your own health
42:37 The two words no one wants to talk about
43:45 We can now visualize the inside of the brain
44:33 The process began decades earlier
46:10 Injecting AI behaviors for health
48:10 Technology will continue to add to our lives
49:00 There might be a better use of our time and energy
50:00 The Vatican and stem cells
55:00 We have the capacity to heal ourselves
57:01 Optimizing our life so it is frictionless
57:30 Sanjay: Three teenage girls in the house
57:57 TR: What did you learn from the super-brainers project?
59:04 Confirmation that the brain can get sharper over time
59:20 TR: The more meaningful connections you make, the more you remember.
1:01:00 Blood pressure drugs to prevent destructive memories forming
1:01:55 Dementia Village
1:08:02 1.65-billion-person experiment
1:09:20 Sleep is essential to memory
1:11:00 “As your friend, you should get more sleep Tony”
1:12:05 Tony comes to mind when Sanjay writes
1:13:00 Habit stacking
1:15:00 Polishing memories
1:16:00 TR: What is your Ikigai?
1:18:05 The difference in data interpretation
1:21:20 Childhood hunger
1:23:05 Experiencing this world fully
1:24:20 TR: You’re a gift to us

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