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Publisher's Summary

We're all getting older every day, and scientific research has shown that starting in our 20s, some brain functions begin a linear decline. But is old age all doom and gloom?

Not at all! While it's true that some functions in the aging brain decline, neuroscientists have discovered that many other brain functions remain stable - or even improve - as we age. Furthermore, nurture plays as significant a role as nature, and there are a number of strategies you can implement to stave off declining brain function, including:

  • Incorporating physical activity into your routine
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Maintaining a vibrant social life
  • Reducing your stress

The science behind the aging brain tells a fascinating - and often counterintuitive - story. Is "aging" a disease or merely a natural occurrence that produces disease-like symptoms? If humans are biologically programmed to survive and thrive, why do we age at all? Is it possible (or even desirable) to "cure" aging altogether?

Delve into these questions and more in The Aging Brain. Taught by a neuroscientist and award-winning professor at the University of Michigan, these 12 eye-opening lectures will give you a wealth of new insights into what happens to the brain over time - as well as strategies to mitigate the effects of aging and enhance your quality of life into old age.

With a mix of scientific research and practical applications, Professor Polk brings cutting-edge science to life. He takes you down to the cellular and even molecular levels of the brain to show you why certain functions decline, how some aspects of brain aging are under genetic control, and what you can do to prolong your health and keep your mind sharp. Aging affects us all, but you have some control over how it affects you.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2016 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Getting Older Smarter!

Great course; should be required listening for everyone under thirty. They might arrive at my age (77) in better shape than I did. Great instructor ... really made lectures interesting.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 10-18-16

Great Info and Not Just For The Old Folks!

This course is short, concise yet full of information on how aging affects the brain and what we can do to increase our health and live longer and happier lives. Don't think you should put off reading this until you reach old age. Some of our brain functions start their decline from the young age of 20. You are not what you used to be, even at the age of 30! Who knew?

What I came away with is that we can attempt to increase our lifespan and our quality of life by learning from some of the longest lived societies in the world. They all seem to share some commonalities that may be responsible for their health and longevity. Some of these repeating life style patterns are increased physical activity, decreased stress, having an active social life, a propensity to eat less (than us Americans, with our seconds and thirds), and eating a Mediterranean diet.

Knowing this, you can start with little changes, which is what I am attempting. I did not go into this listen thinking it was a self-help book. I shy away from those. But this Great Course is so much more than that. I highly encourage everyone to listen to Professor Polk. He is a great lecturer who seems to really know his stuff.

Go for it!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Very informative and current as of 2016

Greatly enjoyed this. A great break from fiction.
I have a medical background, but think this would be appropriate for anyone.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • Streetsboro, OH, United States
  • 10-11-16

Excellent Up-To-Date Research Provided

If you could sum up The Aging Brain in three words, what would they be?

Good with bad

Have you listened to any of Professor Thad A. Polk’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This book works well for people who wish to listen to a chapter or two at a time without losing the flow or interrupting comprehension.

Any additional comments?

If you are healthy, yet wish to improve your brain's chances of remaining healthy in the future, this is a great listen for you. You will not feel as if you are being pushed into changing your lifestyle, yet you will probably want to implement some positive changes that this Great Course brings to light.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Critical Knowledge

This is information anyone over 40 should have. Thank you Great Courses and thank you Audible. you have opened up a world of knowledge for me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good information to know

The book provides good information on common diseases (such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, dementia, and depression) and their impact on the brain. There isn't much to prevent the diseases other than to exercise and eat healthy to reduce the likelihood somewhat.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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informative

Worth the read. I learned many new facets of memory and brain functions. science progresses.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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very good, informative, and useful

very good, informative, and most of all very useful diet information for everyday .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

This course is an excellent status check on the race between (neuro)degenerative disease progression and the science that's attempting to stop it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Much to consider!

Good topic for today's society - good info - knowing what may be ahead puts things in a different light, thanks.



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  • ajibade omolade
  • 08-22-16

Educative

Amazing book. learnt a lot from the book and great narration from the Narrator. Educative

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • keo999
  • 01-31-17

A PhD Style Self Aggrandising Thesis

The basics whilst almost too simplistic are worth their inclusion. The advertising for blind alley research are understandable as a basis for claiming funding and building on a science to date basis. What is missing is down to earth more useful every day improvements beyond these basics. An example is the role of sensible fasting and increasing BDNF. Not a single sentence on Epigenetics. An interesting topic agenda too shallow in parts too academic in others.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DeCatalyst
  • 09-06-16

Informative and accessible

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and found it to be enlightening.
Of course, there were some aspects that were very technical and complicated, but it was still possible to grasp the basics of what was being shared.
The length of lectures was just right, so that I was able to play the audio while doing some tasks around the house.
It was certainly beneficial to have listened to this audiobook, from the standpoint of the information shared as general knowledge, but also for its application to my life.

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  • Dr
  • 10-21-16

Fascinating lectures

Some parts a little technical but overall extremely interesting and well delivered and presented in logical sequence