Episode 42 The Aging Brain: Normal Aging, Dementia and Alzheimer’s


Episode Summary:

Some brain functions decline gradually and normally with advancing age in many people. In some cases, more severe cognitive disorders—Alzheimer’s and other conditions that cause dementia—can develop. Dr Bernick, an expert on the aging brain, discusses these conditions, and on a positive note, he highlights that mental and physical exercises can reduce risk factors for cognitive loss.


Charles Bernick M.D., MPH. Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle WA. Director of Clinical Trials, Memory and Brain Wellness Clinic, University of Washington.

During This Episode We Discuss:

  • Defining, comparing, and contrasting normal aging of the brain, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s dementia, and Lewey Body dementia. 
  • Causes, risk factors, diagnosis, symptom progression, treatment, management, and the current controversy over a newly approved Alzheimer’s drug.
  • How prevention critically applies to healthy brain function. The good news is that brain preventive health tactics are no doubt already familiar to you: good sleep (get treated for apnea!), adequate physical and mental activity, social engagement and connection, and a healthy diet.

Quotes (Tweetables):

“In terms of mental exercise, you do get better at what you practice, just as you do physically.”

Dr. Bernick

“If you don’t sleep well, your brain doesn’t do well.”

Dr. Pelman

“Yeah, you know it turns out that what people say, that ‘What’s good for the heart is good for the brain’…. is probably true.”

Dr. Bernick

Recommended Resources:

Episode Transcript:

Coming soon!!

More To Explore

An illustration of two human head profiles, one in red and one in blue, overlaid with contrasting representations of the brain: the red profile has a tangled mess of lines indicating a chaotic or disorganized mental state, while the blue profile has neatly organized brain outlines representing clarity and order. This could symbolize the contrast between mental confusion and mental clarity or the differences in individuals' mental states and thought processes.

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Join us as we unpack the significance of understanding perceived barriers, the benefits of behavioral change, and the instrumental role health practitioners play in shaping healthier communities. This discussion offers valuable insights into improving health behaviors and the various elements that motivate individuals to embrace healthier lifestyles.

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