Shows Brain Function Improves with Daniel Plan Lifestyle
By Peggy Matthews Rose
The sports world was shocked last week when Terry Bradshaw admitted the numerous concussions he suffered over his professional football playing career are now catching up to him (http://www.ktbs.com/news/27509041/detail.html). The 62-year-old former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer and current FoxSports commentator confessed to suffering short-term memory loss and loss of hand-eye coordination. "If you play in the NFL and start for 10 years, it's not good. It is not good."
Head injuries having potentially life-changing results is nothing new to Dr. Daniel Amen. He began taking a special interest in the long-term effects of concussions to NFL players back in 2000, when retired Minnesota Viking offensive guard Brent Boyd came to see him. Boyd, who had suffered numerous concussions during his playing years, complained of headaches, depression, fatigue, dizziness and cognitive dysfunction.
The good news is that through positive changes, including following a lifestyle now woven integrally into The Daniel Plan, retired players like Boyd, USC's Anthony Davis, Viking Ed White, Charger Chuck Detwiler, and more are finding out their best years do not have to be left on the football field.
"For the last 20 years, the work at the Amen Clinics has been about brain rehabilitation," Dr. Amen says in his NFL study report. "We have demonstrated over and over that the brain has the ability to improve after trauma and when we change or improve people's brains, we change their lives."
In July 2007, Dr. Amen began working with USC Hall of Fame running back Anthony Davis (AD), whose brain scans at age 54 looked like those of an 85-year-old man.
"I put AD on a group of brain enhancement supplements that included high quality fish oil, a comprehensive multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, and supplements targeted to support blood flow and neurotransmitter levels in the brain," Dr. Amen said. When he re-scanned Davis in 2008, there was significant improvement in blood flow and activity. "Within several months AD told me that he felt better, more focused, and he had better energy and a better memory."
In treating football players, Dr. Amen holds a distinct home team advantage. "I had scanned the brains of more people than anyone on earth, including many high school and college players who suffered concussions and had seen the damage that was clearly visible on brain SPECT studies.
"The brain is soft, about the consistency of soft butter, and the skull is hard with many sharp boney ridges. With the forces from these huge human beings, how could there not be trauma?"
As his meetings with players continued, Dr. Amen saw a deep need for definitive brain imaging study on these retired athletes. Since 2009 and with the help of a number of concerned professionals and advocates, his clinic has been successfully treating these players.* "We developed a protocol using education, diet, exercise, and natural supplements to see if we could help to reverse the brain damage. "
Among the many findings from this study** is the good news that recovery and improved function is possible. Additionally, supplements like high quality fish oil proved effective both in improving brain function and combating pain. For certain areas where brain injury had affected physical performance, the studies showed that targeted activities like dancing, table tennis, and even calligraphy or cursive handwriting brought improvement.
Whether you've played football like Terry Bradshaw, suffered head injuries from accidents or other trauma, or even if you're simply seeking a longer, healthier life—The Daniel Plan can help you reach your goals. Eating whole, healthy foods and taking supplements like those Dr. Amen has used in his clinic, along with participating in regular physical activity, can dramatically improve your long-term performance, both on and off the field.
Dr. Amen says, "Taking The Daniel Plan seriously and being part of our community can improve the health of your brain and optimize your spiritual, physical, and mental health. Pass it on."
*Today, that work continues to provide research and educational tools through Dr. Amen's non-profit Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Foundation (www.amenclinics.com).
**Learn more about Dr. Amen's findings with NFL players at http://www.amenclinics.com/Flyer/nfl.pdf