An Excerpt from an Interview with Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains
ARPF President and Medical Director, Dharma Singh Khalsa,
M.D., was recently interviewed by Alvaro Fernandez, Founding Team Member of
Here is an excerpt of an article entitled “You’re Not a Prisoner of your
Please tell us
about your interest in brain health and performance. What areas are you most
interested in? What motivated you to pursue work in your field?
In the beginning of my investigation, I discovered that chronic stress,
via the release of the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands, kills brain
cells by the thousands in the hippocampus, or memory center. I realized
that this could lead to Alzheimer’s disease, among other problems. I also
knew from my studies and personal experience that lifestyle modifications,
especially including yoga and meditation, could remedy that. This was the
start of the ARPF.
What is one important
thing you are working on now, and where can people learn more about it?
We keep on designing and funding research looking at the integrative medical
approach to the prevention of Alzheimer’s. We especially are interested in
continuing to explore the multiple positive benefits of a simple,
brain-enhancing yoga meditation exercise called Kirtan Kriya, or KK. You
can learn more about it Here.
What are 1–2 key
things you’d like every person to understand about his/ her own brain
and mind, that you think are commonly misunderstood?
1. You’re not a prisoner of your DNA
2. You can improve your brain function, regardless of your age and stage
Where do you see
clear “low-hanging fruit” to shape the future and the practice of brain fitness?
I believe it’s important to continue to champion the notion that your
lifestyle can influence your brain fitness. I’d especially encourage people
to make their brain health their top priority.
Finally, if I
may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
I try to always remember to put my health first. Besides that, I practice
yoga and meditation every day, have a serious work out regimen 5 times
per week, and watch my diet. As for mental exercise, I write songs and play
music, which is also great fun.