An Excerpt from an Interview with Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains

 In General

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
of life.

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.

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