Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta [6/10]

Boisterous neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta has penned a highly useful everyperson manual on the human brain, “Keep Sharp: How To Build a Better Brain at Any Age.” Multidisciplinary understanding of how the brain works, and in particular how it declines, both naturally and under dementia conditions, is accumulating rapidly, and Gupta is an engaging, lucid reporter on this topic. After a general overview of our frontiers of knowledge, he offers five general prescriptions for staving off mental decline, followed by a twelve-week “program” to put all five into place. As someone “in the market” for such advice, I found the advice and the program rather general and even a little obvious, but I could imagine Gupta’s advice being revelatory for many. Gupta winds up Keep Sharp with an overview of how cognitive decline can be expected to unwind, and he offers sane (if, once again, a tad simplistic) caregiver advice that might resonate. The author writes stylishly, with lashings of enthusiasm, and I found myself bound up in my reading. Keep Sharp is not as astounding as the blurb promises but it is rational and balanced. Recommended.

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