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Staying Smart

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Readers of this newsletter age 40 and up have, to a person, one perpetually lurking fear: that they will they get dumber with each passing decade.

You suddenly go blank trying to locate the right word or match a name with a familiar face. Or you walk into your bedroom, wondering what the heck you’re doing there.

Before you panic, here are a couple of reassuring thoughts:
It’s pretty much established that a healthy diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits, veggies, and omega-3 oils will make a real difference in the long-term prospects of your smarts. Nutritional supplements can help, too. I formulated a bouillabaisse of brain supplements in a product called Brain Fog Lifter. Other useful supplements include B complex, Co Q10, and fish oil.

Neurological research now conclusively shows that an active and challenged brain actually develops new connections. Neuroscientists conducted a fascinating study that monitored brain activity of people while reading Shakespeare’s plays. The complex sentence structures, unexpected uses of words (nouns used as verbs, verbs as adjectives, etc.) “startle” the brain to expand itself. As researchers observed the brain waves of someone reading Othello, they noted that a line like this from the play stimulated parts of the brain to literally wake up and pay attention: “To lip a wanton in a secure couch/And suppose her chaste.”

If you’re worried about the health of your brain, consider a careful reading of Hamlet instead of settling back slack-jawed in front of the TV. You can start by reading more about the Shakespeare brainwave research here.


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DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

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