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Dr Tommy Wood: train your brain to stay sharp for life

The esteemed physician–scientist reveals to Unfiltered the simple steps you can take, starting today, to keep your brain firing on all cylinders, including cutting-edge advice and insight on how to reverse natural cognitive decline and ward off dementia, as well as how to improve your clarity of thought and enhance your powers of focus and concentration, even as you age
Dr Tommy Wood
Dr Tommy Wood

Dr Tommy Wood, BM BCh, PhD, is a neuroscientist and performance consultant to world class athletes in more than a dozen sports. A self-confessed “elite-level professional nerd”, he received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, a medical degree from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Oslo. Dr Wood is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at the University of Washington, and Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. His research focuses on brain health and brain injury treatment across the lifespan, as well as developing easily-accessible methods with which to track health, performance, and longevity in both professional athletes and the general population. Follow him on Instagram. Visit drtommywood.com.

Dr Tommy Wood: The smart steps to better brain health

There are few things people fear, especially once they enter middle-age, as much as major cognitive decline.

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, affect more than 55 million people worldwide, with 10 million new cases every year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for around two-thirds of all diagnoses – and dementia is the seventh leading cause of death globally and one of the major causes of disability and dependency amongst older people.

But it’s not all bad news because certain lifestyle interventions can significantly reduce your risk of severe cognitive decline.

For example, there’s strong evidence to suggest – and leading experts including Unfiltered contributor Dr Dale Bredesen is convinced – that exercise, good nutrition and learning new skills help mitigate your risk.

One factor you might not know about, however, is educational achievement.

Assuming smart training, good nutrition and a burning desire to acquire new skills and knowledge can ward off dementia – and potentially increase lifespan – Dr Tommy Wood’s brain should be firing on all cylinders until he’s at least 100 years old.

The leading neuroscientist has spent his career excelling not only academically but also athletically, turning his hand from ultra-marathons to CrossFit competitions to strongman events.

In a scintillating and wide-ranging conversation with Unfiltered’s very own brains-and-brawn ambassador – contributing editor Dr Jonny Rees, PhD – Dr Wood delivers a masterclass of life-changing advice and insight.

Not only does he provide actionable strategies and tips to reduce your risk of dementia and other types of cognitive decline, he also discusses head trauma and concussion, and what you can do in the immediate aftermath to limit the damage they cause.

Dr Wood also demystifies some of the most frequently misunderstood concepts in the health and longevity arena, including autophagy – the process by which cells recycle their own components – and how to stimulate it for greater health (clue: it’s not fasting, despite what you may have seen on social media).

If you’ve even been confused about the best lifestyle practices to adopt to remain fitter, healthier and happier for longer, or are constantly scratching your head about how seemingly conflicting and contradictory advice fits together, Dr Wood will set the record straight, once and for all.

Listen to our exclusive interview with Dr Tommy Wood on Spotify

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