April 24, 2019
By John W. DenBoer PhD, Smart Brain Aging
It all started when I was attending Boston Medical School. I have always been extremely close to my grandmother, so it was very difficult on me when I noticed her starting to decline. At this time, I knew that it was my purpose to find a way to prevent the onset of dementia and to make a mark in the medical field.
While I was attending the Barrow Neurological Institute for my postdoctoral training, I discovered that cognitive intervention can actually mitigate dementia. As I continued my research, I was able to prove that engaging in new and novel learning like by doing brain activity that one has not done before, is the most effective way to mitigate dementia. This allows the brain to release a series of neurotransmitters in the brain that end with an excitatory neurotransmitter named glutamate. The excess release of glutamate, as shown in research with animals, has been demonstrated to decrease the overall atrophy (i.e., shrinkage) of the brain cortex and subcortical structures (including the hippocampus, which is primarily responsible for memory consolidation).
A few years later, I went on to start SMART Brain Aging, a company that provides programs and support to those experiencing the beginning stages of dementia. The entire team at SMART Brain Aging offers a memory gym for the brain by my team working with patients to slow down the progression of dementia through cognitive therapy. With clinics across Arizona, individual therapy to mitigate dementia is offered to anyone with stage 1 or 2 dementia. For those hoping to ward off dementia, we also offer an online program designed to work the brain and tailored to your level and progress called Brain U Online. These programs offered through my company, SMART Brain Aging, increases the resiliency in the brain by learning new and novel things, which will improve the quality of life.
I have made sure that all of the clinicians I have hired are trained agents in this process. To date, we have helped over 7,000 clients through Brain U Clinic to mitigate the dementia process. We will reach over 10,000 more in 2019. Nobody does what we do at SMART Brain Aging. We are fighting on the front lines of this disease; and luckily, we are in the best city in the world to engage in this fight, Phoenix, Arizona.
My goal is simple. I want to break the silence through early identification and intervention. Through my many years of research and dedication to finding ways to mitigate dementia and spread awareness, I have been able to spark the conversation. There are many misconceptions surrounding dementia and I have been able to squash these misconceptions and alert others to the dangers of dementia.
I will continue on my journey in finding a way to spread awareness about dementia. To see my adventure so far, I am now featured in a documentary released this April title This is Dementia.
"This is Dementia" will be available on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc from May 1st
You can view a trailer here: https://youtu.be/rDVUAdxsg7Y
About John W. DenBoer, Ph.D.
Dr. John DenBoer is a Clinical Neuropsychologist specializing in the assessment and detection of early-stage dementia. He is the creator of Smart Brain Aging a company that helps delay the onset of dementia and reduce its severity, through a science-backed brain training programme.
Dr DenBoer was inspired to become an expert in the field after his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, robbing him of the woman who raised him.