Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in Midlife

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-06-059869-3

Memory loss and other cognitive problems are increasingly the bugaboo of aging baby boomers, as well as many of their elders. In her first book, veteran journalist Ramin turns herself into a guinea pig as she seeks ways to restore her own failing memory and growing inability to concentrate. Looking at a wide variety of genetic, biochemical and environmental factors that slow the connections among the brain's 100 billion neurons, especially in the hippocampus, Ramin undertakes 10 interventions, methods of achieving her cognitive enhancement. She logs the ups and downs of medications such as Adderall and Provigil; she looks at dietary supplements and biofeedback. She ends with discussions with experts, such as Nobelist Eric Kandel, about what keeps some people mentally young into old age; the key seems to be having the "mental reserves" gained from challenging one's mind with new kinds of learning—such as learning a new language or studying art—that use different parts of the brain; the right diet and exercise also help. Overall, the variety of perspectives and the wealth of scientific information Ramin provides, as well as her warm personal style, will reward readers and may well help them stay mentally sharp. (Apr. 1)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-146300-6
Paperback - 470 pages - 978-0-06-125302-7
Paperback - 311 pages - 978-0-06-059870-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 336 pages - 978-0-06-128898-2
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Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-147585-6
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-187354-6
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