Reclaim Your Brain
Title: Reclaim Your Brain
Author: Joseph A. Annibali
Not the Last Word on Brain Health
Annibali is the head psychiatrist for the Amen Clinic in Virginia. The clinic founded by another psychiatrist, Daniel Amen specializes in the treatment of a number of brain affecting disorder such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, PTSD. Anxiety, and Autism through their tool, SPECT Imaging. Since the field of psychiatry is the only field to base diagnoses on not a single stich of testing, this is indeed pioneer work.
The book itself is filled with many case studies of Annibali’s patients and the work he has done to heal their brains. Unfortunately, his description of his patients’ myriad issues is both over simplified and overstated, leaving many more questions left unanswered. His seemingly first-line use of serious psychotropic medications and the irresponsible downplaying of their inexhaustible list of serious side-effects without allusions to these long term and possibly permanent effects is disturbing. He is also heavy into supplementation at higher doses (The Amen clinic sells most of the recommended supplements which is a conflict of interest for some of us) which may be unhelpful and cost prohibitive.
This book should be accompanied by reading Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic and also Kelly Brogan M. D.’s A Mind of Your Own (reviews for both can be found on the Reviews page) so that the reader will have a fuller picture of the downside of medication and what a person can naturally do to boost brain function. Yes, Annibali does talk about lifestyle strategies in the book but his playing both sides of the allopathic and holistic medical fence can be confusing to some. Brogan eloquently speaks of this phenomenon in A Mind of Your Own.
The case studies presented have a high level of relatability and I believe most people reading will recognize themselves at some point but the described pie-in-the-sky success of all these cases rings very one-sided, possibly inaccurate, and judging from the resistance of some of the disorders he treats, false to my ears.
Easily skippable but if you take it in the vein in which it is written, that of a practicing psychiatrist who puts medication on a pedestal or perhaps has pharmaceutical industry ties, there is some useful information and it is fascinating to read about what can go awry with the brain and why it happens.
BRB Rating: Skip It or Read It (but do so with a grain of salt in regard to treatment protocol or in other words do your own research).