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June 11, 2024
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Women and Brain disease: How You Can Protect Your Brain

Two out of three Alzheimer’s patients are women. On this episode of SHE MD, Mary Alice and Dr. Aliabadi team up with Dr. Kellyann Niotis to explore what women can do to prevent cognitive decline.

Dr. Kellyann Niotis is one of the world's only preventative neurologists, specializing in personalized risk reduction for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

In this episode, Dr. Niotis delves into known contributors to dementia and outlines her non-negotiable principles for maintaining brain health. Dr. Niotis walks our hosts through the way hormone fluctuations during menopause play a role in neurodegeneration and the critical health markers that signal red flags for neurologists. A strong advocate of the idea that "your genes are not your destiny," Dr. Niotis offers a wealth of research-backed advice and preventative measures to combat brain disease.

Dr. Niotis highlights specific risks associated with the APOE4 gene and addresses common questions about brain disease, hormone replacement therapy, alcohol consumption, over-the-counter sleep aids, and even the role of the Herpes Simplex Virus in neuroinflammation. Tune in for the essential tools women need to protect themselves against cognitive decline.

About the Guest

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Dr. Kellyann Niottis is the first fellowship-trained preventive neurologist whose mission is to reach and educate as many people as possible who are at-risk for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. 

Her goal is to bring the field of preventive neurology to the forefront of neurological care.

She currently leads the preventive neurology program within Early Medical, a practice focused on the applied science of longevity. Previously, she managed the country’s first Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and established Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Prevention Programs.

Top Five Ways To Maintain Your Brain Health

  1. Know Your Family Medical History: Understand the diseases that run in your family, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, mental health issues, diabetes, high cholesterol, strokes, heart disease, and cancers. Knowing your risk factors allows you to take preventive or proactive measures.
  2. Regular Exercise Regimen: Incorporate a consistent exercise routine into your lifestyle. Explore options like hot yoga and sauna sessions to not only elevate heart rate but also stimulate the production of heat shock proteins, crucial for optimal brain function.
  3. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Embrace a balanced and nutrient-rich diet comprising brain-boosting foods such as antioxidant-rich berries, omega-3 fatty acid-packed fish, fiber-rich flax and chia seeds, and a variety of raw vegetables. These dietary choices not only nourish the brain but also foster a healthy gut microbiome, linked to cognitive well-being.
  4. Emotional and Mental Wellness: Prioritize emotional and mental health by actively managing conditions like anxiety and depression, recognizing their potential as prodromal symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. By addressing these concerns, you indirectly support brain health while fostering conducive lifestyle habits such as quality sleep and a wholesome diet.
  5. Stay informed about emerging biomarker testing: Stay updated on advancements in biomarker testing for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. New tests are being developed to detect early signs of these conditions, allowing for timely intervention and personalized treatment plans.