It's All in Your Head

I’ll bet you didn’t know this, but March 15 – 21 is Brain Awareness Week. It’s a global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. This is the 15th anniversary of the campaign that involves universities, hospitals, schools, research centers, and museum exhibits. That’s where we come in.

I’m reminded of Defending Your Life, the 1991 Albert Brooks film, in which Rip Torn portrays Bob Diamond, the Purgatorial Prosecutor. Touting he’s able to use 48% of his brain, he reminds Brooks that the “little brains” (as we humans are called behind our backs) use only 3%. While that’s a little low by current standards of research, it’s now suggested that humans use 10% of their cranial potential.

There’s obviously a lot we don’t know about the brain and its complexities, particularly when it comes to hypoxia and its long-term effects on the old gray matter. Dr. Robert Roach, Senior Scientist at the Altitude Research Center in Denver, has made this study his life. His list of publications includes an impressive array of subject matter. And that’s why the American Mountaineering Museum is hosting the next sPEAKer series event on this very subject and led by Dr. Roach. Beginning at 7 PM in the Foss Auditorium, Roach will share his studies combining slide presentations, lecture, and discussion.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine met at the Mountaineering Center last weekend. It led to some interesting conversations, one with a physician who, through personal experience, doesn’t doubt the correlation between sustained high altitude hypoxia and reduced brain function. His instruction? “Take good care of your brain.” Wherever you are, whatever you do, that’s sound advice.

Stop by, then, tomorrow night after work to hear Roach’s timely take on the subject. Remember, the Museum will be open and free to attendees after 5:30 PM. It’ll be a great chance to see the current “Thin Air – an exhibit on altitude and oxygen” before it closes in a few weeks.

Now, what was it I was supposed to remember? ;->

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