Dr. Alan Snow of Cognitive Clarity: “Handle stress”

Try not to get too involved in politics and the news as it will take over your mind no matter which side you are on. As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alan Snow. Dr. Alan D. Snow […]

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Try not to get too involved in politics and the news as it will take over your mind no matter which side you are on.

As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alan Snow.

Dr. Alan D. Snow is Founder & CEO of Cognitive Clarity Inc. and former Research Associate Professor of Pathology at University of Washington in Seattle, where he was an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center project team leader for over 10 years. He obtained his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio); MS in Anatomy from University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada); and PhD in Pathology from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). Dr. Snow has been studying and researching Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain health, memory, cognition and brain “plaques and tangles” for over 30 years. He is an inventor on 345+ issued patents with 18 National Institute Health Grant Awards and a 3.5M dollars LEAPS Award from the MIchael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I got interested in misfolded protein disorders when I did my PhD in Pathology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada being a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Kisilevsky who taught me alot. From his lab I got interested in studying protein misfolding disorders, and then did a postdoctoral fellow at University of Washington in Seattle in one of the best laboratories in the world under Dr. Thomas Wight.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? I ended up writing and publishing some papers in the early 1990’s with Dr. Stanley Prusiner, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997. It was great so see that I was an author on significant papers with someone who ended up winning the Nobel Prize.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? I liked working in the laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr Thomas Wight in the Department of Pathology at University of Washington. When anyone in his lab got a paper published, he would have a “reprint party” and we would all celebrate by drinking a bottle of wine, all the authors sign the reprints, and then put the reprint in the bottle of wine as a memento (after drinking the whole bottle). His whole office was filled with empty bottles of wine from the many papers his lab post-docs published!

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

Always have fun during the journey! Life is short so everyone who strives to the top should enjoy the journey since being at the top is lonely (and not everyone gets there).

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Always listen to people’s opinions in your field and respect them. I learned over the years that you don’t want to burn bridges no matter what field you are in.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

IN no particular order

  1. Try to get restful sleep -which means turning off your iphone and ipads before you try to fall asleep.
  2. Exercise regularly -this is a must as it is amazing how much benefit exercise does.
  3. Interact with others. Always try to see your loved one and don;t be a loner. It is healthy to interact with others -even during COVID-19 days
  4. Handle stress- try meditation and clear your mind.
  5. Try not to get too involved in politics and the news as it will take over your mind no matter which side you are on.

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

I would continue to exercise regularly. I do P90X and beachbodycom workouts 4–5 days/week. I also was a collegiate tennis player and still play regularly with the professional tennis pro at my club. Also always try to eat a healthy diet (mediterranean diet is best). I lastly suggest intermittent fasting if you really want to lose weight and eat less over time. It really works and there is alot of science behind it.

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

Eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep/ rest is important in a balanced life as you grow up. Having good friends is also a must and good for your brain.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

Think and Grow Rich. The Secret. You can be, have and get whatever you want if you put your mind to it. Study The Laws of Attraction to achieve anything in your life. Dream Big!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Having a great brain health dietary supplement for the world that actually works. That’s why I started Cognitive Clarity Inc. and developed the world’s first oral nootropic to target the real reason we lose memory as we age — and discovered and developed Percepta for brain health, memory, focus and concentration. Over 30 issued patents and 15 years of research.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Write down your goals as if they already happened. Such as….I drive and enjoy my red jaguar XK coupe…..I have been writing my goals for the last 10 years… and about 85% of thme have come true. Guess what….I have a red Jaguar XK coupe in my driveway and got it when I couldn’t even afford anything. How did I get it? I believed that I already owned it and my subconscious mind put in steps in my mind that I didn;t even know were happening….like going into the dealer and test driving that exact car…..then finding out about a lease program…and then leasing it….and then when the lease ran out…buying it….and owning it free and clear….

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

FB: perceptamemory

Instagram and Twitter: percepta brain

You Tube: perceptra memory

Website: www.perceptabrain.com

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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