Dr. Majid Fotuhi, M.D, Ph.D. is considered one of the nations leading experts on memory loss and dementia.  He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and continues to teach at both universities.  Dr. Fotuhi also heads the clinical and scientific programs at NeurExpand Brain Center, formerly the Neurology Institute.  According the center’s website, his recent research on the effects of aging and the brain has shown that “baby-boomers can in fact increase the size of their hippocampus, the part of the brain that is critical for short-term memory and can bolster other parts of the brain as well.”

CNN.com reports that after the age of 50, the brain begins to lose some of its volume with the hippocampus losing 1% every two years and accelerating up to 2% later in life.  However, according to Dr. Fotuhi, due to the plasticity of the hippocampus this process can be not only be prevented but reversed with some very simple preventative steps.

The doctor recommends 1) vigorous physical exercise – the type that gets you “huffing and puffing”.  Fotuhi sees dancing as the perfect activity for keeping the brain young, citing the combination of physical activity, social interaction & the mental challenge of remembering the steps.  2) Cognitive stimulation – memorize long lists or calculate your grocery bill in your head as you shop. 3) Supplements – DHA, 600mg/day.  Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain.  Low levels of DHA have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Research has found correlation between the hippocampus size and the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and Dr. Fothui and his colleagues believe that these simple lifestyle choices beginning even at middle age are the key to growing this vital brain area.   In fact, it is the only part of the brain that grows new cells everyday!

To see an interview with and read an article about Dr. Fotuhi’s work on BrainWorldMagazine.com click here.


Works cited:

NeurExpand.com, NeurExpand Brain Center, 2014, Web. 9 Mar. 2014

Martin, David S.,How to cut your risk of memory loss”,CNN.com, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.. 9 Nov. 2011, Web., 9 Mar. 2014


Dr. Majid Fotuhi’s Hippocampus –Size Matters!, BrainWorldMagazine.com, Mind Crowd, A research project by TGen,  13 Mar. 2011, Web, 9 Mar. 2014




  1. Julie Polanco

    Great post! I have recently been trying to become healthier and physically fit in general, because of the many benefits. It’s great to know that it can be an aid in memory problems as well. While the size of the hippocampus is linked to Alzheimer’s, your post made me wonder about how this could affect people who suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s. And because Alzheimer’s is a genetic disease, how does Dr. Fothui’s recommendations have a differing effect, if any, on those who carry risk genes vs. those who carry deterministic genes. Especially for those who carry deterministic genes (although rare, they guarantee that a carrier will develop a certain disease, in this case Alzheimer’s) how would these measures affect their cognitive health and memory? I wonder if it would simply delay it or greatly reduce the extent to which they are affected by the disease.

    Works Cited:

    Alzheimer’s Association. Younger/Early Onset Alzheimer’s & Dementia (http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_early_onset.asp)

    Alzheimer’s Association. Genetics & Alzheimer’s (http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_disease_causes.asp#genetics)

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