Brain Wash by David Perlmutter [Book Summary – Review]

A quite number of us enjoy a fortune of leisure that is available in hand. Such junk food, online shopping, and the media sources launched on the web, we often reach everything we desire once we demand it. Thus, why are there still quite a number of individuals who have anxiety, misery, and dissatisfaction?

Here, you’ll see how the reason behind the discontent is very popular, and Doctor David Perlmutter, MD, and Doctor Austin Perlmutter, MD, suggest a solution. Based on the paired experience of Dr. David and his son, you’ll explore the aspects of our culture that capture your mind and drive you to make choices that make you discontent. 

You’ll see how to neglect such traps through structuring better behaviors with a deep, 10-day kick camp which was designed by the Perlmutters to scan your mind activity. Through this summary as your lead, you’ll foster the means to exercise a life focused on bright decisions and contentment in the long-run.

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Chapter 1 – Our automated globe is excellent for immediate satisfaction but disturbing for long-term contentment.

Clicking, scrolling, snaking, shopping – our everyday activities consist of thousands of small behaviors, all formed to provide a small amount of joy. Thus, clearly, everybody should be satisfied, correct?

Sadly, numbers reveal the rightness of the contrary. For two decades, statistics on depressant drugs’ medical instructions in the US have raised beyond 400 percent. In the same time-line, suicide cases increased almost around all states. Moreover, now, every one out of four American citizens experiences sleeplessness.

So, what brought us to this condition? It’s all about our minds’ activities that are held responsible. 

Since the beginning of mankind, early humans used to experience risky and unsafe life. Limited quantities of food and wild animals hid everywhere. To deal with these difficulties, and to support us to sustain safety, our minds grew to assess specific issues, such as the different social atmospheres and energetic processed food. 

Because of the developments in technology, our current communities are much better. Yet, our minds haven’t developed. The initial organs of our mind system, like the amygdala, remain connected to fulfill the old desires.

The obstacle appears when huge deals utilize such continuation instincts for benefits. That is frequently prevalent. Think of the modern diet. Supermarkets could provide just the finest food, yet, rather, quite a number of markets sell many kinds of unhealthy stuff like sweets, salty snacks, and all kinds of options that are full of calories and carbs.

We fall in love with such options for they make us happy – in terms of our age-old choice for meals full of energy. Markets encourage such options since they can be clearly sold. The disadvantage here is, such business just brings limited satisfaction. In the long-run, it brings chronic diseases like overweight, diabetes, and heart problems.

This issue also happens in social media. Firms want us to continue clicking, swiping, and liking as it causes advertising wealth. Our minds prefer it since it gives us the essential desires of recognition and social acceptance. Yet, the overall calamity arrives at the cost of more true important relationships. Also with our regular relations, most of the population in America confirmed that they suffer loneliness.

We can name this typical method of assessing immediate satisfaction over long-run contentment “disconnection syndrome”. To pass this, we must reconnect our minds. In the coming sections, we’ll begin to study the way to do so.

Chapter 2 – The brain is flexible and responsive to develop, for both right and wrong.

In 1848, the railroad labor body Phineas Gage fell in an obstacle. A destructive blowout has caused a metal bar to hit his head. Surprisingly, this injury doesn’t cause him death. Yet, it does hurt his brain and turns his world upside down.  

Prior to the incident, Gage was approachable and sociable. After that, his characteristics changed. He was unpredictable, selfish, and had a flaming mood. For so long, Gage’s habits labeled his social isolation. Yet, through time, his brain started to restore to health. By his last time, he got back to his nice and tender behavior.

Fortunately, grand, exciting incidents such as what Gage had are notably unique. It meant that each one’s brain is regularly developing in several tiny manners during a lifetime. Whenever you get an idea, sensation, or incident, your brain cells, or neurons, shape original synaptic links. We call it neuroplasticity.

The links between neurons in your brain assist to specify your whole thinking methods and characteristics. As much as you utilize specific links, as much as strong and powerful they become. For instance, having black or troubling ideas systematically facilitates it to get the same ideas later in your life.

This modeling will be prominent in precise if you think of the connection between distinct parts of the brain.

To put it in simple words, your brain consists of three main divisions. One, you have the brain stem, which monitors unconscious body functions such as breathing. Two, the limbic brain, that holds the amygdala which processes emotions such as nervousness and trepidation. Three is the cerebral cortex. This segment of the brain is considered as the most updated developing enhancement to your brain. It controls behaviors as critical thinking, sophisticated problem solving, and complicated strategies.

If a brain functions well, there will be an equal connection between the limbic brain and the cerebral cortex. For example, when you face a wild animal, the amygdala produces haste of fear. Thus, the cerebral cortex can handle it and evaluate the degree of danger and give a strategy for a reaction. Troubles come when such a connection is not strong enough, and the triggers of the amygdala are coming randomly. If such a case occurs, you will be spontaneous, responsive, and self-centered.

One thing about reconnecting your bain to be in good shape for better behaviors is that it needs to increase the links between the cortex and the amygdala. The following section investigates that in-depth.

Chapter 3 – The danger and safety parts of our brain are seriously exaggerated.

The world thousands of years ago had no TV, no iPhones, no blueberry icecream. The most thrilling doings there were hunting animals to feed on them and escaping wild animals.

Your body developed in such a setting, which means your mind developed in the same way, as well. Sadly, the outcome is that your brain is not well-prepared for the sensitivity and intensity of the world now.  

Let’s see the way it works. When you begin an action such as eating a sweet snack, your body reacts by producing dopamine. Such neurotransmitters kick off a series of responses that impulse your brain’s centers for joy and memory. Basically, you feel a hike of pleasure and keep in mind to repeat it some other time.

This mechanism achieves surprises if you’re in a massive forest with no donates in hand. Yet, if you live in a pool of junk food and candy bars, you lose control. Nowadays, we always put ourselves in dopamine-releasing behaviors. We have plenty of such doings that are smooth ways to have an understanding, and we’re can’t feel content.  

To make the problem of overjoy more complex is the contrary problem: increased tension. If you have a tough or scary context, your body produces cortisol. This hormone detonates your fight-or-flight reaction. The muscles are tight, your heartbeats fasten and the amygdala of your brain has the upper hand here. Such a response is required in life-or-death circumstances, however, by time, it doesn’t empower your prefrontal cortex, preparing you to have more sudden choices. 

To round about your daily routine, you revolve around these two mechanisms again and again at an irregular velocity. Consider it. Almost 80 percent of grownup individuals begin their day with their smartphones in their hands. The matter that starts dopamine up in the morning before everything else. Afterwise, it shuts down when the stressful routine takes over your day; traffic, meetings, or any pressures that fasten the level of your cortisol. Eventually, you raise your dopamine once more with a portion of unhealthy food and your smartphone again before bed.

These ups and downs increase and your brain fights for a balance. The result of that exaggeration is a stressed limbic brain connected to overreact to pressure and then strive for immediate satisfaction to relax. What a wicked cycle.

The following section will zoom in at the way our digital devices worsen such problems.

Chapter 4 – The addiction to social media can seriously restrict your satisfaction.

When the sun rises, you grab your phone. During breakfast, you read your emails. You can’t ignore your phone even while you driving.

Does it ring a bell? Well, rest your heart, it’s not only you. In the last ten years, the world-wide-web and social media have been marked as the regular occupation for almost everybody. Actually, a new study showed that 16 percent of teenagers are hooked on their phones. Yet, what are the consequences of such communication?

Digital-communication technology can be greatly beneficial. Yet, it can also corrupt your brain. In precise, it can randomly activate the danger-safety mechanism mentioned earlier. Each like on Facebook, post on Instagram, or entertaining tweet drowns your brain with dopamine. Once you keep habitual to the same waves of activation, you will end up with addiction.

Such a mechanism may also produce physical changes in your brain. Many kinds of research have resulted in a quite number of people with inner habits have decreased frontal cingulate. This part of the brain works on average stimulus control. Such a fundamental shift could add to our behavior of mindless scanning and stimulating as we inquire about the next step.

Our habit concerning the internet may also decrease our social relationships and hurt our passion for social division. The normal person who accesses the internet has over half-dozen accounts on social media. The matter that reveals many paths to stay connected! Yet, communication using such approaches on the internet doesn’t provide similar advantages as communication in-person.

It’s the opposite, that is accessing such webs may lead us to more isolation. A current study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania on over a hundred students for less than a month to minimize their access to social media to a few minutes per day. The outcomes of this study show that students who committed to the rule said that they don’t feel isolated and they suffer less troubled.

Would the same study have the same impact on you? You can reduce your own access to your accounts on social media and check your feelings afterwise. Minimize the time you take on the web and attempt to be mindful of endless scanning. You may see that cutting off the web works well for your communication with the people around you.

Chapter 5 – Encouraging sympathy is critical to facing detachment syndrome.

You are in a crowded street. On the way, cars run fast with less space in between. At the curve, there’s an old lady attempting to cross. She’s troubled with carrying groceries and would obviously favor a help. How would you react?

If you are acting like anyone else, you go to and assist her to figure out the road. Perhaps you also help her with the groceries all the way to her place. People are social by nature, and our capacity to collaborate is among the facts that our kind has remained alife. Unfortunately, recent times may be disintegrating that ability.

Thus, what does sympathy mean exactly? Experts often mark it by two methods. One is “affective empathy”. That is the capacity to sense the pain or feelings of people. When you watch a drama and get influenced by the characters and cry, you are having affective empathy. Two is “cognitive empathy”. Also called “ theory of mind”. It’s the capacity to view the matter from the perspective of another person.

The opposite of empathy is narcissism. Narcissistic people are very self-lovers, self-regard, and usually totally don’t care about what others feel. Narcissistic aims have been related to assault, domestic violence, and other antisocial features.

During the previous decade, experts have seen a troubling trend. Narcissistic habit is turning into a popular one rather than an empathetic habit is. Research conducted by the University of Michigan discovered that since 2000 almost 40 percent of the students became less empathetic.

What is the relation between this and the brain? Okay, the increase in narcissism could be related to the methods this world has connected our neurons. We’re previously familiar with issues like an overstimulated reward mechanism and the addiction on social media can decrease the relation between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. Studies now say that such behaviors would minimize our capacity to sense empathy.

Such facts are not good for people who struggle with detaching syndrome. A reduced capacity to sense empathy minimizes our capacity to socialize with people and have serious relations. It can lead to our current overburdened pressure reaction as well for people with narcissistic features that serve to give notably greater scales of cortisol.

Obviously, the modern world sets us in a hard circumstance. It may sound like a dead end. Fortunately, this is not true. There are paths we can follow to cut off such corrupt loops. We’ll begin by having some solid plans in the coming section.

Chapter 6 – Face detachment syndrome by relinking with nature.

In the early twenty century, E. M. Forster, an English writer, composed a short novel named “The Machine Stops.” This unsettling story talks about a dystopian future where humankind is in a closed, isolated sphere. The characters don’t usually get access to the sun, and they connect to each other using digital means.

Now, a little more than a hundred years after the story release, the world has pretty much to share with the grim imaginary one in the story. To what extend? Well, one questionnaire showed that US citizens enjoy open areas just at 5 percent of the day.

Now, most of the world’s inhabitants are in cities. Thus, it can be simple not to recall that most of the old times people were attached to nature. We took fresh enjoyed landscapes and the woods and relaxed in the sun. While the benefits of the technological world are appreciated, studies have systematically found that living such a connection with nature is prominent to our whole physical and mental wellness.

Is it a major thing? Of course! A study conducted in Canada 2018 on 2000 individuals showed almost 80 percent of them were more satisfied, more robust, and more fruitful after having more time outdoor.

Also more surprisingly, a medical paper was written in Science publication resulted in just having greeneries for your vision could enhance patients’ conditions after having operations. When they have windows with woods views in their rooms at the hospital they tend to heal faster and use fewer pain killers than patients in rooms without views of the outside.

What sufficient role does nature provide? Quite a number of experts think that having natural views around us can efficiently reduce the scales of our tension.

Have a walk in the forest and see how it make you think of the glob from a certain angle. Also, a short time can assist you to let go of your job’s pressures or the resolute hooking mobile of yours. Such times of calmness will drive you to lessen the quantities of stress hormones such as cortisol in your system. 

Moreover, normal access to sunlight provokes our system to conceive vitamin D. it is a prominent hormone for our well-being, yet, in precise, it arouses the brain’s capacity to produce serotonin, a hormone related to satisfaction. Have a short time to spend in the sun during the day. Just going to a public landscape or having a small cinch could greatly adjust your spirit.

For sure, pay attention to what you would choose to have on that cinch too. We will see in the coming section how food can play a major part in facing dissatisfaction.

Chapter 7 – The unnatural diet nowadays is not good for your body shape and your mind.

Check what you have in your kitchen. What do you find? Various packets of sweet cereal, two cans of cola in the fridge? Perhaps a box or a couple of it of leftover food from yesterday?

If you were living in ancient times, your choices would have seemed way unlike that. Actually, the list of today’s food has plenty of categories which be impossible for our fathers. However, are all of the new choices healthy? The answer is: apparently not.

At the beginning of the development of mankind, they depended on catching animals and having communities to share food. The matter reveals that our early fathers had a grand mixture of food types that were changing around the year. Diet nowadays is totally different. With the new farming productions and advanced food manufacturing, we have too many types of food more, yet, generally, not all of it is nutritiously good.

A major distinction is the grand quantity of sugar in today’s diet. While desert snacks were not popular in the old times, our portions today are full of carbs and additional sweeteners. Sadly, in the majority of our day, we don’t even notice that.

The experts of the University of North Carolina 2016 attempted to keep track of the extend to which our food contains sugar by processing. They studied above a million various items in the US markets. Surprisingly, they discovered that almost 70 percent of the products had been modified to have more sugar.

All that sugar is not good at all for our brains. First, food that is full of processed carbs can reduce the creation of BDNF, the main protein for building solid neurological connections. What is worse, high blood-sugar scales are related to the dysfunctioning conditions in the brain like dementia and Alzheimer’s. A research conducted in 2018 also showed a relation between extreme sugar eating and melancholy. 

Surely, the food we eat has good impacts too. Keep on a diet that contains less processed carbs and full of healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and red meat, and you’ll reduce your chances of melancholy. Experts think that this is due to such meals have plenty of tryptophan. This amino acid assists your body to create serotonin, a basic chemical component to feel pleased and happy.

Having the right food to eat is step one to develop a well-being brain. Besides the other behaviors, like having regular and enough sleep, are at the same level of importance, which we’ll look at in the coming section.

Chapter 8 – Enough sleep at night is necessary for keeping a healthy brain.

You feel sleepy. Your feel tired in your body. It’s hard to make your way as if your shoes are loaded.

Such syndrome is what you’ll get when you begin your day without having enough sleep at night. And when you may have this not so good physical ability in your body, possibilities are, your brain is also at its lowest performance.

Everyone has a biological clock, also called the circadian rhythm. This normal cycle developed when we practice life normally. It assists us to sleep at night and open our eyes once the sun is up. Yet, our current time, with its electronic lamps and living around the clock, confuses this system.

Nowadays, we go to bed so late and don’t get enough sleep. Researches reveal that a total third of US adult citizens get less than the normal time required to sleep. Such a state sometimes referred to as “sleep deficit”, has serious effects on our brain. After tens of years of studies, we learned that not having enough sleep on a typical basis can raise your chance of Alzheimer’s, a deficit in remembering issues and take you to a whole fall in cognitive functioning.

Why do you think snoozing is very prominent? It’s due to the fact that sleeping works as a normal “shampoo for the brain”. When you hit the roughage, a component named the glymphatic system performs at its best. Such a mechanism washes your brain of all the surplus molecular waste that accumulate when you’re awake. This also means inflammatory chemicals such as kynurenine and beta-amyloids, both of which are related to diseases such as melancholy. 

Furthermore, not getting enough sleep exhausts the prefrontal cortex and empowers the amygdala even more. When the amygdala’s work is unleashed hard, we have more unpredictable habits and exaggerate stress. Consequently, a sleep-deprived individual will act un normally as in eating too much or opening to sweety meals. 

Thus, how can you make sure you sleep well enough? Don’t think of taking sleeping pills at first. Such drugs can make you dizzy when you wake up and even disturb your circadian rhythm. Rather, try not to spend time on TV, mobile, and laptop before you sleep. screens on such electronic devices send a crucial blue light. Flooding your brain with this wavelength after the sun goes down can prevent your body from creating melatonin, your brain’s normal sleep assistant.

As we’ve discussed the major role of sleep, now we will see another prominent behavior for the brain to maintain health: sports.

Chapter 9 – Typical sports practice can crucially enhance cognition.

Let’s have a journey to northern Tanzania. There, we’ll see the Hadza, a current community of hunter-gatherers. Every day, the members of this community search the savannah for something to eat – and all that food searching evolve. On a normal day, they walk for more than five miles.

Mankind was created to act. A normal hunter-gatherer lifestyle is amazing for man’s system. It’s plain. Yet, recently, studies have revealed that the body’s movement is critical for the brain as well.

Opposite to the Hadza, the majority of people don’t perform sufficiently body movement. Physicians often call for a minimum of half an hour of fitness training every day for grownup people. While only 5 percent of grownup people in America fulfill that condition. This inactive way of living leads to sad spirits and unclear thinking that are related to depression syndrome.

Practice can help brian well-being in several methods. First, typical body exercise stimulates the prefrontal cortex, providing aid to a segment of our brain that deals with problem-solving, planning, and other managerial works.

A research was conducted in 2011 speaks of this in real. Conducted on 171 kids, they were tested for measuring their critical thing and mathematics skills. They ere divided into two groups the first were put to exercises before having the test; while the second had the test immediately. The outcomes were obvious: the first group who performed cardio training had greater scores. Experts think the reason for that is what aerobics do in raising the blood flow to the prefrontal cortex.

Other than increasing your examination records, the practice can boost your spirits as well. A quite number of people said that they feel satisfied after a good exercise. Eventually, we all know the famous “runner’s high”. However, studies demonstrate the impact of exercise on the long-run is just as effective for our view of life.

A quite number of researches have made a solid linkage between an energetic lifestyle and a good condition of the brain. But how solid is this linkage? Alright, a paper published in the journal Psychiatry followed the behaviors and spirits of 40,000 grownup people over ten years. Its results confirmed that having only one hour of workouts per week could efficiently decrease the chance of melancholy.

It’s not important what kind of exercise you want to do. You will see the cognitive advantages of practicing as much as you keep on it. Let it be a habit to create a bit of activity during your daily life. If it’s working at the garden, running, or boosting your muscles, the advance you add to your brain will be equal.

Chapter 10 – You can rehabilitate your brain by training on consciousness. 

Whizzing, glitching, freezing up – an excessive stimulation of mentality can make your brain like a computer with overloaded RAM.

When the intrusions and pressure of the rapidly developed world burden your central processing unit, it’s better to get rid of the heavy disturbance. Occasionally, a few moments of quiet is mandatory to bring up your brain again.

Focused consciousness and meditation are highly popular subjects in the common culture and in science too. Based on the information of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the figure of individuals in the US who practice yoga raised two hundred percent from 2012 to 2017. Moreover, imposingly, the figure of grownup people who meditate shifted to three hundred percent during those five years.

What is it behind this sharp shift in prevalence? Most possibly it’s due to people feeling that practicing focused consciousness such as meditation can give them a very desired rest from the busy routine life. And a quite number of novel researches support this concept with mere science. We realize that performing meditation can have massive impacts on the system and performance of the brain.

For example, experts at Harvard took human subjects in a two-months plan of focused consciousness practice in 2011. By the end of the study, the subjects had an MRI scan for the brain resulted in its efficient improved thicker collections of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex. This thickness is related to better concentration, sensible functioning, and planning capacities.

Regular meditation is useful precisely for dealing with pressure and managing the reckless, rushing part of our brain. Just listen to Dr. Yi-Yuan Tang at Standford University. In several pieces of research, he illustrated that daily meditation commences high linkage within the prefrontal cortex and comparatively weaker triggering in the amygdala. These fundamental shifts state that meditators, in general, can highly manage their passions and experience lesser periods of tension and sadness.

Blending focused consciousness in your routine is easy. It takes less than 15 minutes of meditation to increase your blood flow to the prefrontal cortex. That reveals your ability to have all the brain-advancement advantages in the space of a coffee break.

Your exercise doesn’t need to be sophisticated, either. Beginners in meditation can commence with the easy doing of deep inhale. To perform this, you need to sit cozily where ever you want. With your eyes closed, focus on your breathing while inhales and exhales. Do it gently to make each breath-in in nearly 20 seconds.

Don’t panic if your head rambles. Focused consciousness is a talent. With a little daily exercise, you’ll shortly master it. In the coming section, we’ll preview a ten-day schedule for you to begin.

Chapter 11 – Performing the Brain Wash program initiates the step for long-term development.

Now, you know how the present lifestyle supports practices and attitudes that have a bad impact on our brain’s performance. You realize that the whole system from your sleep times to your food to your digital instruments has an influence over your sense of distress, exhaustion, and unhappiness. 

Sadly, you can’t find fast rehabilitation for depression syndrome. Yet, you can still rehabilitate your well-being by keeping on some basics. Dr. David Perlmutter and his son Dr. Austin Perlmutter have gathered a ten-day Brain Wash program for you to begin.

On every day of the Brain Wash program, you’ll be requested to concentrate on one feature of your brain’s well-being. As you commit to the program, continue to exercise what serves till you’ve recreated your daily system from scratch. 

Day one: begin with an electronic detox. Stop using unnecessary digital devices in your life, and bar any software that is frequently aimed at wasting time. 

Day two: practice compassion and appreciation. Indicate the good features of your life and record five issues for which you are grateful.

Day three: reconnect with nature. Spend a few times in walking out of home or the gym, have a cinch in a greener place, or take care of your garden.

Day four: take off toxic out of your diet. List the products you eat and prepare to enhance your behavior. Remove manufactured items and search for some ingredients that include pure, good components. Moreover, think of the vitamins you could include in your regular meals. 

Day five: smarten up your sleeping hours. Take off any electronic instruments out of your bedroom and stop taking caffeine after 14:00. Adjust an earlier bedtime and cling to it.

Day six: adopt fitness practices. Join a part of body workouts such as a short walk or a journey to the fitness club. Consider it your habit. Perhaps you can adjust a program or have a buddy to trace your commitment.

Day seven: embrace meditation. Here, spend less than a quarter an hour to practice deep-breathing meditation.

Day eight: strengthen your communicative sphere. One of your dissatisfaction syndromes is being alone. Resist such feeling by having sopper with a buddy, contacting your family, or joining a voluntary work in your community.

Day nine: take stock. Check back the past days and think of what went well and what went bad.

Day ten: move forward. Now that you’re at the end of the program, you’ve achieved a lot. And now this system needs to be sustained. Think of the developed well-being you have now and vow to keep on your new daily system.

Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness by David Perlmutter, Austin Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg Book Review

The modern life is established to drive your brain out of balance. Unqualified food, short of sleep, and stable digital intrusions adjust us to be unpredictable, distressed, and unhappy about important things. Yet, by focusing on establishing better behaviors – such as eating pure, rebuild a connection with nature, and switching off our mobiles – we can reconnect our brain to reach satisfaction in the long-run.

Be serious about development.

It’s simple to be driven by the desire to improve your behaviors. Launching huge shifts immediately can make you exhausted, regression. And frustration. Get closer to the Brain Wash program with attention to sustainability. Stepping into small developments on which you can keep on is more important than making one huge step you may drop.

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