The author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind turns his insights to what happens in our brains as we age, why we should think about health span, not life span, and, based on a rigorous analysis of neuroscientific evidence, what you can do to make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties today no matter how old you are now.
... beyond the facts and statistics (although there are plenty of interesting ones), Levitin personalizes his writing, providing dozens of case studies and examples from his research, as well as his own experiences ... [Levitin] covers the most recent research on everything from psychedelic drugs to the length of telomeres (nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome), drilling down to what’s science fiction and what’s reality ... With more and more of the population living longer, Successful Aging is a timely and relevant guide that will appeal to all age groups, giving us the motivation to keep our minds active and engaged.
Levitin supplies some background science and recommends many behavioral modifications that may increase healthspan, the length of life in which an individual enjoys good health ... His most sage suggestion, nestled at the end of the book, is timeless: 'Practice gratitude for what you have.'
An enthusiastic review of old and new research into the means of extending life ... [Levitin] devotes more than half the text to a fine overview of brain function, human physiology, and psychology that supports his point ... Real science books have minuscule audiences compared with books that promise the secrets of perfect health; Levitin, a genuine scientist, aims to enjoy the best of both worlds. Some of his breathless prescriptions are old favorites—happy people live longer; eat mostly plants; have lots of friends; don’t retire—but he relies heavily on legitimate science, so readers will encounter life-extenders supported by studies ... Warning against popular nonsense, the author nevertheless includes a generous selection of nutrients, lifestyles, and pharmaceuticals supported by little more than reasonable theories or obsessively health-conscious colleagues. Levitin seems to underestimate his skill as an educator, and he has written a lucid explanation of brain and body function. His longevity advice has plenty of competition, especially David Sinclair’s Lifespan, but this book’s breadth is impressive ... Excellent popular science in the service of fending off aging.