Social workers are committed to enhancing the quality of life and developing the full potential of each individual, group and community in the society. To accomplish this goal, it is important that social worker is
knowledgeable about the mounting brain disorders that are facing America, both neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., depression), and have an understanding
of the many factors that are vital to preserve and protect the health of the brain. The course “Brain Health: Mood, Metabolism and Cognition” will examine what the brain needs to be healthy and resilient,
so as to prevent mental health disorders, as well as cognitive decline. It explores the complex interrelationships between both obesity and diabetes and brain health. This course also looks at how factors such as the
Western diet, sleep disturbances, sedentary lifestyle, stress, poor oral health and poor gut health contribute to brain dysfunction. Finally, the course “Brain Health: Mood, Metabolism and Cognition” will provide an
overview of key factors that can improve mental health, as well as to ensure cognitive health. This will include a discussion of: (1) the importance of stress management, (2) physical activity, (3) weight management,
(4) early diagnosis and proper management of diabetes and pre-diabetes, (5) key dietary factors to “defend the castle”, including the concept of “nutritional psychiatry”, (6) ways to improve gut health so as to improve
brain health, (7) proper sleep hygiene, (8) the importance of oral health, and, finally, (9) how to incorporate some of the characteristics of our ancestors’ lifestyle (i.e., address our modern “Paleo-Deficit disorder).