brain health,neuroplasticity, neurological destiny, philippe duoyon, brain health

LLP123: Taking Charge of your Neurological Destiny with Dr. Philippe Douyon

Let's Talk about Neurological Destiny…

On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry I sat down with Dr. Phillippe Douyon. Dr. Douyon is a board-certified neurologist and the Founder & CEO of the health, wellness, and technology company, The Inle BrainFit Institute®. Dr. Douyon is the first neurologist we had on the show and we talked a lot about the number one organ in the body, The Brain.

This was an amazing conversation as we got to talk about why he became a neurologist, how his initial encounter with the healthcare system has shaped his mindset on taking care of patients and his approach on improving brain health.

We also got a chance to talk about his book Neuroplasticity, his institute, and his app. Before the end of the episode, you will see why One Brain, One Body is more than just a catchy phrase.

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Download Episode 123 Transcript

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Introduction

Dr. Berry:
And welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com as well as a CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting. Helping you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy. This week we have an amazing guest, Dr. Philippe Douyon, who is a Board Certified Neurologist. He's actually the first neurologist that we've had on this show and he definitely set the bar because we got to talk a lot about the brain and nutrition and just overall health. Which you know when you think about it, you don't really put too much onus on it. But after this episode you are really going to say like, you know what, let me make sure I'm taking care of my brain because I only have one. And that's something that we really drove home during episode.

The fact that we only got one brain. It's probably, if you asked me the most important organ of the body. But if we don't take care of it, if we do things that in our teens, in our twenties, in our thirties that does not help it, then we're going to see problems when we get 40, 50, 60. It's not going to be surprised when we run into these medical related problems associated with neurological health. And that's really the theme I want you guys to get from here. We talk about health a lot. We talk about diabetes, cholesterol, blood. We talk about not smoking. We talk about all of these different things here. But understanding that neurologic health is extremely important. And that's why I love this episode because Dr. Douyon, who you know has already wrote a book. He has his own wellness institute that incorporates his neurological practice and he even has his own app in the app store or Google play, whatever that the android storage.

He has his own app there as well. You're going to get to hear a very well rounded individual who is a physician. Who really wants to put their patient care at the forefront, especially when it comes to neurological health. So, again, like always, if you have not had a chance, go ahead and subscribe to that podcast. Let me know what you think about this episode. Shoot me a five star review if you must. And you know, tell a friend and tell a friend. That's really the goal of every week. Just to tell one person. You don't even gotta tell 50 people. Just tell one person and then that's good for me. So you guys, you're ready for another amazing episode with Dr. Douyon.

Episode

Dr. Berry:
Alright, Lunch and Learn listeners. You just heard that amazing introduction from a guest. I'm very interested for you guys to hear because it’s something different. We actually haven't had someone not only from the show, from the specialty that to kind of talk to you about health in general. So definitely excited. Again, Dr. Douyon, thank you for joining today with the lunch and learn community.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Well thank you for having me. This is exciting to be on your podcast and I'm looking forward to this conversation.

Dr. Berry:
So I gave them your bio. First of all, amazing bio. But if someone, because I got some Lunch and Learn listeners who like to skip the intro. I don't know why they do it. They like to skip the intro and get right into the meat and potatoes of a show. For someone who skipped the bio. But maybe they read but they kind of glossed over it. What is something that isn't in a bio that someone may not know about you, but you would feel, you know what, if they walk away from this episode, at least I hope they know this.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Yeah, I think it's probably that, I would say that my goal is to really get people to reach their full potential. Especially their full neurological potential. I feel like that we have so many limitations that we put on ourselves and that we put on our patients in medicine. And I'm just really trying to empower people to live their best life and to get as healthy as possible.

Dr. Berry:
And you know what I love about is because I've had quite a few guests on the show. But I've never had one who really stressed the importance of the neurological potential. So I'm like very excited to get into that aspect, especially when it comes to health care and how that helps overall well-being. So definitely excited to get into that. So what made you, because again, I'm an internist. So what about neurology say, you know what, this is the field for me. What was it?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So it's a couple of things. I think my first experience with neurological disorders was that I had a cousin growing up who had epilepsy. I had a grandmother who developed Alzheimer's. So I got to see the impact that neurological disorders have on people's lives and their families. And as devastating as it was to see neurological disorders have a different impact than others diseases. I mean, it impact who you are at every level, the way that you think your strength or your ability to function throughout your life. And so I always found that fascinating. But I also grew up, I was born and raised Catholic and I probably don't track this as much analysis as I probably should to my parents. But you're taught that you are created in the image of God. And I think for us, the parts of us that are most God-like are our spirits and our brains. Our brains are capable of creating. Creating our external environment, our internal environment. Creating our lives.

Dr. Berry:
Obviously some of the history of they may not know is you've been well in tuned with the medical system in and of itself. Right? And it isn't as if you became a physician and that's when you kind of get enamored with it. You are on the other side as a patient and let's talk a little bit about that. And then really lead into how that's played out in your career thus far.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
I think people when they first see me, they're like, oh, doctor neurologist, epilepsy specialist, author creator of this app. But what they don't know is that I've been a lifelong patient. I've been a patient since I was 18 years old. So my entire adult life, I'm now 40, so more than half my life. So I've gotten to see things from that perspective. And being a patient I think has made me a significantly better doctor. When I was 18, freshman in college a couple of weeks into my college career and I went to college on a tennis scholarship. And so to a play for the team then you have to undergo a physical. And so when I undermined that physical, they found something wrong in my urine. Initially they ain’t clear me to play on the team. But they did a couple of weeks later and we go on our first trip to go play at a tournament out of state.

And during that trip I'm playing my match and my entire body goes into one large crap and I just cannot move around and I can't move any muscles. And I ended up having to be rushed to the hospital. And probably about a month after that is when I was diagnosed with kidney failure. At the age of 28, eight days after walking across the stage at Carnegie Hall to get my medical degree to get my diploma. I walked into the halls of Columbia Presbyterian hospital here in New York to have a kidney transplant. And so I have been a lifelong patient and that I said, has made me a better doctor. It's influenced the way that I practice medicine. It allows me to relate to my patients much better because I understand what they want. I know what it feels like to have to face your mortality. I know what it feels like to take medications that don't make you so great. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself.

Dr. Berry:
And the reason why I love about that is that I think a lot of physicians, especially the ones who haven't been in a position where they've had to be on the patient's side. I think it does lose a lot, right? I think there's even they could be as empathetic as they want because they really haven't been there. Sometimes it is difficult for them to make that extra leap go that extra mile for their patient because they've never experienced it. So I was definitely interested because I know something like that right is going to help shape the career. I know something like that is going to help shape your want for your patient. And especially when you talk about making sure that you improve that neurological health, which is something I think a lot of people downplay unfortunately.

Because one, it's not something that you, you physically can touch. It's not sexy. It's not something that gets an entire month. In a different, it's not like that level of, I guess, “popularity”. Because that occurs, I think a lot of people downplay its level of importance. But again, I'm thankful that you're on the show today because I really want you to get the listeners together so they understand how important it is to really make sure you're optimized from a health standpoint, specifically neurological. It's has so many devastating affects when you are not. What are some of the things that you do that helps people improve from a neurological standpoint? When someone says like, yeah, I'm a neurologist, you have gone to neurologists, what do they typically do? So, because that way I want people to be in that driver's seat when they hear neurologists. What is, he's a brain doctor? What does that even mean? What is that?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So I take care of people that have a whole host of brain and spinal cord issues. So they can have strokes, epilepsy, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, headaches, back issues. And one of the things that I realized pretty early in my career and I've been attending now for about six years, is that the biggest impact that I had on my patients wasn't in prescribing medications or taking them to the operating room for epilepsy surgery. It was really when I got them to think very differently about their health, their life, and even whatever neurological disorder was going on. That’s where you truly empower people. And so I think in terms of taking care of our neurological health and really reaching our full neurological potential. There things that we can do that we'll certainly talk about. But the first thing that we need to do is to change the way that we think on a regular basis.

Dr. Berry:
I love it. Let's talk to them. I love the mindset. Let's go.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So every thought that you have gets wired into your brain and the more you continue to have those same thoughts, the more hardwired it gets into your brain. And whether those thoughts are positive or negative. And for most of us, we've got a default mode where we get a lot of negative thoughts throughout the day.

Dr. Berry:
Why do you think is the defaulted that way? Is it just nurture? Is it just, what do you, if you had to…why?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
There’s a couple of things. So I tell people all the time that the primary role of your brain is twofold. One, it is to keep you safe and it is to get you moving. So let's talk about the first one to keep you safe. So in terms of keeping you safe, it means to minimize your risk. It means to minimize the potential that you're going to face danger. And for a lot of people, that means doing the things that they are used to doing because they know what the outcome of that thing is going to be. Right? So even when you talk about careers. People will stay miserable in a job forever because they have the security of that paycheck that comes in every couple of weeks. They have the security of whatever benefits that they get. Instead of really following what they are passionate about. And part of that is because they're trying to minimize their risks.

Dr. Berry:
So your brain will essentially say, you know what, I don't want you to try this new thing because I'm not sure what's over there.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Right. And we see that play out all the time. People take the same way home every single day from work. So the point that they can't even tell you how they got home. They went to sleep while they were driving which is potentially dangerous. So people do that in every aspect of their lives. They stay in relationships that are not healthy because they are scared of being alone. They're scared of potentially not being able to find somebody else. So people operate from the perspective of fear often. And so it's really about changing the way that we sing and recognizing that the best thing that you can do for your brain is actually just switch things up from time to time.

I'm a big believer in that you need to reinvent yourself every five or six years. I was giving a talk at a conference, a neurological conference about two weeks ago in California. And one of the speakers got up and said how he's been working on the same research for 50 years. And I thought to myself, oh my God, like you have been doing this same thing for 50 years. Oh, how incredibly boring and unstimulating and unchallenging does that. And I think when people make the same decisions every day, they take the same actions every day. And what I find most interesting is that then they turned around and asked, why is my life not changing? They have the same thoughts, make the same decisions, take the same steps every single day. And why is my life not changing?

Dr. Berry:
You know I love that because I think a lot of times people think that it's just a “self-conscious”. But you're breaking it down to the point that, no, this is like hard wired in. This is down to the tissue saying no, chemical wise, no, this is why you're doing the same thing over and over again. It's not a lack of willpower. No. Your brain is literally saying like, nope, you're not going to go that way because you don't know where that way goes.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Right. And when we do new things, that's when our brain actually makes new neurons, makes new nerve cells, makes new connections. That's when we truly expand on the potential that our brains have and that our lives have.

Dr. Berry:
And I love that of course I'm probably on social media so I know a lot of times you'll post a video where you're just in different scenes and you tell the viewers just focus on the scene behind. Don't even really like look at me, just focus on what's going on back here, just to generate new processes going on. So I guess, I'm definitely with you as far as this process is concerned. Now is that something that ledger path as far as the motivation? And the reason why I ask, especially Lunch and Learn listeners who may not, most physicians, we're pretty mundane. We're pretty boring. We pretty much do the same thing. Go to work. We prefer, we're hardwired to do that as well. You're in a situation, especially as a neurologist, which is very interested in, you do a lot more different things that I would expect from a neurologist. So let's talk about The Inle BrainFit Institute. I want to talk about that motivation. What was that about? Because I'm always enamored when I see physicians go a little bit different direction. Usually because their colleagues don't go, they get looked at as weird. What was that about?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So I think part of it kind of hit the nail on the head as doctors. Even though people on the outside would say, oh, you know, their jobs are so intellectually stimulating, they're making decisions that impact people's lives. All which is very true. But I find that us doctors, we actually don't learn new things. And often that thinking that we do right is billions of dollars that goes into research that you can deduce just by logical reasoning. And oftentimes they do the same research over and over.

Dr. Berry:
Lunch and Learn community, remember you can't see me but I'm literally shaking my head and I'm like, yup, yup. You're right. Yup. Yeah.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So we fool ourselves into thinking that we're learning new things even though that we're not. And we're not learning anything that's going to impact the lives of our patients today. If we're lucky, maybe it's used from now. And what I had realized was, like I said before, it was really where I had the biggest impact, was about getting people to change the way that they think. And getting people to exercise on a regular basis, say eat right, to find ways to minimize their stress, to constantly learn. Those were the things that when I was talking to patients about, that worth having the biggest impact on their lives. Because for most diseases out there, there are no cures. And we did debate why there are no cures for a long time. So we'll leave that for another topic though. But there are no cures.

But you can make symptoms better with a lot of lifestyle changes. And even if you couldn't with lifestyle changes, just by changing the way that we think about whatever disorder or disease processes affecting us can have a significant impact. And I know that both personally as a patient who's had kidney disease since he's been 18 and I know that as a provider. So for me, when I was first diagnosed with kidney failure, when I first had a kidney transplant, that was a really difficult time. I mean, I was angry, I was frustrated, I went through the why me, I did everything right. How could this happen? For a while my identity was wrapped up in my diagnosis and it wasn't until I started changing the way that I thought about myself and what was going on with my body that my life started to change.

And so, well, you know, I'll very openly say yes, I've had a kidney transplant, about kidney disease. There are times there are bumps in the road. And I sort of have to go back in for some maintenance work. But my identity is not wrapped up in that. That is just part of my story. And it's getting patients to see that for them also. Their identity is not wrapped, in whatever disorders affecting them. That's just part of who they are. And it can be a small part or it can be a large part. It's really part to that. But getting them to see that there's so much more to who they are and the only limitations on their lives is the limitations that they place on themselves.

Dr. Berry:
I love it. Especially shout out to the osteopathic physicians where I think A.T Stilll talks about, not defining your patients as , oh this is my diabetic patient. No, this is a patient with blank. And understanding that they are still a person. Because you're still a person, you know, you still have the issues going on here. You just happen to have whatever disorder you happen to have. So I definitely love the fact that you're able to even, especially at that age. Because you said at 18, right? And usually that's not an age where you're thinking that way. You're usually thinking of other way where you're angry, you're questioning, you're wondering why me. Usually that's the normal mode. Because I've got some older adults who I still can't get them to break out of that mode. So I definitely commendable that you are at least able to mentally make that mind shift that said, you know what, this is…

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Process. That is doing some hard work and realizing wait a second, my life is not what I wanted to be. And recognizing that the problem is not necessarily everybody else around me. It's in the way that I'm thinking about what's going on in my life or whatever my life circumstance has happens to be in that moment.

Dr. Berry:
And as far as your institute, when did that come about? Why did it come about? Because again, the concept is what's so interesting to me because again you're I guess putting the brain first. Which is something you would think, but it doesn't happen unfortunately.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Yeah. So the wishing that came about is actually pretty interesting. Because I was two and a half, three years into being an epilepsy, attending of private practice. And I had grown my practice part of the practice significantly large. So the practice is like a tristate area practice, 20 epilepsy specialists, full of neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists and I was really one of the more successful doctors. Probably in the top two, top three successful doctors. The only one that was consistently more successful than me with the owner of the practice who started in the 1990s. And so they didn't really care for the direction the practice was going and was kind of like, is this it for me? Is this what my life is going to look like? I was watching some of my older colleagues at the time and seeing what they were doing and was like, I just can't see my life for me in this direction. Something needs to change. So I actually resigned, on the spot. No plan.

Dr. Berry:
I bet your brain was like, what are you doing? What are you doing?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
My brain was like something, you should change it. And it was like slow down, you know? So the owner of the practice came to me and said, doc, even if half your patients go with you, it's so many patients that it's going to kill our practice. And he didn't know it was, I had no interest and at that point continuing to practice like a regular doctor. But he said to me, what is it that you want? And so I said, well I want the ability from a legal perspective to be able to open up my own neurology business. And so he said, fine. And he said, look, you do the epilepsy for us. And we continue to pay full salary pay benefits. You can open up your own neurology business and we'll even refer you patients. (Wow). And so I was like, alright.
And I knew, I didn't want your typical neurology practice where patients come to see you for 15 minutes. You up their meds and you send them on your way. So I've created a program where we create individualized exercise regimens for patients based on their medical and neurological needs. One of my offices at the time was right next to a health spa. So worked out a deal with the health spa where my patients did work out. They're underneath my direct and indirect supervision and I would just program for them. That's how we got started and since then have been able to move it to online.

Dr. Berry:
And what have been some of those benefits? Because I'm pretty sure as a neurologist, people are looking at you funny when you're saying no, no, no, I want to incorporate more than just the medications. I wanna incorporate a mental, their physical. I wanna incorporate all of these things while also dealing with the neurological thing I'm dealing it. What was that initial reaction from your colleagues?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
I think a lot of people were skeptical and they were like, you know, what is he doing? He does so well in this arena. Why would take this kind of risk? But I was seeing the benefits in in my patients. I mean there were patients with refractory epilepsy. Seizing on three or four different months and you get them to eat healthier and you get them to exercise on a regular basis. And their seizure frequency would go significantly down. I was able to take one person off their antiepileptic medications than just control it with diet and exercise alone. Their anxiety and depression would significantly improve. Headaches would go away. And so I was doing the research, checking the literature, and with every neurological disease, exercise is really important and exercise makes these diseases and disorders better. And I started to learn more and learn a lot more about neuroplasticity. Exercise is the biggest promoter of neuroplasticity there is. That is our brain's ability to adapt, to learn and to heal. And so exercise should be at the foundation, I think of any medical issue. I mean, when we think about the diseases that have gone up in the last 30 years, it is sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. I mean these are all lifestyle disease.

Dr. Berry:
What I love about this is, and I think we would definitely want, I want to kind of dive deep in because you even wrote a book, right? Again, Lunch and Learn community members, I'm promised you this isn't your typical neurologist, right? This is the one who again, that's why I was like, wow, okay, hey, I think we need to like have him on the show. Because not only did you do that, where you started realizing I need you to incorporate the whole person. I need to incorporate how much activity are they doing, what they eating, when they're eating. I need to incorporate all of those things if I'm going to adequately treat my patient. You said, you know what, I need to do that. And then you wrote a book about it. Right? So, and then you alluded to it. Talk a little bit about this neuro-plasticity and the effects of exercise and everything else. And then let's talk about your book in general. What motivates you write a book? Because I know most of us position, right? We've got no problem writing journal stuff all day. And I joke to my colleagues all the time, I say, you know, all those articles, you write a great but your patients aren't reading that.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Right. I don't know. It's very rare that I read an article in any journal where I'm like, oh, there's articles about say saving life. And maybe I'm just a little jaded, but I just feel like it's rare that that happens. I think it's more for intellectual curiosity than it is the actual curiosity. We used to think that our brains, we were born with our brains and our brains never changed over our lifetime. That if anything it as we got older, maybe that these age-related changes, some degeneration or some neurological disorder would take hold and that would have a negative impact on the brain. Or we have some trauma that would have a negative impact on the brain. But now we know differently. We know that our brains are constantly evolving, that they are really dynamic. We know that our neurons and nerve cells that were capable of making new neurons in their cells throughout the life. And that's really what neuroplasticity is about. It's about the things that have a negative impact and positive impact on the brain. The things that cause our brains to make new neurons, things that cause our brains to lose neuron causes dysfunction of neurons. And a lot of those things are within our control. There are things that we do on a daily basis.

Dr. Berry:
What are some things that we do that benefit that and what are some things that we do that may cause some problems?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Exercise has huge benefit. Being sedentary, not being physically active actually kills our brain cells.

Dr. Berry:
Wow. Okay. Alright.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Oftentimes when I go and I'm giving talks, I'll give the story of a sea squirt, which is sea squirt when it's born, it's a fully mobile tadpole. And it's got a full functioning nervous system, brain and spinal cord. And within the first 72 hours of its life, its primary goal is to find a place that it can park itself and never move again. And when it does that, its body releases chemicals that cause its brain and spinal cord to dissolve. And it's eventually left with like this rudimentary nerve cell as a brain. And we see the same things happen and people let me stop moving, everything start to shrink, start to atrophy. And so exercise is really important to combat that. And I've seen 90 year olds who are physically active who eat well, minimize stress. So those are a couple of things.

Stress is a big one. Stress kills brain cells, especially in the part of the brain responsible for memory. And so people will often come to me and talk about how they're increasingly forgetful and when you talk about the things that are sort of going on in their life, they are under chronic stress. And we're all built to have to enjoy a short burst of stress. Chronic stress is not good for any aspects of our body and certainly our brains. It doesn't allow us to make new memories and all that cortisol and junk and adrenaline is also killing neurons. That's another thing that's really important. Constantly learning. Doesn't matter how old we get. You need to be constantly learning. I've seen so many people, we've had the same job for the last 50 years, right? And they can be physicians, they can be four years they've been doing that same thing. They've done a great job in their field. Most people would tell you that they are brilliant. But they retire from, what they were doing and three months later they are like completely demented. Because their brains never had a significant amount of reserve. They weren't actually learning new information. It just got really good at doing what they had always been doing. And once they stopped that, it was like they just fell off a cliff.

Dr. Berry:
What I love about this is because you're not mentioning like the alcohol and drugs, because that's what people always think. Which we know that it would cause problems too. But the fact that you're like no being sedentary, not exercising and being super stressed causes problems too. So I love that you're hitting home on those points. Because I think some of our Lunch and Learn listeners need to hear that. Because they need to hear like, no, no, no. Just because you think you avoid those couple things don't mean that you're not in trouble.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
You need to avoid those things too. Those have a negative impact on the brain. Alcohol and drugs. But yeah, other things that we do on a daily basis. I tell people all the time that we need to have different conversations with different people. If we always have the same conversation with people who I think the way that we do, that’s not good for brain health, either. That's not going to solve any issues in our life. We don't necessarily need think with everything. But that perspective is invaluable. It gives us a different way of thinking. And because of that, that causes the formation of new neurons and new connections. So that's really important. And one place where we see that not having conversations with people who think differently from us, the negative impact that that has, that's in our current political system, right?

Dr. Berry:
The first thing I was like, the folks who…

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
The Republicans. They sort of stand their ground in whatever their ideology is. They don't talk to each other. So therefore there's no new solutions to any problems. So talking to people who think differently from us is incredibly important as well.

Dr. Berry:
Talk about the book. What was your initial thought process? What was your goals when you first decide and say, you know what, I'm going to write a book. I'm gonna write a book. Because of this theory, but not really theory, just practice of action. Like what was that like? Especially as a physician because I'm always intrigued at my physician colleagues who go out the box because I know what it takes to do that.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So for me, the inspiration for the book was definitely the patients I take care of. People that I serve in general. And when you think about neurological disorders and the devastating impact that it has on patients and their families. But I've spent the last, I don't know, maybe 10 years, 11 years when you include my training. Seeing how people with devastating neurological injuries have risen up, that they have fought for their life, they've fought for their independence. A lot of them have not let their diagnosis sort of define who they are. And so they were really the inspiration. It was the patients that were doing the work every day to change the neurological destiny. To change their life and to create their own life. And so, they inspired me to write this book and it was about why the things that they do have, the impact that had has.

Dr. Berry:
And for a person who is going to be going to be picking up this book, what should they expect to get out the book? In your mind when you were writing it and you're finishing it, if you had to point to one goal from the book, what would you say that would be?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
First of all, I would say this, that one of the things that I've learned in writing a book is that a book is never actually finished, right? I mean, there was actually supposed to be probably another 10 different sections to this book. But when you're talking about things that have to do with the brain, for a lot of people, that's scary and that can be complicated. And so you don't want this massive book that people are going to be like, oh my God, I can't be that. Because book is never really finished. It's just when you decide, okay, this is it for this part, yeah, I'm going to put this part out first or if a publisher comes or whatever the case. But the thing that I want people to really take away is I want people to have a completely different relationship with their brain than they've had before.

I think for a lot of people, they don't give their brains much thought until something goes wrong. And our brains are like our muscles. If you want it to grow and evolve, you have to stimulate it. You’ve got to do so in different ways. You've got to take care of your brain. And my sort of tagline for my company, it's on all our t-shirts. It's actually on this t-shirt and our wristband, it says “One brain, one body”. Everything that your body, the way that you treat your body impacts your brain and everything about your brain impacts your body. And people don't necessarily realize that that is the case. A lot of physicians don't realize it either. So I'll get call it to see somebody who's had, whether it's high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer's or disorder for years and that'd be like, oh, they're having some issues with their brain. And it's like, yeah, because this high blood pressure, diabetes or inflammation not only impacts their body has a significant impact on their brain and it's been damaging their brain this entire time.

Dr. Berry:
So the segue, when we talk about bringing health, and I'm such a big fan of physicians who go a different direction. You have your institute where you focus on the overall wellbeing of health. You have your book where you actually wrote a book, because most physicians don’t write books unless they're writing it for boring conferences that none of our patients actually go to. But then you went the next step and say, you know what, I'm going to create an app as well. Tell us the motivation behind the app. And ladies and gentlemen, the app is absolutely amazing. Is an IOs, is on the android platform. Please download it. Of course the links will be in the show notes for you to get that. Give it to your kids as well too. This isn't just an adult app. Kids can play in this app too and have just as much of a great time. So talk to us about the app.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Yes. So the book is called Neuroplasticity: Your Brain's Superpower. The app is called Dr. Douyon's Brain fit. And believe it or not, actually I don't play games. But I wanted a really fun way to teach people about how to food and exercise and other lifestyle choices impact your brain. And I thought a game would be a really great way to do that. Especially because everywhere you look, people are on their phones doing something. Either in the bus, they're on the train. They get a minute of free time, they're on their phones. And so I wanted to meet people where they were at. I wanted to find a really fun way to teach them, to influence their health and just get them to live, sort of help you lives. And I've used this app as a learning tool where I'm teaching students. So kids like elementary school kids, high school kids, and even full-fledged adults went on when I'm talking to them and everybody seems to really enjoy it.

Dr. Berry:
What has been some of the results? Is this something you incorporate as an overall process from a treatment plan with some of your patients? Is this something where you say, you know, I think you would definitely be much more apt to kind of going this route and using the app and kind of using that I guess the part of the brain to learn and to build up your brain? Like we exercise and we build up muscle when we're gaining weights, building up the brain is just as important.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
I think games serve different functions and I think games are very much like books. You have different genres of games. And so this game, this app is definitely a puzzle game. It's a matching game. So you get to match healthy foods and healthy activities and as you match and as you go through the levels there questions that come up related to that particular level of that particular disease stages. People learning about that disease and how exercise impacts those diseases. So you know it's not necessarily. I don't make any claims like, oh this is going to improve your cognition, it's going to improve your memory here or anything. I prefer to think of this like, you know, when patients come to us and maybe you give them material to take home or even better than that. Patients come to us and we're educating them in the office.

But we are educating them about their diseases or their medications during a very stressful period where they are stressed out about what they are going through and how this is going to impact their life. Oftentimes a lot of physicians will use a lot of medical jargon and people in general don't understand healthcare with the way that they should. They're sort of healthcare illiterate and by no fault of their own, the system is sort of designed that way. So I think with the game, you meet people where they're at and you allow them to, when they go home on their own time, on their own terms, they're able to go back and access information that's going to effect the potential disease that they may encounter. And so the levels to this game includes sedentary lifestyle, includes hypertension and diabetes and works its way up to things that we think of as primary neurological diseases and the last level, level 40 is Alzheimer's disease. And the entire time they can just go in there and about how different foods and exercise and stress has an impact on all of this.

Dr. Berry:
I absolutely love it. So before I let you go. I like to call this my promotional period. Because we highlight so many different physicians like yourself are doing so many amazing things like yourself. I want to make sure that I allow that time to say like, hey, what are you doing? How can people get in contact you? How can they get into your world? So let us know, is there any more books? There's any more courses? What’s going on? And how can someone be intertwined with you?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
So this book that just came on in April, Neuroplasticity: Your Brain's Superpower. The game Dr. Douyon's Brain fit that actually came out in November. I'm currently co-authoring another book now about perception with actually as a psychiatrist. So it's written from the perspective of a neurologist and a psychiatrist and it's about how we perceive the world around us and what influences our perception. I am working on creating an online learning platform for people so they can learn about their health and all the different things that impact their health. And so we've got a couple of couple of big things in the works. And The Inle BrainFit Institute, what we do is we create individualized exercise programs, continuing to grow that so people have all of those things to look forward to.

Dr. Berry:
Perfect. I absolutely love that. My last question I always ask my guests before to get out of here is, and obviously you hit home a lot of the points throughout. But how is what you're doing helping to empower others to take better control of their health?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
I think our current healthcare system is a very passive one. I mean, people come to see us, it's like, alright, take this pill. They don't really have to do anything but take a pill. And we know that at best it's a Band-Aid approach. It's not really curing the underlying disease process or it's like let's take them to the OR. But it's not anything that they're actively doing themselves. And I think when you get people to move their bodies and get them to exercise, when you teach them about food, when you teach them how to minimize their stress, because they're learning, because they're actively doing, then you're truly empowering them. And I think when people aren't empowered, they can reach their absolute potential. They certainly can reach them neurological potential. They get a lot more creative. They sort of take their lives by the horns. And so I think we're really teaching people just how truly powerful they actually are. I get to see the brains of people from all the world, all religions, all cultural background. Everybody's brain looks the exact same way. And I think what that means too is that we are all capable doing really great things. All we need to do is remove the limit, the limitations that we put on ourselves and that society tries to put on us. And once we do that, I think yeah, we're capable of being truly great everywhere.

Dr. Berry:
Absolutely love it. Absolutely love that answer. Phenomenal. How can others get in contact with you? What are your websites? What are you links? What are your socials? What's going on? How can they reach out to you, follow you and go mission with you?

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
They can reach out to me through email. So PhilippeDouyon@gmail.com. They can reach out to me through my website, www.inlebrainfitinstitute.com. All one word. They can find me on Instagram. So they look me up. Just look at my name, Philippe Douyon, and they'll find me on Instagram. At Twitter, its @PhilippeDouyon. And they can also find me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Dr. Berry:
Love it and again, members and listeners, all of these things will be in the show notes so you won't have to go far. And he's definitely, again, I know you guys thought, what is the neurologist going to tell me about my health? And clearly there's a lot, right? And I absolutely love that aspect of it. Even down to the neurological fiber, if you don't take care of yourself and especially from an active approach, if you aren't actively doing something, problems can and will arise and are rising because we aren't doing it. So Dr. Douyon, thank you for really helping the Lunch and Learn community members turn another chapter in their pursuit of learning and I'm helping them understand that from a neurological standpoint we stood out a lot of work to do, but we can do it.

Dr. Philippe Douyon:
Absolutely. And the power to change our lives is certainly within ourselves, within the way that we think. And our brains are capable of a tremendous amount of greatness and creation. So you gotta make sure we take good care of our brains.

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