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Dr. Sanjay Gupta Tells Advisors How To Build New Brain Cells

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

If you want to build new brain cells, do things in a completely different manner from normal: If you are right handed, eat with your left hand.

That is the advice from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon, author and CNN chief medical correspondent, who was a keynote speaker at the BNY Mellon/Pershing Insite 2021 conference today.

Everyone would benefit from a brain that is more resilient, a fact that the pandemic has driven home for many, Gupta told the financial industry professionals attending the conference. But how do you get that?

“The most beneficial thing to develop resiliency in the brain is to do things in a totally new way. Build new roads in the brain,” Gupta said. “I’m simplifying things, but doing different activities makes your brain more resilient, which helps you make better decisions.”

The pandemic had other lessons for people, including helping to educate them on how to evaluate risk.

“Humans are not that good at evaluating risk. This audience should appreciate risk. You can present the same objective data to two people and get totally different results, whether you are weighing risk during a pandemic or just in life.” The test is, “are you willing to bet on the outcome” of your opinion?” said Gupta, who is the author of a book scheduled to come out in November, “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.”

Because of the success of vaccines, and despite the coronavirus variants that are popping up, Gupta said there is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

“People are still very anxious and cautious, but yes, the light is there. The way the medical profession and pharmaceuticals came together” in the pandemic is truly remarkable,” he said. “In the beginning [of the pandemic], we had no idea what was around the corner. This was something new. Incredible scientific advances have been made and new technology was developed that can now be used” for other diseases.

“There has been so much grief [from the pandemic], but there are some things we are celebrating,” he said. For instance, “telehealth is something everyone now knows about. If you live in a vaccinated world, it changes things.”

Negative aspects of society also have been brought to the forefront because of the pandemic, he said.

“There is a ton of inequality in our healthcare system. Scientifically, that does not make sense,” Gupta said. “We cannot lose this moment” when there is some momentum to change that inequality.

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