About The Book

The principles outlined in this book should open your eyes and challenge those neurons in your cerebral cortex that have been taking a siesta. Initially, this program was intended to improve cognition for senior citizens, but I was proven wrong in being so limited in scope.

Through continuing my research and personal observations, it became very apparent that the benefits derived from cognitive remediation training (CRT) have a much larger targeted audience. In addition to the elderly, a group to which I proudly belong, the program is being heralded as a seminal intervention to improve the cognitive functioning of patients with chronic mental illness, especially schizophrenia. Additionally, the 2007 Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law endorsed CRT for "restoring the unrestorable," referring to mental health patients who have criminal charges pending but have been determined to be incompetent to stand trial.

When I was a student at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in the early 1960s, I was taught that dead brain cells were just that—dead! Now research is showing that the human brain is more plastic and regenerative than was ever imagined. The learning process should be endless. Inevitable mental decline after age fifty is a myth. However, the brain can function at peak capacity only when it is used consistently and periodically challenged. Just remember you have to "use it or lose it."

As a psychiatrist and the clinical director of a large Texas mental health facility, I have introduced a program similar to the one in this book to patients with chronic mental illness who, by virtue of their illness with the associated neurotransmitter dysfunction, have regressed in their executive functioning. Though the numbers are small to date, the pre- and post-training data have shown significant improvement across the learning spectrum. Moreover, that advancement has the ability to carry over into other areas, such as self-esteem and socialization.

These also are the same types of exercises I used for personal training before I successfully tested for Mensa, the international high IQ society, just before my seventy-second birthday. If you are embarking on this training to have fun through learning and to maintain your mental agility—bravo! I urge you to continue to develop yourself by pursuing academic endeavors outside your comfort zone. New talents may be discovered along the way that will merge your diversion into a calling.

This book is directed at all those individuals who want to stake a claim on sharpening their mental edge.

Happy learning,

Joe B. Bates, MD, FAPA, FAAP
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Diplomate, American Board of Pediatrics
Member of American Mensa
Tyler, Texas, 2015



© 2016 Joe Bates, MD