Q. Okay, Doc. I know I was born with a good brain. But I don’t get this emphasis on “challenging mental stimulation” and some of the other stuff you talk about. What’s the “real deal” here?

Q.  I read the Point to Ponder in your Spring Brain Bulletin. I can relate to the writer who said, “This cannot be correct. I never wanted to be overweight.” Everyone in my family is obese (“fat” as some put it so rudely), so there’s really nothing I can do about it except to develop a mindset that “big is beautiful.”

Q. I recently heard you say something about taking care of your brain "by design." Whatever does that mean?

Q.  My husband’s hearing is deteriorating and yet he refuses to even be evaluated for a hearing aid. His point seems to be, “I can hear as much as I want or need to hear.” Is there anything I can tell him to encourage him to at least explore assistive hearing devices?

Q. I’ve been following a "Longevity Lifestyle" for several months and have done very well. I seem to have plateaued, however, and someone told me to stop drinking diet sodas. That's one of the choices I've hung onto because I really don't want the extra sugar found in regular sodas. Any comments?

Q.  Somewhere I picked up the idea that those who live a more disciplined life are more likely to live longer than say a free spirit who is never sure what’s happening next. Is that true?

Q.  I read your comments in the last Brain Bulletin about wine and supposed benefits to the heart. But what about the brain? Doesn’t wine or other mild alcoholic drinks help the brain to relax? I mean loads of people drink in moderation.

Q. Is it true that people who retire early experience a drop in their mental ability?

Q. I have followed several "health programs" on and off and all of them emphasize two things: aerobic exercise and dieting or calorie restriction. The Longevity Lifestyle Matters program doesn't seem to emphasise those two areas and I'd like to know the reason.

Q. I usually pack on extra pounds around the holidays and then spend the next few months trying to divest myself of them, just to do it all over again when the next holiday rolls around. Are those pounds all that bad for my health and, if so, how can I change that?

Q: I read somewhere that happiness was linked with health and longevity. I cannot believe that. Or perhaps I do not want to believe that. Please tell me they are joking.

Q. What about the concept of mental exercise as an anti-aging strategy?

Q. I’m enjoying creating and maintaining a Longevity Lifestyle. Wish I’d done it sooner but it is what it is . . . The other day I heard about the “MIND” diet. Mediterranean something or other. Is this something I should be doing?

Q. Someone told me I could help age-proof my brain by taking music lessons. Both my children do but I’m nearly 45! Could it help?

Q. I heard you speak about water and the price of dehydration. Drinking plain water is sooooo boring to me. Why can’t I drink the many “fancy” waters now on the market?

Q. A friend of mine recently told me that playing a musical instrument is more stimulating for the brain than simply listening to music. Is there anything to that?

Q. Is reading aloud for ten minutes a day really an anti-aging strategy? I’ve heard you say that, but I cannot see any possible connection.

Q. At an Alzheimer’s support group I mentioned that I read aloud to a family member when I visit. There was a lively discussion about reading aloud—it benefits the person doing the reading but does it benefit the person being read to if they do not comprehend the words, or does hearing the words read to a person stimulate brain activity?

Q. This is the year I get to retire. As I look around me at others who have retired, I don't always like what I see. Will I inevitably become set in my ways as I grow older?

Q. I heard on the news recently that this generation of Americans is the first for a long time in which children can be expected to die before their parents. This can’t be true, can it?

Q. I love your new book, Longevity Lifestyle Matters, coauthored with Briggs and Horton. It's all stories, much like your Chronicles series and Adventure series. It's so much easier to remember ideas from a story. What prompted you to use a story format?

Q. We are creating a Longevity Lifestyle and moving toward a more plant-based Mediterranean-style cuisine but I must say that dried "beans" are creating some undesirable side effects. Any idea of how to reduce them?

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