Tag Archives: Dr. Jim Bragman



Alcohol and your brain
May 9, 2018

Alcohol and Cognitive Decline

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One of the common questions I get in my office is, “what effects does alcohol have on our brain as we age?”

While it’s known that heavy alcohol intake can cause a loss of brain cells, most studies have found that light to moderate drinking is not harmful and some have suggested it may help age related cognitive impairment. For instance, a Finnish study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011 found that middle aged light or moderate drinkers were less likely to develop cognitive impairment two decades later than teetotalers or heavy drinkers.

Heavy drinking is defined as three or more drinks per day. Besides the amount of alcohol, the pattern of drinking was found to be an independent risk factor for a loss of memory and cognitive impairment even after controlling for total alcohol consumption. This goes against the argument that my patients sometimes try to use, “I only drink on weekends.” Clearly, four or five drinks (even glasses of wine or beer) is a formula to cut both the quality and quantity of years from your life.

Another study in the same journal, which followed people from the San Diego area over a 20-year period, found that those who reported drinking five to seven days a week were more likely to live to age 85 without significant cognitive impairment than non drinkers. However, a British study in the British Medical Journal seemed to undermine the idea that drinking is good for the brain. The study followed 527 healthy people for 30 years and correlated their drinking habits with results of periodic cognitive testing as well as findings on an MEI scan. Not surprisingly, heavy drinking was associated with the highest risk of hippocampus atrophy. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is is involved in memory and spatial navigation and other abnormalities. Even moderate drinking was linked to an increased risk of hippocampal atrophy compared to abstinence.

Based on the data, I don’t want to insist upon everyone becoming a teetotaler, but when it comes to your brain health, less is more.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

March 30, 2018

Prescription For Your Health – Night Shift

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Dr. Bragman Discusses the health affects of working a night shift job.  

    March 7, 2018

    Prescription For Your Health – Booze and the Brain

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    Dr. Jim Bragman talks about the effects of alcohol on the brain. 

      March 7, 2018

      Prescription For Your Health – Diabetes

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      Dr. Jim Bragman talks about diabetes.  

        March 7, 2018

        Prescription For Your Health – Improving Your Health

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        Dr. Jim Bragman talks about improving your health. 

          Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media - Leg Cramp
          March 12, 2018

          Prescription for Your Health – Leg Cramps

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          Almost everyone has experienced the agony of leg cramps at night, but is there a way to prevent them? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no, but it is possible to limit your risk of nocturnal leg cramps.

          First, it is of paramount importance to make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, since dehydration can trigger cramps. During the day women should avoid high heels or completely flat shoes as this will put great strain on your calf muscles. You should instead wear comfortable shoes with low heels. If you are prone to nocturnal leg cramps then I strongly advise my patients to take a few minutes to massage and stretch your calf muscles before going to bed. In addition, you want to avoid tucking your sheets and blankets too tightly as this can actually put pressure on your feet especially if you sleep on your back causing you to point your feet thereby thereby triggering a cramp. Another trick to try is sleeping on your back or your stomach with your feet hanging off the end of the mattress.

          One old time remedy that still works is an item you’ll find in the supermarket and that is tonic water. What is it about tonic water that has therapeutic value, you may ask? Well, the active ingredient in tonic water is Quinine which is a wonderful elixir for this problem. There are several medications that have been tried for leg cramps as these include the anti-hypertensive and anti-arrythmia drug Verapamil as well as Benzodiazapines (tranquilizers) such as Clonopin or Ativan. Finally, if you experience a night time leg cramp then immediately pull your toes toward your knee and rub the muscle. Pointing your toe will only make the cramp tighten and will greatly increase your pain.


          Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

          About the Author:

          Dr. Jim Bragman
          Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

          Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

          A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

          Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

          Prescription for your Health on New Radio Media - Eat Your Crust
          April 3, 2018

          Prescription for Your Health – Eat Your Crust

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          When it comes to your good health –  don’t forget to eat the crust!

          How many of us at one time or another decided to cut off the bread crust when making a sandwich? Well it turns out that when you toss out the crust you are actually throwing away the best part of the bread in terms of antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful in fighting cancer and bolstering your immune system in general. The healthiest breads are either multigrain or nine grain whole wheat varieties. These breads contain fiber which helps your heart as well as protecting you from colonic polyps and colon cancer.

          There is an antioxidant released in the baking process that develops as a result of a chemical reaction during cooking. Researchers have found that the crust of the bread contains as much of the antioxidant as the rest of the loaf. Now it’s still too early to know how much crust should be eaten, but tests with rats strongly indicate that the regular intake can stop the formation of precancerous polyps in the colon. It also helps in treating the Rheumatological and autoimmune diseases where the body engages in friendly fire against itself. Antioxidants keep the white blood cells known as lymphocytes from attacking your immune system. This includes diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Autoimmune Hepatitis, and Multiple Sclerosis.

          In addition to crust, regular exercise and cutting down on alcohol consumption can also reduce your risk of heart disease and autoimmune disease, as well as your risk of colon cancer.


          Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

          About the Author:

          Dr. Jim Bragman
          Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

          Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

          A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

          Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

          Prescription for Your Health - Caring for Alzheimer's Patients
          April 17, 2018

          Prescription for Your Health – Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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          One of the most difficult and vexing problems that I see in my practice are the trials and tribulations of a family taking care of a loved one with Alzheimers.
          • Statistics state that, of the millions of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, 75% of their care is provided at home.
          • According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year 67 million Americans provide care to a family member, or friend.

          If you’re a caregiver, you know about having to help with the activities of daily living including bathing, shopping, cooking, feeding and making arrangements for medical care. Behavioral issues are another major problem for the caretaker, as well as for the stricken person. In addition, caretakers need to cope with their own anxieties and fears.  Fortunately, there are books and organizations that can help you in this quest. One guide I recommend is from Dr. Peter Roger and Dr. Ann Morrison of John Hopkins Medical School who have written a guide called “Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease.” The other is “The 36 Hour Day,” which explains the tenets and underpinnings for the family caretaker.

          These books explore such issues as:

          • When is it time to take away the car?
          • How do you modify the home for people with dementia (this includes avoiding obstacles and removing throw rugs)?
          • How to deal with troubling behaviors such as wandering and inappropriate outbursts, rage, and obstreperous behavior.
          • How do you handle a loved one with delusions and hallucinations?
          • What can you do when your loved one acts in an embarrassing way in public?
          • Should friends and neighbors be notified?

          Finally, the ultimate decision is when is it time to place a loved one in a nursing home facility – and what options exist to cover the cost.

          So, if you are a caretaker , remember you are not alone in your fears and frustrations. There are excellent resources available to help assuage your concerns.


          Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

          About the Author:

          Dr. Jim Bragman
          Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

          Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

          A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

          Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

          Prescription for Your Health - Depression
          March 25, 2018

          Prescription for Your Health – Depression

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          One of the most common problems that I see in private practice is depression, and it turns out that it can be worse than some chronic diseases, and it can make other conditions worse. Researchers writing in the British Medical Journal “Lancet” say depression can be more damaging to your everyday health than chronic diseases such as Arthritis, Diabetes, and Asthma. In addition, people suffering from a wide range of chronic diseases who also experience depression almost inevitably have a poorer prognosis for the chronic condition. The researchers conclude as a result impairs the overall health state more than other diseases. It also shows the importance of treating depression, which we are very capable of doing today with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

          The problem for many who suffer from depression is embarrassment. Patients are are afraid to tell their doctors about their bouts of depression. One of the mnemonics that I use in practice to diagnose depression is SIGECAPS.

          • S stands for sleep. People who are depressed either are exhausted after a full 8 or 9 hours of sleep, or awake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep.
          • I stands for a lack of interest in pursuing enjoyable activities such as sex or going out to eat or other social functions.
          • G stands for feeling guilty about one’s lot in life.
          • E stands for low energy. Depressed people will feel tired all the time.
          • C stands for concentration. People will have trouble focusing and it will take them double or triple the time to absorb new information.
          • A stands for appetite and most of the time a person will go on a comfort eating binge and gain weight. However, about 10% of the time they will lose 5-10% of their body weight.
          • P stands for psychomotor retardation, which is a fancy way of saying that people who know you well will ask if you if you’re moving in slow motion.
          • stands for feeling hopeless, worthless, and ultimately suicidal.

          So, in conclusion, there is no reason to shy away from a condition that is completely understandable and, in most cases, completely treatable. If you don’t manage the depression then you will not be able to manage your chronic condition, because the depression is actually making it worse.


          Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

          About the Author:

          Dr. Jim Bragman
          Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

          Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

          A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

          Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.