Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Nov 2003

Dr. Eric Braverman

For Dr. Braverman, health begins in the brain. To better assess a patient’s complete health, he utilizes brain electrical activity mapping to analyze the body’s strengths and weaknesses. Based on the results, he develops innovative treatment protocols.

An Innovator of Brain and Body Medicine
by Maria Rabat

PATH Medical, located just steps away from the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan, bustles with an excitement markedly different from the pulse of the city street. It’s a heightened level of energy that smacks of enthusiasm and passion, and it can be felt throughout the office as staff members greet visitors, explain treatments, and guide patients through every step of the healing process. Clearly, the staff at PATH Medical love what they do, and they take their cues from the practice’s charismatic director, Eric Braverman, M.D.

Dr. Braverman founded PATH (The Place for Achieving Total Health) in 1988. Since then, he and his staff have restored health and quality of life to thousands of patients, many of whom had long given up any hope of leading a productive life. Through the latest advances in medicine and technology, PATH Medical helps people maintain or regain wellness by merging conventional methods with novel therapies offered by complementary medicine.
Dr. Braverman employs a “head-first” approach to medicine. His 26 years of practice have focused on the brain’s role in health and wellness. “The brain is my focus because it is the life-giving force of the body,” explains Dr. Braverman. “Remove the brain and all you have is a corpse, a body without an electrical generator. I see the brain as the body’s central organ, with all the other organs taking their cues from the top, so to speak.”

Dr. Braverman believes that most bodily afflictions have their origins in brain chemical imbalances. Each of the four lobes of the brain in essence produces a primary biochemical, called a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for a specific brain function. If there is a biochemical imbalance or deficiency, the body experiences symptoms related to that particular deficiency. “Eighty percent of the complaints prompting someone to seek medical care are directly related to deficiencies in one of the four primary brain chemicals,” Dr. Braverman says. “The most common ailments that patients complain about are back pain and arthritis, high blood pressure, memory, and weight loss. The aging brain, in some capacity, precipitates or exacerbates each of these age-related conditions.”

Dr. Braverman’s practice at PATH specializes in connecting the aging-related symptoms to the medical disease. It’s a simple remedy: to restore your health, restore your brain chemistry. “At first, chemical deficiencies exhibit themselves as mild symptoms that, if properly and early recognized, can be addressed by dietary changes, supplements, and lifestyle modification,” Dr. Braverman explains. He believes that the earlier you start, the better your chances of postponing or completely avoiding the ravages of the aging process. “Alzheimer’s doesn’t occur overnight,” he says. “Just like heart disease, it’s a condition that begins slowly, silently, and progresses over the years. If you keep your cholesterol low, you’ll reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Similarly, if you address those first lapses of memory, there’s a chance that you won’t totally lose cognitive function later on in life. And that’s all we can hope for.” Dr. Braverman has successfully used the same approach for the reversal of such chronic degenerative diseases as osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, arthritis, and early cancer.

Dr. Braverman and his staff at PATH Medical work toward that hope each day with their cutting-edge approaches to medicine. The PATH team, which includes physicians, physician assistants, clinicians, and allied health practitioners, employs a multi-modal process to effectively battle the source of an illness on a number of levels. To meet this challenge, Dr. Braverman and his staff tailor a customized treatment program for each patient at PATH. Treatments may include nutritional supplementation, hormone replacement to correct deficiencies, chelation therapy to remove toxic heavy metals from the bloodstream, lifestyle changes, and a number of biofeedback training techniques.

Dr. Braverman’s innovative approach to medicine uses head-to-toe computerized diagnostic assessments—high-tech, non-invasive tests—to detect the earliest stages of disease and aging throughout the body. Of course, brain health is included in all diagnostic and treatment protocols, and PATH’s premier brain assessment technique, BEAM analysis, measures the speed and strength of neurotransmissions, metabolism, and electrical activity.
BEAM (brain electrical activity mapping) is step one on the road to diagnosis and recovery. This laptop-sized computerized device uses an EEG instrument, in conjunction with auditory and visual stimuli, to evoke reactions from the cortical region of the brain. Using electrodes similar to those used in an EKG, BEAM analysis shows how the brain functions when challenged, giving concrete evidence of how brain chemicals can alter brain function. The procedure reveals critical data about how the brain processes signals on three levels: neurological, biochemical, and electrical, providing vital information about the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons—specifically, their overall health and ability to function normally. If the neurons aren’t working as they should, chances are that the brain’s overall health is compromised.

Pause Decline In Pause Decline In
Electropause Brain memory, metabolism, and rest Adrenopause DHEA, fight-or-flight response
Psychopause Personality, stability and mood, increased anxiety Nephropause Erythropoietin, filtering of toxins
Pineal Pause Melatonin, increase in sleep disturbances Somatopause Growth hormone, muscle strength, and fibers
Pituitary Pause
Brain-body hormone balance Pancreopause Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
Sensorypause Hearing, sight, touch, smell, sensitivity Andropause Testosterone, sex drive
Thyropause Thyroid and body metabolism Menopause Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and more
Parathyropause Parathormone and bone density Vasculopause Blood flow to hands, feet, and sexual organs
Thymopause Glandular function and immune system Osteopause Bone density
Cardiopause Pumping power, valves and blood flow Uropause Bladder control, infection resistance
Pulmonopause Lung elasticity and function with increase in blood pressure Dermopause Collagen, vitamin D, skin health
Gastropause Nutrient absorption with increase in stomach acidity, gallstones, diverticulosis Genopause DNA repair, cell integrity

Table 1: “The Pauses of Life”: How each section of your body goes into a type of menopause. Dr. Braverman, through life-extension techniques, has reversed all of these pauses to a significant degree or another.

Eric Braverman, M.D.
An Innovator of Brain and Body Medicine
by Maria Rabat

BEAM differs from CT scans and MRIs because neither of the latter procedures can assess the brain’s signal activities. Due to the fact that these signals regulate the body, abnormalities that originate within the brain may contribute to or worsen physical illness. Dr. Braverman has worked with this tool for over 20 years, and mainstream medical professionals are just now recognizing it as an essential part of any health assessment. “Once we crack the brain code, we can start repairing what needs to be fixed,” says Dr. Braverman. “BEAM picks all this up in 10 minutes, it’s like a cardiogram of the brain. It can tell brain age and how long it will be until a patient develops Alzheimer’s. If a patient is 70 and his Alzheimer’s date is 40 years away, that person can focus on avoiding a heart attack, colon cancer, or a stroke, knowing that he’ll have his cognitive faculties until the day he dies.”

In some cases, Dr. Braverman relies on brain mapping to detect other conditions as well, including the “pauses” of life. Menopause may be the best-known pause, but Dr. Braverman has uncovered 21 others by applying the concept of menopause to all of the body’s organs and systems (see Table 1). Hormonal declines are common in all diseases of aging degeneration. Without exception, every part of the body is subject to “pause.”

“We’re all subjected to these pauses at different times throughout our lives,” Dr. Braverman explains. “The more pauses a patient experiences, the sicker that patient is. What I do in my practice is uncover those pauses and then fix them.”

That obligation requires Dr. Braverman to treat the whole patient, not just specific body parts or organs. “To maintain optimal health, we must be able to recognize and correct all biomarkers of aging,” he explains. “The weakest link can subtract from one’s well-being and even lead to death while the rest of the patient’s body is healthy. For example, the parathyroid gland declines with age, and without proper parathyroid function, osteoporosis develops. Doctors used to insist that taking calcium pills could cure osteoporosis, but I’ve seen plenty of men and women who’ve taken calcium for 20 years and are severely osteoporotic because they’ve received no estrogen, calcitonin hormone, or parathyroid hormone supplementation—because parathyroid malfunction had been completely overlooked. Doctors would correct what I call ‘gastropause’ by providing extra nutrients, but the patient’s disease still progressed because the pauses of other glands were not corrected.”

Because Dr. Braverman searches for the underlying cause of a symptom—a cause that may require him to go beyond what most doctors would consider to be routine care—he can readily identify the shortcomings of conventional medicine, which he likens to assembly-line economics. “A cardiologist fixes the heart, but he neglects to check out what’s going on with the brain, even though the brain controls the heart,” Dr. Braverman says. “The body isn’t that compartmentalized. It’s an interconnected whole.”

At PATH Medical, the patient medical history form is a cornerstone of Dr. Braverman’s medical detective work; it covers an incredibly diverse range of topics that can uncover important information about a patient’s underlying medical condition. In addition to familiar questions about family history of illness, the PATH form also inquires at great length about patients’ stress levels, social supports, and diet. It also requires patients to answer questions about their personalities, spirituality, goals, and fears.

It may be off-putting to some, but the questionnaire is a valuable tool for the PATH team as they assess a patient’s health status and customize a treatment program. “I guess you can say that we’ve made a startling discovery here in these offices—all the patients we’ve encountered have their brains attached to their bodies. So we ask them questions about state of mind, what’s going on in their heads, their level of anxiety. That all plays into what is occurring in their bodies. For any treatment plan to work, it has to combine the disciplines of psychiatry, neurology, and internal medicine. Then the healing process can begin.”

Patient testimonials prove that the PATH approach works. The conditions that have been successfully treated at PATH Medical are too numerous to list, but they include attention deficit disorder, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stress, obesity, and stroke. Common to many patient testimonials is the line, “Thank you for giving me back my life.” The testimonials, many of them framed and hanging throughout the office, compete for wall space with photographs of Dr. Braverman doing his brain map on patients such as Ben Vereen and Oliver Stone. But even the glamour of the Hollywood set can’t distract from the sheer volume of testimonials that speak to Dr. Braverman’s attention to detail, his innovation as a clinician and diagnostician, and his commitment to his patients’ health and recovery.

In addition to his private practice in New York City (with satellite locations in Princeton, NJ, and Penndel, PA), Dr. Braverman is also director of the PATH Foundation, a nonprofit research organization devoted to preventing and treating all aspects of brain chemical disorders as they relate to general health. Dr. Braverman often is called on to lecture at major medical conferences, and has trained hundreds of physicians and health practitioners in his brain-based approach to health care. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, with training at Harvard, Yale, and NYU medical schools. He serves on numerous committees (e.g., government relations and managed care of the NYC Medical Society). He has written five books, including the PATH Wellness Manual and The Healing Nutrients Within, and is the author of numerous studies published in peer-reviewed medical research journals.

And what are Dr. Braverman’s hopes for the future of medicine? “The vision for a new age of medical healing requires that we engage the public in a medical awakening, one that embraces multiple modalities, including nutritional and natural therapies, and combines the best of Eastern and Western medical practices,” Dr. Braverman says. “Why shouldn’t everyone have the key to his or her life? They can if they know their brain code, and that comes down to balancing the brain’s four neurotransmitters. Once that balance is found, you will be energetic and thin, your memory will be quick and you’ll be cognitively superior, you’ll be stable and less anxious, your mood will be up and level, and sleep will be great. This scenario can be maintained throughout the life span as long as balance is maintained.”

Dr. Braverman may well be the “PATH” that leads us all to achieving total health.

This spring, look for Dr. Braverman’s new book, titled The Edge: The Path to Total Health and Longevity Through the Balanced Brain, from Sterling Publishers.

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