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Leading brain expert to speak in The Woodlands

December 19, 2018 GMT

Ever had trouble remembering things or simply desired to improve your way of thinking?

If so, a seminar from leading brain expert Dr. Joe Bates may be of help. Bates will be making a visit to The Woodlands to explain to residents how they can increase their cognitive function, boost self-esteem and have better emotional stability.

Bates is a nationally recognized physician who won The National 2015 Mensa Intellectual Benefits to Society Award for his work with cognitive remediation training. He will be speaking at The Woodlands Family YMCA at Branch Crossing at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2019.


After graduating from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Bates worked as a pediatrician for 25 years before becoming a psychiatrist, which has been his full-time job for 28 years. He began working with fellow veterans and older patients and noticed a common theme.

“I noticed a lot of our patients were losing, and complaining about losing, their mental sharpness. I wanted to kind of do a jump start on my own brain because I made all A’s in school but I noticed I wasn’t as sharp I used to be either,” Bates explained.

He created a training program, BrainCardio, that helps people age, think, feel and live better with a series of personal brain fitness workouts he developed to increase confidence, hope, well-being, energy and memory.

The first test trial of the program went well, Bates noted, and the participants retained much of the brain rewiring that occurs during the training.

“We had a tremendous turnout and some of the patients took it three times and they had fun with it so from there I just branched out and put it in a form that could go out to the general public,” he said.

Bates began traveling the country in 2013 to help others learn how to rewire their brain to improve memory and focus through mental exercises. The program is based around the idea of neuroplasticity, where the brain can reorganize itself as it learns new information or if there are damaged neural pathways that are no longer active.

“The feedback has been that it’s something that most people think that they need because they want to be sharp and they want to live up to their potential and they want to have hope for the future,” Bates said. “They want an attainable goal and you can improve your cognitive function no matter what age you are.”

Although BrainCardio is geared for ages 40 and older, Bates noted that it can benefit people of all ages including college students and young adults. At the speaking event in January, he plans to discuss the science behind the program, how participants can benefit and the actual steps of and what to expect from the program.

The YMCA at Branch Crossing is located at 8100 Ashlane Way. The event is free and open to the public but those wishing to attend are asked to register online at www.ymcahouston.org/smc-branch-crossing. For more information, call 281-367-9622.