Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai
and Ocean Robbins
Brain Breakthroughs
Private Workbook
Brain Breakthroughs MASTERCLASS — Private Workbook 1 / 14
How To Use This Workbook
Welcome! And thank you for signing up for the Brain Breakthroughs Masterclass. You’re in the
right place if you want to not only prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but
also to restore and enhance your brain health.
During the Masterclass, you’ll discover essential truths about brain health and develop a greater
understanding of how your brain works and the habits and lifestyle strategies that have been
found to support lasting brain health.
With the knowledge you’ll gain from the Brain Breakthroughs Masterclass, you can make
important changes to your diet and lifestyle — taking advantage of the latest learnings of
neurological research to support your brain’s optimal wellness.
The following exercises, quizzes, and prompts found in this workbook will help you get the most
out of the Masterclass. They will highlight some of the key concepts and takeaways covered —
and test how well you absorbed the information. You’ll have the opportunity to take notes and
further reflect on the information found in the Masterclass. And you’ll also get information on
taking the next step in your journey to a healthy, thriving brain.
To get the most out of this Masterclass:
Save this workbook directly to your computer. You can edit the file directly and type in your
answers. Or you can print it out and write on it.
Before viewing the Masterclass, skim through the Workbook to get a feel for the information
that’s going to be covered.
Take notes in the back of the Workbook on anything that stood out to you during the
Masterclass. Some of these takeaways might help you answer the questions in the
Workbook exercises.
While we hope you use all sections of the Workbook, at the very least try to fill out the Set
Your Intention section before the Masterclass and the Reflection section at the end of it.
That way you’ll be able to track what you’ve learned and what you’d still like to find out
more about.
Ready? Let’s do this!
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Set Your Intention
Take a moment to think about your intention(s) for attending this Masterclass. Why are you
joining? What do you hope to gain by participating? Write down your thoughts here.
What aspect of brain health are you looking for solutions to?
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4 Top Brain Myths
Fill in the blanks to complete the sentences on the 4 Top Brain Myths.
Myth #1:
Your risk of getting Alzheimer’s — or other
dementias — is mostly driven by your
_____________ or your luck.
1. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are _____________ diseases, like every other disease
is a _____________ disease. But the ___________ in diseases manifest differently.
2. Only ______% of Alzheimer's cases are driven by the kind of genes with a nearly 100%
penetrance (that if a person has the gene, they are guaranteed to get the disease).
3. So, only about ______% of Alzheimer’s cases are completely unavoidable.
4. The other ______% or more are still ________________, but they're
__________________, and the genes just confer risk.
Myth #2:
Old age means unavoidable ______________
1. There are certain cognitive abilities that may slow or decline, but often, it’s other
___________________ or __________________ factors that are the driving forces. It’s
not simply getting old in and of itself.
2. There are three key elements to optimize brain capacity and cognitive ability
well into old age: ____________________, ____________________, and
3. Complexity means real life activities that encompass _____________ parts of your brain.
So, activities like learning to play a musical instrument or a new _______________, or
learning to dance, sing, or leading a new project, volunteering where you haven’t before,
or playing cards or chess with _______________.
4. It’s not enough for you to do something complex that’s repetitive. After a while it
becomes ________________, normal, and like background noise. You have to
________________ yourself to go to the next level, whatever that may mean. If you’re
somewhat familiar with a second _________________, then increase your skills to
mastery. If you already have excellence in two __________________, start learning a
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5. Make sure that the activity is driven by your ______________. If it serves your
______________, whatever that ______________ may be, you’ll WANT to do it. Your
motivation will come ______________.
Myth #3:
Your brain stops ____________ after a certain age.
1. It’s true that as we age, we do lose _________________ and the important
__________________________ between them.
2. You can grow __________________________ connections and rebuild
________________________ plasticity as you age.
3. Aerobic exercise does several things to promote optimal brain health and function:
Enhances the brain’s _________________________
Improves the integrity of the brain’s _________________ matter.
Promotes the growth of new brain ___________________.
Produces brain __________________ factors.
4. __________________________ appears to be the most significant lifestyle factor when
it comes to generating new cellular __________________________ in the brain.
Myth #4:
____________ and ______________ can drive
lasting habit change.
1. You have to understand how habits are ________________________ if you want to
have success in creating new ones.
2. When motivation wanes, you’re left without ________________ or
__________________________ to keep you going.
3. Create change using SMART goals. The SMART acronym stands for:
S _________________________
M _________________________
A _________________________
R _________________________
T _________________________
4. At the end of the day, it’s ___________________ that matter the most.
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10 Brain Breakthroughs
Fill in the blanks to complete the sentences about the 10 Brain Breakthroughs.
Breakthrough #1:
Adopt The Optimal _________________ Pattern
1. The _____________ diet, a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets,
which promotes whole ________________ foods and limits meat, dairy, and
________________ foods.
2. People who adhered strictly to the _____________ diet had a _________ % lower
risk for developing Alzheimer’s and were found to have cognitive functioning similar to
someone ______________ years younger.
3. The _____________ diet is extremely powerful, and it’s been proven. But it still includes
________________, which is not healthy for your brain, and it also doesn’t especially
emphasize ________________, ________________, ________________, and other
specific foods that have been proven to boost brain health tremendously.
Breakthrough #2:
Forge ________________ Connections
1. Your brain has several distinct parts. And when you build ________________
connections across these parts, you create the potential for ________________
increase in your ________________ capacity. Evidence has demonstrated, rather
clearly, that this is incredibly important to ________________ your risk of Alzheimer’s
and other dementias.
2. You can expand your ________________ connections with any given
________________ by up to ________________ times.
3. These ________________ of ________________ of connections between
________________ may protect you from minor vascular disease, amyloid deposition
- which is an abnormal ________________ accumulation associated with Alzheimer’s
disease, and also from chronic ________________.
4. Having a ________________ of systems and connections in the brain can be one of the
________________ protections against ________________ decline in aging.
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5. Building more ________________ connections doesn’t just give you
________________ brain potency in the ________________ term. It also provides
________________ term protection against possible ________________ and
blockages later in life
Breakthrough #3:
Your Brain Loves _______________
1. Researchers from University College London compiled brain images from London
__________________ and __________________ drivers, all of whom had similar
experiences and jobs in the same region.
2. The study found that __________________ drivers had better brain health,
generally speaking, than __________________ drivers, and had significantly
larger __________________. This is the area of the brain responsible for
__________________ memories as well as __________________ and spatial
3. Specific kinds of challenges, which we call __________________ stress, build
new __________________ connections across dierent parts of the brain. For
example, __________________, playing a musical instrument, and learning a new
__________________ are all great ways to build __________________ connections.
4. Challenging your brain on a regular basis means doing things that are uniquely
__________________ and ___________________ every day.
5. Things like learning a new ___________________, or learning a new musical
instrument, or joining an ___________________ theater class, for example.
Breakthrough #4:
Take Brisk _________________
1. Brisk ___________________ can reduce Alzheimer’s risk by up to ______%.
2. When we ___________________, even in the form of a ___________________ walk,
hormones in our bodies — called ___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________, or BDNF — start to build new, strong
___________________ connections between brain cells.
3. This builds what’s called “___________________ ___________________” — also
known as resilience and plasticity — which further strengthens ___________________
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4. What’s more, even moderate ___________________ has been shown to boost
the ___________________ of new blood vessels to supply the billions of
___________________ in your brain.
Breakthrough #5:
Use These 3 _____________ Strategies
1. The 3 ___________________ strategies are:
2. For _________________ ___________________, aim for ________ - ________
minutes a day, ________ or ________ days a week, with a goal of reaching a minimum
of ________ - ________ minutes a week.
3. _________________ _________________ _________________ are strongly
correlated with the size of the brain!
4. And studies have found that even if you did a _________________ minute
_________________, the benefits are reduced if it’s followed by ________ - ________
hours of being sedentary.
5. It’s important to get up and move around for at least ________ seconds throughout the
Breakthrough #6:
Replace _____________ Stress With
_____________ Stress
1. _________________ _________________ comes from things that move you toward
your _________________.
2. _________________ _________________ makes you stronger, more vital, and more
resilient, which are critical for __________________ and _________________.
3. _________________ _________________ comes from experiences and realities that
are not defined by you, or driven by your _________________ or _________________.
4. The problem with _________________ _________________ is that your brain
never feels a sense of accomplishment, which results in a chronic low-grade
_________________ or _________________ state and diverts energy from other
important functions of your health.
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Breakthrough #7:
__________ Foods Your __________ Loves
1. __________________ consumption can delay cognitive aging by as much as 2 ½ years.
2. People who eat __________________, __________________ vegetables, once or
twice a day, experience significantly less __________________ decline than those who
3. Studies show us that people who drink _________ cups of coee per day at mid-life
wind up with _______% decreased risk of dementia as they age.
Breakthrough #8:
Take Your Brain to the ________
1. When you sleep well, your brain’s janitorial __________________ cells clean up waste
products and get rid of unnecessary neural connections.
2. Chronic lack of sleep then translates to things like __________________,
__________________ fog, and impaired __________________.
3. When you’re not sleeping well, the __________________ cells start eating
away at the good parts of your brain, damaging the __________________ and
__________________ within your brain, and promoting __________________.
4. You can go a long way by — creating a __________________ and
__________________ sleep environment — avoiding __________________ and
__________________ light — avoiding food for at least ________ hours before going to
bed, and having a __________________ bedtime and wake-up time.
Breakthrough #9:
Establish Healthy _____________
1. When it comes to __________________, the foundation of healthy patterns is your
__________________ rhythm.
2. Our __________________ rhythms often get out of whack, due to things like
__________________, __________________ up too __________________, or
generally getting out of our natural sleep __________________.
3. Some things you can do to get your circadian rhythm to work for you include: Establishing
a sleep __________________ and doing your best to stick to it; __________________
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and taking __________________ showers in the __________________; avoiding
__________________, high fat or __________________ foods later in the day; and
__________________ winding down near bedtime.
4. You may find it helpful to keep a __________________ near your bed so you can
__________________ the new __________________ that are helping or harming your
__________________ rhythm, and to help establish a __________________ routine.
Breakthrough #10:
Use ______________ Goals
1. It isn’t our aspirations that shape our destiny, it’s our __________________.
2. Studies show that to make the most sustainable and eective __________________
changes that benefit brain health, we want to implement __________________ goals.
3. __________________ goals allow your brain to know exactly what’s expected
of it, to define goals __________________, and to get a steady stream of
__________________ hits that reward it for success.
4. __________________ goals are one of the cornerstones of the __________________
__________________ course.
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Test Your Knowledge
Complete this quiz after the Masterclass to solidify your learning.
1. The __________________ is the most vascular organ in the body.
2. True or False: Chronic diseases associated with aging cannot aect the brain and
contribute to Alzheimer’s.
3. __________________, not genetics, predicted the longevity of people living in the Blue
4. True or False: A whole foods, plant-based diet has been associated with a
significantly lower rate of dementia.
5. Without reviewing your notes, list as many of the 4 Top Brain Myths and 10 Brain Health
Breakthroughs as you can remember.
4 Top Brain Myths
1. ______________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________
10 Brain Health Breakthroughs
1. ______________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________________________
6. ______________________________________________________________
7. ______________________________________________________________
8. ______________________________________________________________
9. ______________________________________________________________
10. ______________________________________________________________
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Think about all you’ve learned during the Masterclass. Reflect on the questions below and let
the answers come to you without judgment.
Picture a life of thriving, vibrant brain health. What does that look like to you?
Go back to the Set Your Intention part of this workbook. Now that you’ve completed the
Masterclass, was your intention met or not? What else do you want to improve on when it
comes to your brain health?
Was there anything missing that you still want to know about? What other information would
help you feel confident you have the tools you need to protect yourself and your loved ones?
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Taking the Next Step
Congratulations! You’ve completed the Masterclass and its accompanying workbook. We hope
you found it useful and informative.
Now that you’ve unraveled the top brain myths, and know what makes up the foundation of a
healthy brain, you have the opportunity to dive even deeper into the specific steps to take to
protect yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary mental decline.
If you want to find out how to apply all of this information into your daily life, consider joining
us for the Healthy Brain course with Team Sherzai and hosted by Ocean Robbins. By the end
of this course, you’ll know exactly how to boost your brain function and implement the lifestyle
choices that can help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Enroll now and set yourself up for lifelong brain health!
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