Lessons Learned From A Traumatic Brain Injury, with Josh Perry

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

BMX rider-turned motivational speaker Josh Perry has experienced many ups and downs when it comes to the health of his brain. The lessons he’s learned along the way, however, could benefit anyone, whether they’ve had a TBI or not. In the fourth and final episode of a series on traumatic brain injuries and the recovery process, Dr. Daniel Amen, Tana Amen, and Josh discuss the most important principles to keep in mind when recuperating the brain.

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Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is brought to you by Amen clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain spect. imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We're here with Josh Perry, and before we get into it, what is the one thing you've been struggling with that you need to overcome? What one idea did you get from this series of podcasts? Post them on any of your social media channels. #brainwarriorswaypodcast.
Tana Amen: I learned one thing. What did you say? Are you on self or on purpose? I love that. That's what I learned. This is really good you've been really great. This is fantastic.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So post that-
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: -on Tana Amen-
Tana Amen: Yeah. I am acually going to post that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: -#brainwarriorsway.com You can actually learn-
Tana Amen: I'll post that and tag you.
Dr. Daniel Amen: -more about Josh at Josh Perry P-E-R-R-Y, bmx.com, joshperrybmx.com. He's a speaker, he's also a ketogenic consultant, brain tumor survivor, articulate, passionate, we're so grateful to have you with us.
Tana Amen: What are you on Instagram?
Josh Perry: JoshPerrybmx, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn-
Tana Amen: So it's just Josh perry
Dr. Daniel Amen: BMX.
Tana Amen: Josh Perry bmx, okay.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Josh Perry's taken, so we're going to have a problem with Instagram.
Tana Amen: Yeah bmx, Okay.
Josh Perry: [inaudible 00:02:07]
Dr. Daniel Amen: And I didn't know about the keto consultant. My granddaughter Emmy, when she was 5 months old, started having wicked seizures, in fact, in one day she had 160 of them. And, my daughter texted the videos to me and it was like she was being electrocuted, and they wanted to put her on a medicine that was twenty-six thousand dollars a dose that had more side effects than you can imagine, including wiping out your immune system.
Tana Amen: Completely.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And I'm like what about the ketogenic diet, it decreases seizure frequency in children by fifty percent and the doctor laughed at me so, I fired him.
Tana Amen: Yeah. Well I knew that...
Dr. Daniel Amen: I don't like it when people laugh at me.
Tana Amen: I knew that went south the minute that you said, "Do you read?"
Dr. Daniel Amen: And she's been basically seizure free for seven years and...
Tana Amen: Yeah there's like seventy studies.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Now, I'm not a fan of the ketogenic diet for everyone, because I'm a huge fan of plants and colorful fruits and vegetables, but for some people, especially with things like brain tumors-
Tana Amen: Seizures
Dr. Daniel Amen: -for people who have ADD, it can be really helpful. For people who have OCD, it actually makes them more OCD because they don't have the carbs that turn into serotonin. But, it's fascinating and I'm always interested in the science behind that. But, let's talk more about some of the lessons you've learned and some of the questions you might have for Tana and I about diet or rehabilitating brain trauma, whatever is on your mind.
Josh Perry: Yeah for sure. So first I would love to get your perspective on what Ryan and I did with our third scan using exogenous ketones, and I remember everyone in the office saying oh we're not sure everyone's on the fence that we're gonna see a change or not because of this trait versus state, and we were just like all right well we still want to try because you know Dr. Lowry, his research is ketogenic diet and supplements. So and then me, I got into it the third diagnosis they were like, yeah we think you have a genetic disorder called Neuropyron Ptosis.
And I was like man. Neuropyron Ptosis are genetic? Genetics. I learned about that in brain brain. So let's, y'all been eating high fat, low carb? Let's try out a ketogenic diet, 100% got over hunger. Boom, boom, boom, and then after two years, now there is no progression. And after I left competition at 17, I was like, well how do I provide for myself? Not turning down sponsors. Not competing anymore. Let's help people make some changes. And my buddy Miles, we started out as a client and working with me. Over a year ago, he had three to five, sometimes seven seizures a day, after two years of multiple brain surgeries and he got 1200 medications. Now they want to cut him up again. So his mom reached out and I was like hey, I'm not a doctor, I coach people through this, just make lifestyle changes. I'm here to help but you got to understand that I can't guarantee-
Dr. Daniel Amen: On the, when you did the keto scan did you do it at rest, or during concentration?
Josh Perry: During concentration.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Okay. So I have up your concentration, your regular scan. And the keto scan actually dropped blood flow for you. Actually pretty significantly.
Josh Perry: Is that in the pre [inaudible 00:05:35] as well?
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yes.
Josh Perry: I'm just trying to understand, he's like well that it dropped here, but it improved in other areas. So I'm not really sure how to explain it. That's all I'm going to ask you about that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Your limbic brain went really up. But you tend, so when you concentrate it's not a typical ADD scan. When you concentrate your frontal lobe's actually active, compared, well let's see. This is baseline. You see this? We can show this on the podcast. And this is concentration.
Tana Amen: Oh.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So do you how much more activity they are?
Tana Amen: Yeah that is unusual. So it gets better not worse when you concentrate.
Dr. Daniel Amen: But on the ketogenic scan-
Tana Amen: It dropped.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It drops.
Tana Amen: And it doesn't do that right away-
Dr. Daniel Amen: And the Cerebellum drops too.
Tana Amen: -Because typically we would recommend a higher protein diet for people with ADD because it does help them focus. But there are some people who it sort of is reverse. Where if they increase in attention, you are kind of reversing.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah. So at least for that moment in time, it doesn't look like it improved the health of your brain much. I mean you know it just is what it is.
Tana Amen: But here's the thing Josh you probably learned this at INN. We're not into diets of any kind. Because the first three letters in the word diet are die. So we're into individualized health care. That's why we run your numbers when you come in. I will never tell someone keto is good or bad. I will never tell someone being a vegan is good or bad, even though we see it's not as good for most people, but it can be great for some people, if they are willing to supplement. I will never tell someone that being a caveman is good or bad. It really depends on you. It's you as an individual, what's missing in your profile. What do you need to supplement with?
So really it's very individual and that's why we-and sometimes it's a little bit of trial and error. So yeah it's very individual.
Dr. Daniel Amen: How do you feel when you're on a ketogenic diet?
Josh Perry: I feel ten times better than before.
Tana Amen: And that's a big piece of it.
Josh Perry: Yes. But I also eat real food now. And so-
Tana Amen: Well that's a big piece of it.
Josh Perry: I eat chicken and steak here and there from chickens I just keep them in supplements or fasting, or just the way I eat you know, I don't eat starch, sugar for the most part. But then there are times where I have sweet potato or berries or I over eat nuts that day or nut butter. And even like my cheat meal, that I talk about, which isn't regularly to be a cheat meal, I don't like saying that. It's real food still. It's you know
Tana Amen: Right, you're not going out and pigging out on you know doughnuts and french fries.
Josh Perry: If you want to get McDonald's you know, and get a milkshake from somewhere down the road, it's real food.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Costco has a new doughnut cake.
Tana Amen: Oh God.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I just saw that in the news this morning. Other questions.
Josh Perry: So like I said before, when I posted the video of Dr. Alley explaining the whole how many concussion thing, how much [inaudible 00:08:50] not only but they protect mostly against skull fractures-
Tana Amen: Yup.
Josh Perry: Not so much the soft, butter brain we have.
Tana Amen: Yup.
Josh Perry: I got a lot of lash back from the Phoenix community that advocate that got how many, or what really it was to get awareness of how detrimental hitting your head can be, whether you get knocked out or not, get a concussion or not, and how we can prevent future damage through life style. Mindset, nutrition, and exercise.
Tana Amen: So think of this. Why do people get arrested for shaken baby syndrome?
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Tana Amen: Because it doesn't matter if you have a helmet on or not when your brain shakes, even if you didn't slam it into something, just the shaking when you're constantly, if it's getting jostled around really heavily, and when you hit something it really gets jostled. It goes back and forth. Okay you get a coo contra coo type of movement going.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And most people don't know that. When I played football when I was in high school, I thought that protected me. And so you could hit someone as hard as you wanted to-
Tana Amen: Thinking you were protected but it matters.
Dr. Daniel Amen: But the brain is not anchored in your skull.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And so when it stops, like if you're on a bike and you fall. And all of a sudden you brain stops, it then bounces inside your skull-
Tana Amen: Like shaken baby.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And often say if God would have used me as a consultant, I would have put bumper guards around some of those sharp, boney ridges in the skull.
Tana Amen: You would have done many things differently, we know.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Just needed a consultant that's all.
Tana Amen: Okay, let's not go there. You're going to be God's consultant okay. So anyways. Yeah so that's one of the things. But what I love that you say is that if people are going to do brain damaging sports, football is not going away. BMX is not going to go away. Because people love it, it's exciting, and people will watch it. As long as that's going to happen, it's not going to go away. So if that's going to be the case, at least be on a brain rehabilitating program, the whole time. All the time. Not once in a while, not after you get hurt. Does that make sense?
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And looking at a-
Josh Perry: That's what I'm [inaudible 00:11:08] too, where he's like every NFL athlete, hockey athlete should have exogenous ketones, rather than sugary gatorades that have a lot of bottles.
Tana Amen: For sure.
Josh Perry: The benefits, of the neuro protective benefits while they're competing, or have they hit their head. That's what my real passion for a ketogenic diet, obviously ketones comes a lot from Dr. Dom, and Ryan's work, looking at glucose inprimate when you hit the brain. Or when you hit your head and the brain becomes prepared to utilizing glucose and all these things so, my other question actually-
Tana Amen: And Garret's here.
Josh Perry: -have for you guys is, would, I would love to be able to have Ryan and I chat with you guys one day about our passion for ketogenic supplements in the diet for brain health and optimization. And I guess that, this is what I wanted to say before, I look at it as a tool or a life style. There's a lot of people who are like how do you stay [inaudible 00:11:58] all the time? And I tell them. The majority of the time by my choices but then yeah, I'm going to have some sweet potatoes. I'm going to have some berries. I'm going to have some nuts or I'm going on a trip to Italy and maybe I'll indulge a little bit one meal. That's the debate. It's not vacation indulgence.
Tana Amen: Right.
Josh Perry: It's one meal.
Tana Amen: It's one-right. That's what we say.
Josh Perry: Yeah. It's just like that life style piece. That's something I love. Yeah I want to see if you guys would be into one day having Ryan and I chat with you guys, specifically what are y'all questions. So more prepared for that.
Tana Amen: Of course.
Josh Perry: We want to see your perspective and maybe we can collaborate with his facility, the applied sport performance institute Tampa. And you guys can do some stuff, you can test me.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah, no we'd be happy to do that. I love this quote by Drew Carey, eating crappy food is not a reward. It's a punishment.
Tana Amen: Yeah see that's how I think of it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And so when I do the right things, I feel good about myself.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And now just given what I know, when I do the wrong things because I've gone too long without eating or I'm stressed or a passed habit gets triggered, then it really irritates me and it irritates me because I love myself. Because I want to live a long time. I want to be healthy. I want it to be at the way. I want to be, I want my numbers to be great. Well so-
Tana Amen: But it all goes back to that labeling and what we talked about before with how you language. So it's a cupcake, people are like I don't want to be deprived. But if you think of the cupcake as the deprivation, because this being here with you is purpose. Right? I'm vibrant, I'm healthy, I get to be here with you helping people. Then this cupcake becomes deprivation. It's all about how you think of things.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The cupcake is a weapon.
Josh Perry: If we had the priority of our brain health, it's like why say things like oh, well I feel fine now. I've got to die somehow. I hear that all the time and I'm not trying to be judgmental here but perspective is so off, it's torturous.
Tana Amen: It's just kind of sad.
Josh Perry: It's so hard not to be judgmental in that aspect, when it's like love your brain, it's [inaudible 00:14:10] to love yourself.
Tana Amen: It's not about how you die, it's about how you live.
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Great. Well you can learn more about Josh Perry at joshperrybmx.com. You can also follow him on instagram, joshperrybmx. We are so grateful-
Tana Amen: Yeah it was really great.
Dr. Daniel Amen: -for your time and for your passion and for allowing us to tell your story, your expertise, thank you so much. And for our listeners, what is that one experience that you've had to overcome or that you are currently overcoming.
Tana Amen: Yeah what made you collapse?
Dr. Daniel Amen: What one thing have you learned from this podcasts that you can apply to your life?
Tana Amen: And are you on sulf or are you on purpose? Love that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Post it on any of your social media channels, #brainwarriorswaypodcast. Also go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com, leave us a review, leave us questions, we're so grateful that you are a brain warrior. This is the brain warriors way podcast.
Tana Amen: If you are enjoying the brain warriors way podcast, please don't forget to subscribe so you will always know when there's a new episode. And while your at it, feel free to give us a review or 5 star rating as that helps others find the podcast.
Dr. Daniel Amen: If you're considering coming to Amen Clinics, or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from Brain MD, you can use the code podcast10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at Amenclinics.com, or a 10% discount on all supplements at brainmdhealth.com. For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.