The XX Brain
Updated: Sep 30
In our September 20/20 Book Club selection, The XX Brain, Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell, explores the groundbreaking science of the female brain and provides women with a roadmap for reducing their risk of dementia. Read the book this month and then join the author for a book talk on October 15 to discuss her latest research on women's brain health and actionable steps for optimizing your brain power.
About The XX Brain:
Until now, medical research has focused on “bikini medicine,” assuming that women are essentially men with breasts and tubes. Women—deemed too difficult to observe given the way estrogen fluctuates their cycle—have been largely ignored. Enter Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell, who confronts this crisis by making female brain health her life’s work. As the author of The XX Brain, she writes the first book to address cognitive enhancement and Alzheimer's prevention specifically in women and frames brain health as an essential component of Women’s Health. She empowers women
with a revolutionary, scientifically-proven plan to maximize cognitive health and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease affects twice as many women as men, even adjusting for their longer lifespans. This disease is a major threat to women’s health. Less than 1 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are the result of genetic mutations. Except for those rare cases (or something to this effect), DNA won’t impact a woman’s likelihood of developing dementia nearly as much as her hormonal status, lifestyle, and medical report card, but this information is widely unknown. The XX Brain provides the information women have been lacking. Dr. Mosconi introduces tactics to protect the female brain, including tips for stress reduction, restful sleep, and a specific diet proven to work for women.
She also examines the controversy about soy and hormonal replacement therapy, addresses the dangers of environmental toxins, and examines the role of our microbiome. As a board-certified nutritionist, neuroscientist, and native of Italy (the country with one of the highest life expectancies for females), she offers concrete recommendations about improving brain health along with recipes that reflect her knowledge of nutritious food. With 20 meal plans and recipes to follow—along with detailed lifestyle advice—she gives a roadmap of how to stay healthful and mitigate the growth of the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
By filling out the thorough questionnaires in Dr. Mosconi’s book, The XX Brain, women can discover how prone they are to Alzheimer’s and follow her tips to reduce their risk. Dr. Mosconi creates personalized plans for women, depending on their results to her carefully crafted quizzes. Though some health books capitalize on fear and sweeping generalizations, Dr. Mosconi takes a positive, individualized approach to treating a dangerous—yet, in some cases—preventable disease.
As the reverberations of the #MeToo movement continue to shake America, women’s health is the final frontier. This book is at the forefront of a change we need: information about the way the female brain works, so women can mitigate the risks of cognitive decline. With Dr. Mosconi’s personal story of her grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, paradigm-shifting research, and actionable solutions to a prevalent disease, she inspires women to enhance mental acuity, memory, and brain functionality to reduce their risk of dementia and optimize their brain power.
About the Author:
Dr. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, is Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she serves as the founder and Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative, and Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic. She also is an adjunct faculty member at the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Mosconi holds a dual PhD degree in Neuroscience and Nuclear Medicine. A world-renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Mosconi is ranked amongst the top 1% of scientists of the past 20 years by official metrics. Her research is focused on the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease in at-risk individuals, especially women, using brain imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Mosconi is passionately interested in how risk of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented through the combination of appropriate medical care and lifestyle modifications involving diet, physical and intellectual fitness. She is the author of Brain Food and The XX Brain.