Evidence Based
2.8 /5

A Review of “Why Isn’t My Brain Working”

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

“Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” is a popular book on cognitive function by Dr. Datis Kharrazian. Read Joe’s review & critique of the book here.

A Review of “Why Isn’t My Brain Working”

I decided to go through “Why Isn’t My Brain Working” after some clients asked me about it and it got good reviews (4.8 stars).


  • While I didn’t glean any “big” new insights, I picked up various small tidbits of information, which was nice. Overall, it wasn’t a waste of time.
  • He talks about hormones and neurotransmitters and some root causes as to why they may be malfunctioning.
  • He is open-minded and cognitively flexible, which means he doesn’t get fixated on single themes as much as other people.

The BAD:

  • Too much fluff and stories.

He makes rookie mistakes such as:

  • Thinking tiredness after meals comes from insulin resistance. This is only a small fraction of fatigue. I explain post-meal fatigue.
  • Talking about adrenal fatigue too much, which I debunked.
  • Emphasizing leaky gut too much. A leaky gut does play a negative role in health, but it needs to be put into perspective.
  • Thinking that the circadian rhythm is in the hippocampus. He has a line where he says adrenal issues from chronic stress manifest themselves in the hippocampus as an altered sleep-wake cycle. This is terribly wrong on all fronts. The hypothalamus and in particular the SCN is responsible for the altered sleep-wake cycle. And the adrenals have nothing to do with it. It’s more like CRH from the paraventricular nucleus causes circadian dysregulation in the Suprachiasmatic nucleus. Rookie mistake.

It’s unfortunate that alternative health leaders such as Dr. Datis Kharrazian are making these mistakes because he trains other doctors, who are learning the outdated material and will stick with it because they can’t think for themselves and do their own research.

People need to understand that the question shouldn’t be whether someone is right or wrong about a topic. What matters is the emphasis that is placed on different topics.

For this blog, I’ve emphasized some things too much and other things too little, but as I expand my content, people will get a more balanced picture.

To have a balanced view, it is critical is to have a panoramic view of the body and treatments. Only then can you start putting things into perspective. As I learn more, I shift my emphasis and this will continue to happen.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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