2.7 /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 Datis Kharrazian are making these mistakes because he trains other doctors, who are learning the outdated material and will stick with it because they can’t think for themselves and do their own research.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, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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(13 votes, average: 2.69 out of 5)

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