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(CBS News)-- If you make good decisions about your physical and your emotional health, you literally can slow down or even reverse the brain s aging process, according to award-winning psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age.

Amen, whose four clinics across the U.S. do brain imaging over the last 20 years, has found that over time, the brain becomes less and less active. However, you can make changes to your life that can affect change in your brain.

This is particularly apparent, Amen said, in relation to weight.

He explained your your weight can actually affect your brain size. As your weight increases, your brain decreases in size and function.

We published two studies this year (on that topic), Amen said. It s really quite terrifying. ... With two-thirds of our country overweight, one-third obese, it s a serious crisis. But the exciting news...is if you get on the right program, a brain smart program, you can reverse it.

Amen s suggestions include eating a good diet perhaps with a simple vitamin supplement and also avoiding brain injury, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins.

Amen also talked about the importance of taking steps early in life to avoid the risk of Alzheimer s disease and dementia. For more on that watch the video in the player above.

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