Virtual Reality and Life Habits to Prevent and Reverse Alzheimer's Disease with Jacob Hamman
Simplify your life. Do less—better.


Hello, and welcome to The Getting Simple Podcast. In this episode, Jacob Hamman (@jcbhmmn) shares with us how virtual reality and healthy life habits can help prevent and reverse Alzheimer's disease.

You can listen to this episode on iTunes, Castbox or Stitcher.

Jacob grew up in Phoenix Arizona. After studying architecture at the University of Southern California (USC), he worked as an architect at Gehry Partners for seven years. He holds a Master in Design Studies in Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he developed Archiverse, an immersive virtual reality modeling environment to create massing models at early stages of the design of a building.

Jacob's life shifted after his mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Inspired by the work of Dale Bredesen, he decided to research how virtual reality could help prevent and reverse Alzheimer's disease. The system he currently develops at Zenjoi incorporates a series of engaging cognitive and physical exercises, healthy life habits, and stress-reducing therapies into a virtual reality world to reduce the risk to suffer cognitive decline.

He is also one of the members of Growy, a startup that re-envisions the food distribution system by bringing locally-grown food to our houses. Jacob and his partners describe this exciting adventure as an "in-home gardening companion and social platform for sharing knowledge of healthy and delicious food."

Episode Notes

  • Gehry Partners is an international architecture firm established by Frank Gehry in Los Angeles, California in 1962.
  • formZ, AutoCAD, and Rhino are two- and three-dimensional modeling tools.
  • Contact 3D scanners probe the subject through physical touch, while the object is in contact with or resting on a precision flat surface.
  • Virtual reality is a computer-generated scenario that simulates a realistic experience.
  • Archiverse is an immersive, full body design interaction virtual reality environment to create massing models at early stages of the design of a building design, developed by Jacob at Harvard GSD.
  • Leap motion is a hand tracking device for virtual reality.
  • Zenjoi is using the latest virtual reality technology to seamlessly combine physical and cognitive exercises with personalized stress-reducing therapies.
  • The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen. (See it on Amazon.)
  • Brain HQ is an interactive brain training program built by by Posit Science Corporation.
  • Early-onset Alzheimer's is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed before the age of 65.
  • Reminiscence therapy is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as "the use of life histories – written, oral, or both – to improve psychological well-being. […]"
  • Alive Inside is a documentary about the power of music to re-activate certain connections and trigger past memories.
  • Google Earth VR allows you to travel anywhere in virtual reality by using Street View with a virtual reality headset.
  • 1Second Everyday (1SE) by Cesar Kuriyama is a mobile application to create a video diary wiyh the photos and videos in your phone.
  • A Landscape of Memories: Aging Disasters is a project developed by Nono in which a player—inside a brain being damaged by Alzheimer's disease—has to fight virus to recover a series of memories embedded in three-dimensional cubes and audio clips. clips.
  • Lumosity is a brain training mobile application "create by scientists and game designers."
  • Google Photos (and other services) bring back alive photos from previous events and years. This is what we refer to as "nostalgia bombs."
  • Sleepcycle is a sleep analysis and alarm clock mobile app.
  • The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferris. (See it on Amazon.)
  • The ketogenic diet is "a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet" which, according to Wikipedia, "can provide symptomatic and disease-modifying activity in a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders […]"
  • Growy is a startup that re-envisions the food distribution system by bringing locally-grown food to our houses. Jacob and his partners describe it as an "in-home gardening companion and social platform for sharing knowledge of healthy and delicious food."

Thanks for listening!


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March 1, 2018

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