scamIf you remember just one thing, please let it be that the so-called “Memory Restoration Program” —  just like so many of the schemes targeted to people who are concerned about memory-loss caused by dementia or Alzheimers —are $37 rip-offs.  The Memory Restoration Program is the name of given to a slick e-mail based advertisement floating around the Net supposedly authored by Brent Stephens and John Simmons, Phd. The emails send you to an even slicker web site asking for the “low price” of $37 for what appears to be a booklet about dietary changes “guaranteed” to fight off debilitating brain diseases.  This particular offering is a textbook version of the numerous other $37 infoscams that have infected the Web over the last three years.

If this claim looks familiar, it probably is — it is almost identical to the questionable other brain health offerings also hawked on the Internet — and it was probably conjured up by the same marketers .  They almost all charge the mysterious $37.   Here’s how it works:  you are treated to a videomercial that touts the “proven way to perfect improve your brain”.   Is it a scam?   Is it a rip-off?  Does it work?   You’ll never find out, largely because of an increasingly pernicious Internet industry that uses fake product review sites to hide customer reactions.   You’ll also never be able to find out about the credentials of the authors — none apparently exist on the Internet, nor are they provided at his own alleged web site.    So, should you spend the $37?   We recommend not, for the following reasons:

1.  There’s a reason this sales pitch is slick — they spend a lot of marketing money to get it to you.   Who is paying for that?  You are.   And, like many scammers, they are using Clickbank to sell their ebook so don’t assume you’ll get a refund.  “Rock solid guarantee”…..don’t bet on it.

2.  If you look for a review of the product, you are deluged with lots of fake review or “scam” sites that simply direct you to the main sales site or offer some pablum talking about how the product is highly rated or recommended.   (such as scamX.com, scamreviewz.com and infoscamreviews.com)   The marketers for this service paid to have these fake sites thwart any customer looking for real reviews.   It is also a tactic to obscure any customers who have posted complaints or alerts about fraudulent claims.

3.  The authors are unknown.  If the website fails to feature the credentials of the author and/or if a Google search turns up nothing about this person, you can bet this is a marketer driven product.   We were unable to find a “John Simmons, Phd” who admits to writing this “system” and he has no connection to UCLA, as claimed in the marketing materials.  They reference the Semel Institute of Neuroscience at UCLA, but that brain research institute has no connection at all to this scheme.   All these marketers have done is seize upon a 2013 finding that iron accumulation is correlated to Alzheimers and they’ve built an entire marketing scheme around it.   They target copper, hydrogen peroxide and other common items in most everyone’s life;  nothing scares you more than the unavoidable. They rely upon that fear factor to convince you to cough up your $37.

4.  Perhaps most importantly, there is an abundance of free or low-cost Alzheimer’s and dementia information on the Internet.    Amazon offers a number of ebooks that cost nothing and provide the kinds of well-established brain exercises that can help.  And very reputable medical institutions such as Harvard and the Mayo Clinic offer free and documented information.   Harvard, in particular, warns that excess weight,poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the major factors linked to brain disease.  The Mayo Clinic suggests use of brain exercises, such as those offered by a number of legitimate Internet companies who offer FREE interactive brain exercises: NeuronationMind Games, Brain Matrix, as well as low-cost offerings by BrainHQ and Rosetta Stone.

More importantly, recent science suggests that some Alzheimers’ symptoms can be reduced and, perhaps, reversed.  But the key steps needed are eliminating all simple carbohydrates from your diet, increasing consumption of fruit, vegetables and non-farmed fish, incorporation of yoga and meditation and daily supplements including vitamin D3, fish oil, coenzyme Q10, melatonin and for women to resume hormone therapy, if they had ended it.  While the supplement part of this recommendation is somewhat controversial, the lifestyle changes are not;  they promote healthfulness, which is an essential element in keeping the brain healthy.   Finnish and Swedish researchers recently released results of a multi-year study in which they followed more than a thousand people (ages 60 to 77) at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Those who changed their habits to include nutritious eating, regular exercise, and intellectual pursuits performed at least 25 percent better on tests of memory, thinking, and problem solving than did other people who kept the same routine. This was enough to delay a dementia diagnosis by two years and reduce the prevalence 25 percent. Had the interventions started earlier in life, the findings might have been even more dramatic.

There is a plethora of free and peer-reviewed analysis, like this, on the web and new studies that are revealing more light into the causes and treatment of Alzheimers.  Current scientific evidence shows the best ways of keeping your brain healthy include:

  • Physical exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Social interaction
  • Sound sleep and daily naps  (usually between 2-4pm)
  • Simple but nutritious diet high in vegetables and low on processed foods

5.  These kinds of offerings generally like to tout that their information is controversial and contains information that Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Brother or some other such authority is trying to keep from you.   Sure enough, the Memory Restoration hawkers call their video a “breakthrough” that the “pharmaceutical industry” and “nursing home companies” don’t want you to know about.   And they use all of the marketer-driven catch words: “revolutionary”, “secret”, “incredible” and “amazing”.   It’s a textbook snake oil pitch!  A sloppy one at that….rife with exaggerated claims.

6.  The testimonials offered in the video do not offer the full names or backgrounds of the individuals who are touting the product in very terse, well-crafted and well-lighted videos.

You don’t have to spend $37 to get information about how to improve your memory. We recommend that you check out these low-cost or free books or web-based sources before forking over $37 to the faux doctor.   And beware ANY Net-based sales pitch that has uncredentialed, slick video presentations with no independent reviews. It may not be a scam, but it is probably a rip-off because it is overpriced for what it is offering.   In this case, there’s lots of good vision exercises in the marketplace offered at a fraction of the cost of the so-called “Memory Restoration Program”.    In fact, this one is free and is quite credible. Save your hard-earned money.

One additional warning:  once you give them your money, you’ll be tagged as “meat”.  Once they know that you’ll fall for this pitch, the same marketers will be coming back to you over and over and over for other such pitches.  So understand that if you pay these marketers anything….let alone $37…..they’ll continue to hound you with more slick schemes designed to prey on your fears and concerns.  Our advice: don’t open your door or wallet to them.