By Amy Geiszler-Jones
Photography by Madison Ham
At AgeWell Brain Center and now Opti-Life in Wichita, Dr. Eva Henry puts an emphasis on living and aging well.
“It’s not about treating disease, it’s about optimizing health,” said Henry of her practice. She opened her neurological practice, AgeWell, 15 years ago, and most recently was named the medical director at Opti-Life, a new health and fitness center in northeast Wichita.
Henry doesn’t take a typical, traditional approach to medicine. In part, her nontraditional approach was shaped by her own illness. While serving as chief resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and later developed fibromyalgia, insomnia and chronic fatigue, partly due to medication side effects. She saw top experts in hematology, rheumatology and other specialties to treat her condition.
“I got put on more and more medications but they were only treating my symptoms and I still didn’t feel well,” she said.
So Henry called upon her fellowship training in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, taking a more integrative approach to her own condition. She took into account nutrition, genetics, hormones and other factors to create a more holistic picture of her health. Now she’s pharma-free.
Henry has created a similar, holistic program for her patients called “Stay Sharp” to help optimize brain health and reverse cognitive declines.
“I’m not opposed to pharmaceutical medications because it’s helpful when it’s needed, but I like to look at the root causes and not just a pill for an ill,” Henry said. “When the root causes of symptoms are corrected, medications can then be weaned off, and a far more sustainable health can be achieved. That’s what I call true health care as opposed to sick care.”
Patients in her Stay Sharp program, which is not covered by insurance and can start at about $5,000, receive comprehensive testing, including an MRI, an EEG to test electrical activity in the brain, genetic testing, nutritional testing, hormone testing and more. They also receive the necessary hormone and nutritional supplements that they require over the program’s six-month duration.
“This is customized, personalized medicine,” said Henry, who according to her website is the only brain specialist in Kansas to hold dual board certifications in adult neurology and anti-aging regenerative medicine. “Patients who come to me want to be well before they get sick.”
She’s also studied with noted Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Dale Bredesen, author of the book, “The End of Alzheimer’s” and developer of a protocol that reportedly can reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Henry said she chose to specialize in neurology because “the brain is the most mysterious, complex and beautiful organ.”
By optimizing one’s health, the brain can work at its peak potential. In the last decade, studies have shown that the brain can continue to form and reorganize its synaptic connections, which is known as neuroplasticity, Henry noted.
“We shouldn’t accept the thinking that the brain deteriorates with age,” she said.