Neurofeedback: A Powerful Tool for Cognitive and Developmental Testing and Rehabilitation

Neurofeedback: A Powerful Tool for Cognitive and Developmental Testing and Rehabilitation

QUANTUM HEALTH

The latest in research, and news~

(A reprint from a past Guest blogger, Andy Robbins with Midwest Metagenics you can follow him at http://quantumhealth1.blogspot.com/ ) as always I appreciate the support of our program and your thoughts, Andy, thank you!

Once in a while I run across a device or therapy other than that of nutritional protocols that I feel is important to share. Neurofeedback is one such therapy that holds promise for those with cognitive issues and for parents with children who have developmental challenges.

Sometimes referred to as EEG (Electroencephalogram) or Neurotherapy, Neurofeedback is the process of training a brain to learn to modify or control the brainwave activity through auditory and visual feedback. Neurofeedback is a gentle method of creating a balance within the central nervous system. It is painless and non-invasive in its approach.

The training process is measured by use of pictures on a computer screen and sensors on the head. The approach can be compared to potty-training. An individual is taking an internal organ and training it to respond by feedback. If a patient is producing an amplitude (strength of a signal) in a specific frequency level that is within the parameters that the technician has set, then music will begin and the picture will move. If the individual is outside those parameters then the music and the movement stops.

The process starts with a compilation of the participants emotional, behavioral and cognitive abilities, concerns and personal goals. After a thorough meeting involving some standardized tests and reviewing their social history a profile is created. The profile is used to develop academic and cognitive strategies for school, home and work. This profile is a starting point for memory, problem solving, reasoning and speed processing enhancement.

Most individuals will be asked to come as often as possible in the beginning of their therapy. It is not uncommon to come 5 days a week in the beginning. The first twenty sessions are the most important. The central nervous system is learning a new neuronal pattern and just like exercising any muscle the more it is practiced the more habitual that movement becomes. The total number of sessions vary and are dependant on the individual, their progress and their personal goals. A common number of therapy sessions range from 25-40.

Computer games, board games and card games are many times used during the session as a method of teaching a new cognitive strategy. Relaxation techniques such as autogenics, visualization, Hemi-Sync music and diaphragmatic breathing are taught to the individual as well.

Many times “home work” is given to the family so they can continue to practice at home, school or at the workplace.

EEG neurofeedback helps many different disorders and conditions. It seems to be effective for several reasons: It helps to remind the body how to relax the muscles, which allow the nerves to “let-go” and not respond until needed. It also allows the blood to flow through the body at a normal rate and volume keeping blood pressure lower during daily activity. Most disorders or conditions are affected by stress. Therefore, as the body reacts to the stress in a different manner the characteristics of these diagnosis’ will decrease.

Conditions that can be treated by neurofeedback are:

• Anxiety Attacks
• Apraxia
• Aphasia
• ADHD
• Autism
• Bi-polar Disorder
• Depression
• Dyslexia
• Hypertension
• Learning Disabilities (LD)
• Migraines
• Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
• Pain Management
• Stroke
• Tourette Syndrome (TS)
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Benefits to Expect:

Improved Sleep:

• Falls asleep within 20 minutes
• Stays asleep
• Wakes Refreshed

Cognition:

• Improved memory skills
• Increased flexibility in thinking
• Heightened sense of documentation and focus
• Increase in the speed of processing information
• Better reasoning skills
• Able to think faster
• Better skills in strategizing and deduction

Behavior:

• Better sense of self control
• Better social skills
• Less anxiety
• Less needless body movement
• Less impulse behavior
• Less obsessive/compulsive behavior
• Reduction of addictive behavior

Attitude:

• More involved with family events and discussions
• More willing to share ideas and thoughts
• Happier and more content
• More composed physically/mentally
• Better self confidence
• Reduction of stress related behaviors such as headaches, nail biting, twisting hair, hair pulling, motor or vocal tics

I was introduced to neurofeedback through my friend and client, Dr. Lise’ DeLong, PhD, who is the founder and director of Cognitive Connections on the southside of Indianapolis and in Walnut Creek CA. Dr. DeLong also offers a variety of nutritional protocols related to cognitive function and stress that are very useful for a variety of conditions. Her website offers some compelling case studies on Neurofeedback. http://www.cognitive-connections.com/.

Creative Ways to Teach the Basic Subjects

Creative Ways to Teach the Basic Subjects

Zombie science and math!!  Well, I can say I am not a fan of the Zombies…BUT, what a creative way to get the attention of what could be the next generation of scientists’!  The brain is such a complex organ and taking the time to share how it manifests the symptoms in a manner that our youth will comprehend is what is missing in our education system.

Books are a WONDERFUL “tool” but we have got to the point in schools that they are basically our only method of teaching (in many cases).  Most people cannot sit for 7 hours straight and stay attentive, not too many of our adults can do that!  And yet we have our children sitting for hours on end trying to stay quiet and focused day after day.  

 In the STEM program, Mayim Bialik took the way the brain learns using; emotional draw, subject matter of peak interest, graphic content, colorful visuals, an absurd subject, horrific content and created an educational platform that allows students to formulate ideas, draw conclusions, and create hypothesis’.  

It is time for our schools to give ‘guidelines’ and allow teachers to be creative as they teach these traditional subjects.  If we look at why most private schools are so successful we see smaller class size therefore, more individualized attention.  We can also see fewer restrictions on our teachers as to ‘how to teach’ instead they have some creativity in their own area of expertise.   

As an founder and administrator of a private school I understand how difficult it is to constantly be creating a program that demands alternative ways of learning.  But I was also witness to daily programs such as STEM.  Incredible teachers facilitating learning using music, dance, drama/puppetry, language, literature and the visual arts.  The more restrictions a teacher has the less ability they will have to generate interest in that subject matter.  The most successful schools have teachers that have been able to introduce their personalities, their passions and their love for learning into their program.

As we approach a new school year, as parents, let’s be active in the PTO’s/PTA’s and help our teachers with programs that will inspire creativity and ‘thinking outside of our restrictive boxes’ that we have created in our educational system.  

Happy school start and BE CREATIVE FOLKS !!!! 

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’ 

 

The Prefrontal Cortex… What Havoc it Can Cause!

The PFC... What Havoc it Can Cause!

Do you know anyone that just seems to be in slow motion?

They may have a difficult time getting started with a task; some may find it hard to work through the task quickly! I have even found some people will procrastinate and come up with reasons for why they cannot get started or complete a project. Hmmm…sound familiar?

Our ‘thinking part’ of the brain, sometimes referred to as the CEO of the brain, lies just behind the forehead. This area helps us modify our behavior, deciding what is appropriate therefore, letting us use our best behavior. The PFC takes in ALL the information from the rest of the brain and then determines what our thoughts and actions should be to achieve our goals.

Focusing attention, organizing thoughts, problem solving, foreseeing and weighing possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

Questions to Ask Yourself these about Decision Speed:

Do you have difficulties with…

• Slow reaction time
• Responding with speed
• Tiring Easily
• Speeding through carelessly or respond too slowly
• Perseverating (repeating actions or comments w/o awareness)
• Procrastinating
• Starting a task
• ‘Thinking on your feet’
• Response Inhibition (self-control)

+ 3 if this is ALWAYS a problem
+2 if this is SOMETIMES a problem
+1 if OCCASIONALLY a problem

Add together, If your total is 7 or more you may benefit from a specialized NeuroCognitive Skill enhancement protocol from Cognitive Connections!

Misophonia- Does it Annoy You to the Point of Anger to Hear Someone You Love Breathe?

Misophonia- Does it Annoy You to the Point of Anger to Hear Someone You Love Breathe?

“Misophonia – literally the hatred of sound -can be defined as a hypersensitivity to background sounds or visual stimuli that are generally ignored by other people. More importantly than the individuals inability to block out the offending stimuli or “trigger” is the acute negative emotional response experienced as a direct result of being in contact with a trigger.

The response has been described as a reflexive emotional flood of rage and panic with a storm of fight-or-flight reactions becoming paramount. Adrenaline flooding, face flushing, heart-pounding and/or shaking and the need to physically flee or attack are often experienced. The mindful thoughts that the emotional reflex/response is unreasonable given the facts of the stimulus is often actually harmless come only after the fight-or-flight response is in full force and the affected person may find themselves in a constant mode of “talking themselves down” into a normal state of calm.

The majority of trigger stimuli are counted as harmless or just part of every day to day life by the “normal” person, but to a person inflicted with Misophonia, they are a tremendous burden, often the analogy of nails down a chalk board or exposed nerves have been used to describe the disturbing response.

Often a sufferer is forced into a life of isolation, shrinking away from the general population and the offending triggers, not by choice but out of necessity for their sanity. Many withdraw from social occasions due to the fear and anxiety caused that a trigger may be present. Often relationships are destroyed due to misunderstandings and misdirected negativity. Work opportunities are reduced or obliterated altogether.

When asked how they feel, a sufferer will often detail the tremendous levels of guilt and turmoil they feel due to their reaction, their fear of an ever collapsing tolerance and the ever increasing restrictions imposed on them by the condition.

Although the initial list of Triggers was thought to be focused around soft sounds or eating and bodily noises it has since been identified that an ever increasing list of audio and visual stimuli may trigger the above reaction. Not everyone who has this condition is affected equally, with some being unaffected by trigger noises that torments others, while others still seem to have no negative response visual stimuli but are completely overcome by sounds.”

http://misophonia.com
(Join their forum for others who suffer with Misophonia)

Some Common Triggers~

* pen-clicking
* chewing
* whistling
* ahhs after drinking
* burping
* chewing
* crunching (ice, other hard food)
* gulping
* gum chewing & popping
* kissing sounds
* nail biting
* silverware scraping teeth
* slurping
* sipping
* licking
* smacking
* spitting
* sucking (ice,…)
* swallowing
* talking with food in mouth
* tooth brushing
* flossing
* tooth sucking
* wet mouth sounds
* jaw clicking

Interesting components

* Mostly enraged by the sounds of someone close that they love making these sounds; a sibling, parent, spouse, or best friend
* Misophonia usually becomes a problem in Pre-teen ages
* They can produce these same sounds themselves and usually are not bothered by them
* They are usually very remorseful afterwards feeling bad and guilty for hurting others

Misophonia is increasing in attention in the press and the medical field. I am seeing more people in my office with this condition and I find I am having wonderful results relieving people of this chronic state of fight or flight response.

If you or anyone you know has an unusual response to somewhat simple sounds in our environment to the extent it is making life difficult to live, please contact us for more information!

A Thought from Dr. Lise’

What Drives our Behavior and Fuels our Addictions?

What Drives our Behavior and Fuels our Addictions?

Dopamine: a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating the brain to create an urge for an action. These urges are typically followed by a feeling that triggers an action. We have a drop in blood glucose levels, resulting in hunger. We have an urge for sex we lust after our mate.

This ‘action’ is then rewarded with positive feelings of pleasure. We are thirsty, we then drink and now we feel satisfied. This creates a feeling of contentment or fulfillment.

When there is a breakdown in the brain and an individual isn’t able to have the neurotransmitter when it is needed it can be devastating. In the motor area of the brain it creates conditions such as Parkinson’s affecting the ability to create purposeful movements. When the higher brain functions are affected the result, although more subtle, might be to lose the urge for self-protection and take higher risks.

However, if too much Dopamine is present, the person my never feel satisfied once they have completed their ‘action’ and therefore are in a constant state of ‘desire’. This produces a constant hunger, or an inability to quench their sexual needs an anxiety that continues even when no threat is present.

Here is a graphic displaying the high and low levels of Dopamine and the effects that this Neurotransmitter can have on our body.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’