Veteran’s Special

Brain Training of New England Veterans.jpg

In honor of all our Veteran’s, their hard work and devotion to our country, I’m offering a discount on brain training services.  Suffering from head trauma?  PTSD?  Headaches or nightmares?  Sleep or temper problems?  Neurofeedback is an evidence-based practice that heals the problem from the inside out.  Get your life back on track.

Click on the “Schedule Now” button.  Schedule a series of 10 sessions of Neurofeedback and you’ll get a big discount.  I’ll work with you to make this affordable and give you a fast track to feeling better.  Looking forward being part of your healing team.

The Brain Lady,

Pam

Advertisements

Parietal lobes

Parietal lobe.jpgCan you read and write? Do math? Put on your shoes? Read a map? Apply lipstick or know when someone is unhappy? Catch a ball?

If so, thank your Parietal lobes!!!

  • The parietal lobe is complex in that there is a dominant hemisphere and a non-dominant hemisphere. The parietal lobe controls abilities such as math calculation, writing, left-right orientation, and finger recognition. Lesions in part of the parietal lobe can cause deficits in writing, arithmetic calculation, left-right disorientation, and finger-naming (Gerstmann syndrome).
  • The nondominant parietal lobe controls the opposite side of the body enabling you to be aware of environmental space, and is important for abilities such as drawing, being aware of expression, body language and facial recognition. If you can recognize feelings on someone’s face, be grateful to your parietal lobe near the temporal lobe. .An acute injury to the nondominant parietal lobe may cause neglect of the contralateral side (usually the left), resulting in decreased awareness of that part of the body, its environment, and any associated injury to that side (anosognosia). For example, patients with large right parietal lesions may deny the existence of left-sided paralysis. Patients with smaller lesions may lose the ability to do learned motor tasks (eg, dressing, other well-learned activities)—a spatial-manual deficit called apraxia.

Parietal lobe functions include:

  • Cognition
  • Information Processing
  • Touch Sensation (Pain, Temperature, etc.)
  • Understanding Spatial Orientation
  • Movement Coordination
  • Speech
  • Visual Perception
  • Reading and Writing
  • Mathematical Computation

Training with Neurofeedback can assist the brain in making new pathways and support the brain in rewiring itself. Schedule your free demo today to learn more about how Neurofeedback can bring you to a higher state of awareness and function. For the first time in history, we can see our own brains at work and assist its functioning to a higher state of optimization.

I look forward to working with you!

Your Frontal Lobe

Where is it?  It’s the front and top of your head


FRONTAL LOBE BTNE

What does it do?  This part of the brain handles thinking, decision- making, and planning.
You use your frontal lobe nearly everyday. You use it to make decisions, such as what to eat or drink for breakfast in the morning.   It’s where you make a plan for your day, and concentrate on your “To Do” list.  It’s where your personality is formed and why when a person has an accident or injury to the frontal lobe people notice a change to a person’s personality.

Here is a little neuroscience history:

In the mid 1800s, Phineas Gage, a railroad worker, somehow miraculously survived an accident where a large iron pole was driven into his head, specifically into the frontal lobe. After the incident, Gage’s personality was said to have changed dramatically.  His friends and family said that the once kind and hard-working Gage had changed into a lazy and rude man until he died years later. However, this incident allowed doctors and psychologists to analyze the brain and see the importance and functions of the frontal lobe.

 

 

Role of your Temporal Lobes

temporal lobe btne kittery

Clients often ask  me for more detailed descriptions of the lobes of the brain and their functions. For the next few Monday posts I’ll detail the different segments.

The temporal lobe is one of the four sections, or lobes, that make up the cerebral cortex of the brain. Located on the lower regions of both the left and right sides of the cortex (above and around the ears) , the temporal lobe is essential in processing sensory stimuli received from both the eyes and ears. It assists in coordinating speech and spatial navigation and contains the brain structures responsible for long-term memory. This is why when someone has a stroke over their left ear they often lose the power of language expression. Or a bonk to that area might have affected your memory or language processing.

Auditory Processing

  • The temporal lobe contains a section of the brain known as the primary auditory cortex. This region of the cortex is responsible for receiving and interpreting the information transmitted to it by auditory receptors (your hearing) . This part of the temporal lobe assists the brain in determining the location of a sound. While parts of other lobes in the brain play a role in auditory processing, the temporal lobe is the most important.

Speech

  • The temporal lobe located on the left side of the cerebral cortex is essential for speech. This left temporal lobe contains Wernicke’s area, a portion of the brain that is largely responsible for controlling the mental processing needed for speech, including comprehension and verbal memory.

Visual processing

  • The lowest portions of the temporal lobe are responsible for processing and interpreting information from the visual system, especially the most advanced types of visual memory. This portion of the temporal lobe contains the neural networks required for an individual to perceive and remember objects, faces and detailed settings and scenery.

Memory

  • The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe; this structure is one of the most crucial parts of the cortex involved in long-term memory retention. The hippocampus is found not on the outer region of the cerebrum but within the actual lobe, and it allows an individual to retain new memories while storing older ones. These memories can be anything from facts learned by rote or memories of events that occurred in the past.

Spatial navigation

  • Portions of the temporal lobe, particularly the hippocampus, also play a large role in the ability of an individual to navigate spatially and to physically “remember” a place that the person has been before. People with a damaged hippocampus often get lost because their brains are unable to process, spatially, where they have been and where they are going.

Stay tuned to next week when I will write about the Parietal lobes.  Interesting stuff.  To get my weekly blog to your inbox, just press the follow this blog button.

Brain Waves Basic

Four simple periodic rhythms recorded in the EEG are alpha, beta, delta, and theta. These rhythms are identified by frequency (Hz or cycles/sec) and amplitude. The amplitudes recorded by scalp electrodes are in the range of microvolts (μV or 1/1,000,000 of a volt).

rhythm Freq (Hz) Amp(μV)
alpha 8-13 20-200
beta 13-30 5-10
delta 1-5 20-200
theta 4-8 10

Alpha: The four basic rhythms have been associated with various states. In general, the alpha rhythm is the prominent EEG wave pattern of an adult who is awake but relaxed with eyes closed. Each region of the brain had a characteristic alpha rhythm but alpha waves of the greatest amplitude are recorded from the occipital and parietal regions of the cerebral cortex. In general, amplitudes of alpha waves diminish when subjects open their eyes and are attentive to external stimuli although some subjects trained in relaxation techniques can maintain high alpha amplitudes even with their eyes open.

Beta: Beta rhythms occur in individuals who are alert and attentive to external stimuli or exert specific mental effort, or paradoxically, beta rhythms also occur during deep sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when the eyes switch back and forth. This does not mean that there is less electrical activity, rather that the “positive” and “negative” activities are starting to counterbalance so that the sum of the electrical activity is less. Thus, instead of getting the wave-like synchronized pattern of alpha waves, desynchronization or alpha block occurs. So, the beta wave represents arousal of the cortex to a higher state of alertness or tension. It may also be associated with “remembering” or retrieving memories.

Delta and Theta: Delta and theta rhythms are low-frequency EEG patterns that increase during sleep in the normal adult.   As people move from lighter to deeper stages of sleep (prior to REM sleep), the occurrence of alpha waves diminish and is gradually replaced by the lower frequency theta and then delta frequency rhythms.

Although delta and theta rhythms are generally prominent during sleep, there are cases when delta and theta rhythms are recorded from individuals who are awake. For example, theta waves will occur for brief intervals during emotional responses to frustrating events or situations.   Delta waves may increase during difficult mental activities requiring concentration. In general, the occurrence and amplitudes of delta and theta rhythms are highly variable within and between individuals.

Your Brain’s Waves

 Did you know your signature brain wave activity is unique to you.? It has a distinct rhythm and pattern that has developed over time and through habit, much like your own unique fingerprint.

Brain training can help you develop new brain wave patterns that you might be lacking or needing more of for better functioning. For example, if you have difficulty focusing, Beta training will help the frontal lobes have better focus and attention. Or if you have trouble relaxing, theta and alpha programming will help with improved sleep and lowering anxiety. Through operant conditioning the brain learns to reorganize itself and see new ways to use its inherent plasticity. The HPN neurofeedback software whispers to your brain how to heal, much like a little wind in the sails of a toy boat in a tub allows it to skim across the water when you send a puff of air.

Gamma waves are the fastest of the brainwave frequencies and signify the highest state of focus possible. They are associated with peak concentration and the brain’s optimal frequency for cognitive functioning. Nobel prize winning scientist, Sir Francis Crick believes that the 40Hz frequency may be the key to the act of cognition. 40 Hz is the window frequency used in all Brain Sync Gamma and Beta wave programs and where many new programs are headed for optimization. The research is very exciting for all of us in this field, and for you as a client wishing to “upgrade” your brain/mind and achieve a state of optimum.

Can you use brain wave therapy to improve your life? The short answer is a rousing YES!  In and of itself, brain wave therapy will relax you, open your mind to new ideas, inspire you and let you think more creatively. Our brains want to learn and grow. Come experience the how at BraintrainingofNewEngland.com in beautiful Kittery, Maine. Packages available.

 

 

What about Soccer?

Information from Scientific American and Neuroscience Journals

It has become clear that impact sports like football and boxing can cause long-term brain damage. Now soccer is coming under scrutiny. As research is amassed, it appears that excessively heading a soccer ball can injure a player’s brain.  Professional players such as Brandi Chastain, a star of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, are using this year’s tournament to call attention to the brain injury problem.  To learn about the latest science on soccer heading and brain injuries, Scientific American spoke to Robert Cantu, professor of neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute.

What’s the scientific evidence for whether heading a soccer ball can cause brain damage?
Our findings and the findings of other researchers show that heading a soccer ball can contribute to neurodegenerative problems, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Researchers who’ve followed soccer players have seen a close relationship between the amount of heading that a player does and brain abnormalities. There’ve also been studies where researchers compared soccer players to swimmers, and swimmers’ brains look perfectly normal while the soccer players’ brains had abnormalities in their white matter fiber tracts. Nerve cells transmit their messages to other nerve cells by way of their fiber tracts, or axons, and if the brain is violently shaken enough, a person can have disruption of their fiber tracts.

What are the effects of these brain abnormalities?
Excessive shaking of the brain—excessive subconcussive and concussive trauma—can lead to cognitive symptoms, including memory problems as well as behavior and mood problems such as anxiety and depression. Other symptoms include trouble with sleep, light-headedness and headaches.

Do researchers see this brain damage later in life, once someone has stopped playing soccer?
We haven’t yet followed these abnormalities over years. Those studies are ongoing. Do those abnormalities clear up over time or do they not? We don’t know the answer yet. It’s probably some of both.

Is there a threshold of force below which a person can safely head a ball?
The science isn’t there yet. We don’t even have a threshold that predicts the linear and rotational accelerations needed to cause a concussion. The linear forces are measured in gravity, and we’ve measured hits in various sports as high as 150 g’s where people haven’t had concussions and we’ve had other individuals with hits as low as 50 to 60 g’s who’ve had concussions. The other kind of forces—the rotational or twisting forces—which are measured in radians per seconds squared, we also don’t know those forces needed to produce concussions.

We also don’t have a good handle on the threshold needed to produce subconcussive trauma, which are blows to the head that don’t produce symptoms but do produce structural changes observable in neuroimaging.

Why is it taking so long for researchers to understand the effects of concussive and subconcussive impacts on the brain?
It’s a very complex issue. You have biomechanical forces that can be measured, like the linear and rotational acceleration. But we’re dealing with a human, not an inert object in a laboratory. There are a lot of biological factors that influence whether that human being has a concussion: How many concussions that person has had before, how severe those concussions were and how close together they occurred. Other factors include: age—it’s easier to be concussed at an earlier age than at an adult age, and the recovery is slower; neck strength—if you see the hit coming and you have a strong neck, you significantly reduce your chance of a concussion; hydration status—if you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to have a concussion; and sex—women are more easily concussed than men.

What’s your advice for soccer parents? Do you recommend an age cutoff for heading a soccer ball?
We recommend that youngsters under the age of 14 not head the ball in soccer, not play tackle football and not full-body check in ice hockey. Impacts to the head are more damaging under that age, due to a number of structural and metabolic reasons. The brains of youngsters are not as myelinated as adult brains. Myelin is the coating of the neuron fibers—kind of like coating on a telephone wire. It helps transmission of signals and it also gives neurons much greater strength, so young brains are more vulnerable.

Youngsters also have disproportionately big heads. By the age of five, their heads are about 90 percent of their adult circumference, but the neck has not nearly developed to that point. They have big heads on very weak necks and that bobblehead-doll effect means you don’t have to impact the head as hard to cause damage.

Soccer: the most popular team sport in the world. Millions of people play the game and over a billion people watch the World Cup soccer championship.

What a game! Where else do people use their heads to bounce balls going 100 kilometers/hour?
Although soccer is a relatively safe sport, the game does involve contact. This contact can be:

  • player-to-player
  • player-to-ground
  • player-to-goalpost
  • player-to-ball
As you might expect, most (50-80%) soccer injuries affect the feet and legs. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that the contact that occurs while playing soccer is at the same level as during boxing, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rodeo and wrestling and field hockey.Head injuries account for between 4% and 22% of all soccer injuries. Can this contact cause brain damage? Let’s look at the data.