March Blog: Brain Awareness Week, March 11-15

As Brain Awareness Week approaches, the neuroscientist in me is inspired to talk about some of the tools we have available to optimize anyone’s neurological functioning. The field of neuroscience is exploding with new discoveries for healing dysfunction and advancing performance. At NINH, two of the applications we have available are Neurofeedback and Constant Therapy.

Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback. It involves putting a cap of electrodes on the head of the person you are training and recording all of the brain activity. We are now able to map one’s whole brain and compare the functioning to a pool of normative data. We can then see whether your brain is functioning within the average range in all areas. If it is not, or you want to improve performance, then we can retrain your brain by making new connections or strengthening the ones that are there. The best part of neurofeedback therapy is that you don’t have to talk! You get to watch your favorite show or movie and control it through your brain. You can also play videogames without touching controllers, just by the use of your brain. Neurofeedback has been used to treat trauma, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It is also now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as other progressive disorders. If you are interested in having your brain mapped…let me know and we’ll get you scheduled!

Constant Therapy is a computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program.  For people who have had strokes, or children who are delayed in cognitive development, this program is game-based and can be customized per client. The therapist takes baseline data and then assigns the client with daily homework for the client to complete on a computer or tablet. The data is then sent to the therapist each week and the therapist can add more tasks or change the difficulty level of the task until the desired goal is met. This is always free for the therapist, and the client gets 30 days free before having to pay a set fee to the company each month. With this program, the data is objective proof of improvement in skill level and people enjoy the activities.

For further information on these programs or activities to do for Brain Awareness Week either in therapy, school, or community settings, check out the following websites:

www.sfn.org/Outreach/Brain-Awareness-Campaign

www.brainmaster.com

www.thelearningcorp.com/ConstantTherapy

Susan McLaughlin-Beltz, MA, PhD, CCTP, President

NINH