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Neurofeedback Blog – Page 4 – Synergy Neurofeedback
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Neurofeedback Blog

Neurofeedback for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Neurofeedback for cognitive decline and dementiaCognitive decline and dementia are some of the more serious problems facing an aging population today. Dementia increases in prevalence with age, with a doubling of prevalence every 5 years [1]. It is a progressive disease process affecting families, carers, health and social care providers. Cognitive impairment is an important part of the diagnostic criteria for dementia. The most commonly used screening instrument for cognitive impairment is the MiniMental State Examination (MMSE) [2].

Neurofeedback functions to change EEG brain waves over time. As scientists continue to isolate the brain structures and processes involved with cognitive decline and dementia, neurofeedback specialists have developed protocols to assist with these disorders.

Neurofeedback Training at Home

Neurofeedback can be a long process that involves travel to a practitioner’s office a few times a week to get your treatment. You may not be convenient to our location in Fort Collins- in certain cases you may not need to leave the comfort of your own space. Did you know brain training can be done at home using your computer?

EEG headset and Iphone app- Neurofeedback Training at HomeAt Synergy Neurofeedback, we use a cutting edge neurofeedback system that allows you to do your brain training at home with your own computer or tablet and a special set of EEG headphones, designed to both receive biofeedback and provide stimulus for the patient.

At- home neurofeedback training can help with the symptoms of many disorders, including ADD, depression, anxiety, or just used to improve the overall performance of your brain.

Neurofeedback Brain Training for Achieving Peak Performance

neurofeedback for sports performancePeak performance has become a buzzword these days, as anyone from high end athletes to CEO’s can tell you. We modify our intake of food, substances or supplements, and implement other practices that we hope will lead to an increase in our work productivity, or possibly trim a few swings off our golf game.

Neurofeedback brain training is a method for achieving peak performance- changes in the brain translate to changes in physical performance. It starts with an EEG brain map to assess areas of your brain that need “tuning”. After neurofeedback sessions begin, your objective progress is measured by subsequent EEGs. Subjective changes are noted in terms of work or athletic productivity, psychological and perceptive changes, even fine motor control or balance.

Neurofeedback and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

neurofeedback and chronic fatigue syndrome

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trinity/159078562

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include:

  • weakness
  • muscle pain
  • impaired memory and/or mental concentration
  • depression
  • insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities [1]

In Western medicine, there is no known cure. Symptoms are treated with medications like antidepressants and tranquilizers depending on the individual patient’s unique symptom presentation. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve muscle and joint aches that often accompany CFS. Fibromyalgia syndrome and CFS are often overlapping conditions.

Neurofeedback- a Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders

neurofeedback for autism

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57570482@N06/

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

From the National Institute for Mental Health (NIHM):

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

  • Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
  • Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities
  • Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
  • Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled.[1]

Traditional therapies are limited to medication and behavioral therapy, both of which can provide some assistance with the wide range of challenges someone on the spectrum of autism might encounter. Neurofeedback has shown great promise as a tool to help patients on the spectrum with various symptoms, including speech, motor and sensory integration issues, and sociability.

Pain Management with the Assistance of Neurofeedback

chronic painChronic pain is notoriously difficult to treat, and like many complex disorders is best handled by a team of health care practitioners. Chronic (long lasting) pain is associated with a shorter life span, as well as co-morbidity with heart and respiratory disease. People with chronic pain tend to have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

In Western medicine, the first line of defense is opioid pain killers, which often come with side effects, and can cause other health problems. Psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy have been shown to be helpful. With alternative therapies such as neurofeedback, acupuncture,  or yoga, pain can be managed without side effects, decreasing the need for medication, decreasing co-morbidity with other illnesses, and improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

Neurofeedback and Post- Stroke Recovery

neurofeedback for stroke recoveryStroke remains a leading cause of long-term disability in the United States at a cost of $38 billion per year. About 650,000 persons survive a new stroke yearly and 7 million Americans live with the complications of stroke [1]. Conventional therapy has traditionally involved physical, occupational, and speech therapy, but changes in protocols are currently occurring at a rapid rate due to new scientific discoveries.

Pharmacologic interventions, cell-based and biologic therapies are expensive and come with a wide variety of side effects. Neurofeedback is non-invasive, completely safe and side- effect free, and cost effective compared with conventional medicine.

Recently neurofeedback has gotten some deserved recognition as a viable therapy for post-stroke recovery, even years after the event. A number of studies have confirmed what neurofeedback therapists have known for years- neurofeedback can bring about profound improvements in stroke recovery outcome.

Neurofeedback for Addiction Treatment

Neurofeedback for Addiction TreatmentThe field of addiction treatment has been struggling for years to improve it’s overall efficacy rate. An exciting addition to the tool box has come recently through the widespread rise in the use of neurofeedback for addiction treatment. Research suggests that neurofeedback training can be helpful for those who are struggling with addiction.

As is being recognized, addiction is a multi- faceted disease that requires an integrated treatment approach. The traditional model of 12- step based recovery is outmoded and has been shown to be widely ineffective in keeping addicts or alcoholics clean and sober. The view is that addicts are morally flawed and lacking in willpower is a stigma the disease is only starting to overcome.

Treating PTSD with Neurofeedback

A veteran with PTSDPTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has gotten a lot of press lately as many veterans return from the wars in the middle east with trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as

These cases are often complicated by TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury. In fact, the two can be intrinsically related and co-generating. Depression is often the result. Neurofeedback treats both conditions, so is becoming one of the complementary therapies of choice in the treatment of PTSD.

Neurofeedback and the Science of Epigenetics

Epigenetic mechanismsFor a long time, we have collectively believed that directly inherited genetic traits play a major defining role in who we are and how we turn out. The new science of epigenetics is changing how we think about inherited traits, as it becomes clear that proclivities for certain behaviors shared by our parents are more than just learned. By inheriting genes with certain sequences “hidden” due to methylation (see below), we can become pre-disposed to certain behaviors, levels of stress hormones or neurotransmitters, and even certain diseases.

Epigenetics is defined as “the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself”. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that occurs by the addition of a methyl (CH3) group to DNA. DNA methylation is an active process, constantly occurring and altering biological functioning as cells read DNA sequences for instruction. DNA methylation is vital to healthy growth and development- it enables the expression of retroviral genes to be suppressed, along with other dangerous DNA sequences in existence.