Neurofeedback for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance and Physical Balance

"Neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) holds potential for retaining brainwave activity to enhance optimal performance in athletes in various sports. Neurofeedback has been shown to have potential for quieting the mind to improve performance in archery. For example, it can also be used to improve concentration and focus, to improve cognitive function and emotional control following concussions and mild head injuries and it has untapped potential to increase physical balance in gymnastics, ice skating, skiing, and other areas of performance. Clinical examples are provided on the use of neurofeedback to improve physical balance and controlled research is called for."

"Research has been done for approxmately 35 years on the use of biofeedback to modify EEG (brainwave) patterns. Initial research focused on relieving anxiety (Hammond,l 2005a; Moore, 2000) and on the treatment of uncontrolled epilespsy (Sterman, 2000), with the latter research including placebo-controlled, blinded studies.

Since that time considerable research has been conducted on the use of neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) in the treatment of ADD/ADHD (Monastra, 2005). and neurofeedback is being applied in treating many other brain-based clinical conditions such as head injuries, depression, stroke, and learning disabilities.

Recent research has also documented the potential of neurofeedback in enhancing optimal performance in high level musical performers (Egner & Gruzelier, 2003) and in dance performance (Raymond, Sajid, Parkinson, & Gruzelier, 2005)."

Read the entire article from The Journal of the American Board of Sport Psychology.

Stroke Patient Regains Sight After Intensive Brain Training

People left partially blind by a stroke learned to use undamaged parts of their brains to improve their vision.

"Thousands of people left partially blind by stroke could regain some of their sight by doing exercises to retrain their brains, according to study.

"Patients who completed an intensive course design by neuroscientist showed a marked improvement in their vision, with some being able to see well enough to drive a car once again.

"Other patients who had struggle to get around in unfamiliar places became confident enough to go shopping and do other everyday tasks such as crossing the road, the scientist said."

Read the entire article by Ian Sample, science correspondent from the Guardian.

Saving Yourself from Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia which destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal.

According to the "2009 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures."
  • Alzheimer's Disease affects 10 million American baby boomers (that is one in eight)/
  • Women are affected at twice the rate of men.
  • As many as 5.2 million people are living with Alzheimer's Disease in the United States, including up to 250,000 under the age of 65.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer's and by 2050 they estimate that the number will more than double to every 33 seconds.

In 1986 Dr. David Snowden, (Snowden 2002) an epidemiologist and professor in Neurology at the University of Minnesota, embarked on an ongoing scientific study involving 678 Catholic nuns from the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The ongoing "Nun Study" has come to represent some of the world's most significant research on aging and Alzheimer's disease.

One of the primary questions the Nun Study attempted to answer was how pathology in the human brain related to Alzheimer's disease symptoms.

Today, it is known that plaques and tangles are the two most important pathological features of Alzheimer's disease. However, results from the Nun Study show that approximately one third of the sisters whose brains were found to be inundated with Alzheimer's disease associated plagues and tangles at autopsy had shown no symptoms of dementia and scored normal results in all mental physical tests while alive! The difference it seems, is "Cognitive Reserve."

Read more of Dr. Stephanie Reese's page on how to save yourself from Alzheimer's disease. 
Learn how training your brain and body can slow cognitive decline as you age.

To Drug, or Not to Drug … Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of both children and adults. In the USA alone, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3-5% of all school-aged children ages 3-19 are diagnosed with AD/HD. However, the Center for Disease Control has stated that the number is more realistically 8-16%, making it the most common “psychological” problem in children and the second most common (after depression) in adults.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, two-thirds of children with AD/HD will continue to exhibit symptoms of the disorder into their adulthood. At the present time, the numbers of adults who self-medicate using alternative means - coffee, or other stimulants - is unknown. . Statistics show that a child with AD/HD usually has at least one parent who also suffers from AD/HD.

Individuals diagnosed with AD/HD can experience difficulties across multiple settings (home, school, with their peers) and can face long-term adverse effects on academic performance, occupational success, and social-emotional development that have a profound influence on the individuals themselves, their families, their schools, and society as a whole.

This disorder has been primarily treated with drugs, in an effort to rebalance brain chemistry. For those who suffer from the inattentive type, or whose brains are functioning at a low level, these drugs are sometimes helpful. However, in many cases we are seeing that the fix is far worse than the disease. A recent study by National Institute of Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland showed that individuals who did poorly on cognitive tasks actually did substantially worse when using methylphenidate (commonly known as Ritalin® or Concerta®). This is a significant finding, because methylphenidate is commonly prescribed for those who do poorly on tasks.

In 2006, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ruled that the strongest possible safety warning (the so-called “black box” warning) be used on packages of attention deficit drugs used by millions of children and adults, because of emerging concern that the drugs may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death. It is important to note that the Drug Enforcement Administration, and all other drug enforcement agencies worldwide, classify methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) in the same Schedule II category as "street" drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, and the most potent opiates and barbiturates. Schedule II includes only those drugs with the very highest potential for addiction and abuse.

Meanwhile, other ailments often accompany the typical symptoms of AD/HD. Leaky Gut Syndrome is often present in AD/HD children, caused by damage to the bowel lining brought on by the use of antibiotics or the presence of toxins, poor diet, parasites or infection. Another symptom associated with AD/HD is sleep deprivation. Twenty years of research has proven that inadequate sleep makes kids more moody, more impulsive and less able to concentrate, severely affecting their ability to learn. These are the same symptoms that can earn kids the diagnosis of AD/HD.

When children are identified with symptoms of AD/HD, often no one thinks to explore whether the child's other health issues might be responsible for the symptoms. BrainAdvantage to provides non-drug therapies to create lasting changes in attention, focus, memory, mood, sleep, while also addressing other neurochemical imbalances, food and environmental allergies as well as heavy metals and toxins.
“If we tell our children that they are broken, and require a pill to fix them, chances are good that they will consider themselves to be broken people, victims, all their lives. If, on the other hand, we tell them that they are having trouble because they are missing some pieces of the puzzle, and here is what they can do to help themselves, then we are enabling them to understand that they are not victims, there is something they can do themselves. We will be honored to be their companions on the journey for a time, until they see the road clearly on their own."