Can brain injury cause autism?

Autism is an issue that we're still trying to unravel. its not an illness like measles, its a combination of neurological symptoms along a spectrum which are different for each autistic individual. there have been possible links identified with genetics, heavy metals, immune disorders, vaccinations, epilepsy, toxins, allergies, oxygen deprivation and head injury just to name a few.
Anything which causes a brain to dysfunction on a permanent basis by altering the structural or functional integrity of the neurology can cause the various groups of symptoms, which we have come to recognize as autism.
Therefore knowing there are those who have suffered brain injuries, that resulted in symptoms which lie on the autistic spectrum, the answer has to be, sometimes a brain injury can lead to autism, but not all head injuries cause autism.
Can brain injury cause autism?:
Autism may be caused from head trauma, depending on what areas of the brain are involved.
The good news is there are answers to both rewiring the brain to heal injury and eliminating other issues related to autism
Call BrainAdvantage today for more information.

Smoking Increases Depression and Anxiety

Smoking increases depression, anxiety
Are you smoking to ease anxiety and depression?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30 percent of inhabitants in the western world smoke daily.Besides the health issues most commonly linked to smoking such as lung cancer, smoking is also linked to psychological problems.Studies have shown that those people with mental health problems are twice as likely to smoke as the rest of the population.

Anxiety and depression are the most common complaints from those who smoke and are often both present. Many smokers claim they smoke to “calm their nerves”. In fact, many smokers will tell you that they can’t stop smoking because right now they’re just too stressed. They need that cigarette to calm down.

After much research I found there is a link to smoking and anxiety/depression. But not the link you’d think. Not only has smoking has been shown NOT to calm the nerves; it might just be the cause of depression and anxiety in the first place!

Cigarettes contain an addictive stimulant drug, nicotine. Nicotine is known to cause excitement and intensify your worries to make them seem bigger than they are… which can lead to more anxiety. Smoking causes major depression as well because when a smoker is not smoking, the nicotine in the blood stream decreases and the feeling of excitement drops dramatically. When this happens, depression sets in. The body starts to crave that old feeling which is why smoking is so addictive.

Ironically many smokers who have anxiety and depression and actually managed to successfully quit smoking have reported feeling much less anxious and depressed not long after they managed to stop the habit.

If you are having these problems, thankfully there is help to stop the anxiety and depression and make quitting and staying off smoking much more easy. Call BrainAdvantage today for more information.

Mild Asperger's Syndrome

Mild Asperger's Syndrome
Could your child have Mild Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome is a higher functioning level of autism. Those with mild Asperger's syndrome have even fewer noticeable symptoms. they are therefore sometimes difficult to diagnose and may not be identified until later childhood or even until they are adults.  Additionally,  every case of Asperger's is unique, with people experiencing an individualized set of symptoms. These Symptoms of may include:

  • Trouble with two-way communication: in other words, they don't listen to the other side of the conversation.  
  • Difficulty with social cues: they may say or act inappropriately and seem oblivious to others' reactions. They may miss someone's subtle attempt to leave a conversation.
  • Social awkwardness: trouble making a connection to form and maintain relationships and friendships. 
  • Trouble with verbal cues: Can't understand verbal instruction and needs visual cues to learn.
  • Mindblindness: A newer term meaning, taking things too literally and not understanding subtle language and emotional cues
  • Limited  interests: they may have a narrow range of interests and no interest in participating in other 's activities or subjects.
  • Compulsive: prefers a rigid routine and gets irrationally upset when the routine is disrupted.
  • Sensory processing disorder: over-sensitivity to sounds, sights, physical contact or tastes.
  • Motor skill issues: some limitations in both gross and fine motor skills. For example, may have taken longer to learn how to ride a bike or gain skill at handwriting during childhood.
  • Obsessions: He has an unusual ability to focus intently on a favorite activity or subject for hours without noticing the passage of time, other people or his environment.
  • Repetitive behavior: includes unusual rituals or repetitive actions in a strict routine such as hand flapping or rocking back and forth. Many of these repetitive actions are performed in a very specific manner. For example, they may flap their hands four times before opening a door.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Does your child look like this??
All children have their "special moments". That is those times when they are too tired, too frustrated or too over-stimulated to cope with life's travails.  After all, a child's frontal cortex that gives them the ability to think through these critical issues won't mature until they're in their 20's. 
But for some, these times of extreme behavior are ongoing and result in a rigid inability to cope, creating a defiant attitude and a refusal to follow rules. They might lash out in an attempt to hurt themselves or others and end up very unhappy in their relationships and lives. Their self-esteem plummets. For parents this is particularly difficult as reasoning with this type of child is difficult and the child might even lash out at those who are trying to help them the most.
For those who are worried their child might suffer from Oppositional Defiant Disorder, here is a list of symptoms to watch for:
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Excessive arguing with adults
  • Often questioning rules
  • Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
  • Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
  • Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Frequent anger and resentment
  • Mean and hateful talking when upset
  • Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking

But take heart, there is an answer. For these children there is help. brainAdvantage therapies give them the tools to cope and the ability to calm the area of the brain that controls fight or flight and let's them control their behaviors.

ADHD Compulsive Lying

Many ADHD children have a hard time sitting still in class. Any noise in their environment will pull their attention immediately. Many times they act before they think and friends will sometimes start to distance themselves.
ADHD Can Cause Compulsive Lying
ADHD individuals are sometimes unable to use past experiences to judge future ones. 

These individuals struggle to fit in everywhere and so have very low self-esteem. Some start compulsive lying. They tell lies to their friends to make themselves feel more important. They lie to teachers and family to try and save themselves the humiliation of yet another argument. Everyone is angry…including the child. They do not understand the problem. They might not even understand they are not telling the truth. 

They aren't bad kids, indeed most are quite bright.  Teachers and parents think they’re lazy and just acting out; they start not to care and so there’s always trouble at home.  However, both the parents and teachers have failed to understand that this is not something they set out to do intentionally. They have an inability to use the executive function in their brain. That part that modulates behavior that helps them think about past experiences and how they will affect future ones. With this part of the brain not working, they are unable to inhibit poor behavior and poor decision making. 

They just don’t have the ability to use those parts of the brain that would help them function easier. For example, having a “sense of time” is an executive function such as the ability to know how long it takes for 2 hours to pass when your mother says, "Be home in 2 hours". An ADHD child is playing video games at a friend’s house. Before they know it, 3 hours have passed. They lack the ability to shift focus and activities, knowing when to quit playing and go back to work. For this reason they never stop to complete homework. But they never set out not to do the work. Other things just got in the way.

Behavioral issues stem from an inability to separate emotion from fact. It is hard to logically think when all that is top of mind is the emotional trigger from the heated encounter. Being able to step back and think out a peaceful solution rationally is difficult. So an ADHD child reacts first and thinks later.

For all these reasons and more, ADHD individuals have very low self-esteem. They believe they are broken. There's something wrong with their brain that sets them apart. They tend to push away those who are trying to help and can be very inflexible. These children find it very hard to explain their behavior because they can't visualize the future or even remember the past. Imagine rolling down a mountain road towards a cliff in a car with no brakes, being so consumed by the fact that there are no brakes that you neglect to note the upcoming cliff. For someone with ADHD, life is just about the few seconds of road. If all you had to consider were those few seconds, then lying about whether you finished your homework seems logical. Why spend those precious seconds in trouble?

So, what can we do for these children? We help give them tools to enhance brain function and give them control. We work on all the issues keeping them from being able to live their lives productively. We improve auditory and visual processing skills to help their brain interpret better what they see and hear as well as eliminating distractibility. We help the brain and body to work together to coordination, balance, organizational and sequential skills. We help them to improve function in the frontal lobes to help those executive functions, depression and improve self-esteem.

For more information contact BrainAdvantage today.

Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's syndrome is a neurological disorder that typically starts in childhood. Although only about 3 in every 1,000 people have Tourette's, Males are three to four times more likely than females to develop It.

Tourette's syndrome
Tourette's Syndrome
Symptoms of Tourette's can include unusual repetitive movements or uncontrollable sounds called tics. For instance, you may repeatedly blink your eyes, shrug your shoulders or jerk your head. In some cases, you might unintentionally blurt out offensive words.

At certain times, like when a person is under stress, the tics may become more severe, more frequent, or longer. Or the type of tic may change altogether.

BrainAdvantage therapies can reduce the strength and frequency of tics . Contact BrainAdvantage today for more information

Depression Among Teenagers

Most of us feel unhappy at times. But for teenagers, an extra dose of hormones to the many other changes taking place in a teen's life, makes their moods swing like a pendulum. Today 1 in 5 teenagers, twice as many girls than boys, will experience depression.

Depression Among Teenagers
Depression Among Teenagers
There are multiple reasons why a teenager might become depressed. For example, teens can develop feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over School performance, social status, sexual orientation, or family life . At that point in their lives, many can't imagine life past tomorrow or any positive solution to the issue at hand.

Often, teenagers with depression will have a noticeable change in their thinking and behavior. They may have no motivation and even become withdrawn from their friends.

Teenagers with depression may sleep excessively, have a change in eating habits, and may even exhibit criminal behaviors such as DUI or shoplifting.

Suicide is also a risk for all teenagers with depression.

Many times family member desperate to help a depressed teen will turn to medication. The first medication tried is usually a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Most of these drugs are not approved for those under 18 years of age. For many, these medications work for only a short time, if at all, and may make matters worse. These drugs have been shown to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and adolescents.

Brainadvantage helps teenagers eliminate the depression, raise their self esteem and learn skills to control their thoughts and behaviors.
For more information, contact Brainadvantage today!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    One in 50 adult Americans is afflicted by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is defined by having ongoing irrational, intrusive, troublesome thoughts or images. Some also have compulsions to perform rituals like locking the door six times in a row before leaving the house. OCD can be an extremely disabling condition as it robs a person of life enjoyment and functionality. These obsessions and compulsions can cause overwhelming anxiety.

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    When people start to get into that loop of compulsions and obsessions, its hard to stop.

    People with OCD are not "crazy," although they may sometimes feel that way because they are troubled by thoughts and actions that they know are inappropriate. Typically they believe they are the only ones who have irrational, obsessive thoughts, and are therefore often ashamed and afraid to tell anyone or to seek help. It is important to know that having OCD is not a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower in stopping the thoughts and behaviors. It is thought to be an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

    Fortunately, OCD is a treatable disease. BrainAdvantage provides several non-drug therapies for fast, effective relief of OCD.

    For more information, contact BrainAdvantage today!

      Concussion, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI

      Concussion, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI
      You do not have to be unconscious to suffer a brain injury!

      Brain injuries are a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. About 75% of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury.

      Each year, emergency rooms treat an estimated 173,285 sports- related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents, from birth to 19 years. During the last decade, ER visits for sports-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60%.

      Overall, the activities associated with the greatest number of TBI-related ER visits included bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer. But the truth is TBIs occur in all sporting activities.

      Many Injuries are ignored or dismissed as “just getting your bell rung.” But you do not have to be unconsciousness to have a TBI!
      Signs that you have a brain injury can be seen by others as well as the injured person.
      Here are a list of signs typically noticed by others:
      • Appears dazed or stunned
      • Is confused
      • Forgets instruction
      • Moves clumsily
      • Answers questions slowly
      • Mood, behavior or personality changes
      • Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
      • Can't recall events after hit or fall
      Here are a list of signs typically noticed by injured individual:
      • Headache or "pressure" in head
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Balance problems or dizziness
      • Double or blurred vision
      • Sensitivity to light or noise
      • Feeling sluggish, hazy, groggy or foggy
      • Concentration or memory problems
      • Confusion
      • Just doesn't feel "right"
      Many times those who have suffered with a concussion or TBI are told just to relax and wait for the brain to heal and the symptoms to go away. Once the physical side heals, others think the person is back to normal. Much of the time, however, this isn't the case. The post-concussion symptoms can be devastating and take much longer to heal. They can include:
      • Headaches or neck pains that don't go away
      • Difficulty remembering, concentrating or making decisions
      • Slower speaking, reading, thinking or acting
      • Getting lost or easily confused
      • Feeling tired all the time, having no energy or motivation
      • Mood changes (feeling angry or sad for no reason)
      • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or trouble sleeping)
      • Light-headedness, dizziness or lack of balance
      • Urge to vomit
      • Increased sensitivity to lights or sounds
      • Blurred vision or eyes that tire easy
      • Loss of sense of taste or smell
      • Ringing in the ears
      Anxious to heal, TBI patients often push themselves to try and take on those things they were doing before the accident. This can cause more problems because they have not let the brain heal. Some say they feel fatigued, as if they have been without sleep for days. They sometimes liken it to a constant meditative state. During these times there is no inner chatter, just quiet darkness. During these times the brain is trying to heal itself and therefore goes “offline.” When this happens they can be physically unable to stay connected mentally.
      The good news the brain is an amazing organ. It can learn to rewire and heal itself. Using a selection of therapies, it is possible to help the brain heal much more quickly.
      Contact BrainAdvantage today to see how quickly and effectively our programs work to heal the brain!

      Autism Chemical Connection

      Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S. Although 50 years ago only 4 or 5 out of 10,000 were diagnosed with autism; today its 1 in 88!

      Autism Chemical Connection
      Toxins can make the symptoms of ASD worse!
      ASD is a general term used to describe a very complex combination of issues. Each autistic individual can have a different list of challenges. However, typically, ASD symptoms can be characterized by difficulties with social interaction, over-sensitivity to environment, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal challenges.

      The cause of autism is challenging since there are so many different types of symptoms which can be part of the syndrome. However, research suggests that there is a link between toxic chemicals and autism. According to The National Academy of Sciences, 3 percent of all neurobehavioral disorders in children, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are caused by toxic exposures in the environment and that another 25 percent are caused by interactions between environmental factors and genetics.

      The Children's Environmental Health Center (CEHC) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has created a list of the top 10 chemicals found in consumer products that are suspected to contribute to autism and learning disabilities. They are:
      • Lead
      • Methylmercury
      • PCBs
      • Organophosphate pesticides
      • Organochlorine pesticides
      • Endocrine disruptors
      • Automotive exhaust
      • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
      • Brominated flame retardants
      • Perfluorinated compounds
      Children are much more vulnerable to these toxins then adults. In March of 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that children run a much higher risk of developing cancer when exposed to mutagenic contaminants, or “those agents that cause a permanent genetic change in a cell other than that which occurs during normal growth”( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2003) compared to adults. For a child under 2, they reported the risk at 10 times higher than adults and for children 2-15 it was increased 2-5 times. The key to this increase is children are growing faster and so their cells are dividing more rapidly making their cells more vulnerable to DNA damage. Over the last few years, BrainAdvantage has helped many autistic individuals. We made it a practice to have all autistic patients tested for toxins and heavy metals as it is common to see significantly high amounts in their systems. Eliminating these toxins and metals from the system is helpful as the brain is trained to function better through the program.

      For more information contact BrainAdvantage today!

      Natural Treatment for Anxiety Depression

      Lady with crazy anixety who needs natural treatment for anxiety depression.
      Do you ever feel like this??
      Anxiety and depression many times go hand-in-hand. Stressful situations can trigger anxiety symptoms which can include a variety of symptoms ranging from panic attacks and phobias to performance anxiety and stage fright. When anxiety takes over, the brain reacts by being overly vigilant which, for extended periods, actually undermines its own ability to function well. This problem can compound itself resulting in a loop. For example, as the person observes them self becoming more anxious, they then panic, which exacerbates the problem, and then ends up becoming even more anxious. The result is panic and the inability to calm the brain down. Most people then become quite depressed over their inability to control their situation and themselves. This is essentially tantamount to getting in your own way.

      Once you are in that loop, anxiety and depression become your natural state. As we are creatures of habit, it can be quite difficult at that point to make a conscious change.The good news is that this condition is highly responsive to BrainAdvantage’s natural brain training and entrainment techniques. By allowing the overstimulated parts of the brain to calm down, it then is able to regulate itself better; it subsequently can also handle life’s normal (and unusual) challenges much more easily. Once the brain has been trained to self-regulate the mechanism by which it gears up for the challenges it faces, then the brain is no longer as vulnerable to the downward spiral of anxiety and depression. In other words, once you learn how to ride the bike, without the fear of falling, you no longer fear falling, thus getting out of your own way and riding the bike.

      If you are looking for a natural treatment for anxiety and depression, contact BrainAdvantage today!