By Mike Cohen, Director
Center for Brain
I wasn’t quite 60 yet but had begun to have occasional word retrieval problems. I could be holding a pen and not be able to think of the word “pen.” It wasn’t every day, but there was no doubt something was off and might some day affect my productivity.
When two of my employees confronted me about changes they had observed, I decided to do something about it before a potential brain problem began impacting my daily life and career. I became my own client. I was, after all, treating others with memory loss. Why not apply what I knew to my own situation?
I devised a neurofeedback protocol that I used once per week. After a couple of months the word retrieval problem disappeared. As “insurance” I continued treatments every two to three weeks. Four years later my memory is better than it was 15 years ago. An added benefit is that I’m more organized and productive.
If someone like me, who specializes in brain health and function, can find himself with a memory challenge, it can happen to anyone.
Memory Loss Isn’t “Normal” at Any Age
Too often memory loss is considered “normal” in people who are aging. In fact, memory loss (and processing difficulties like decision-making) is not normal. Furthermore, it’s treatable with neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback helps keep you sharper and functioning better over time. Even those with more serious memory issues such as dementia can optimize functioning or experience a slowing or reversal of mental deterioration.
It’s easy to dismiss memory deterioration as “just getting old,” but it can be more than that. Having even one of these symptoms could indicate that some avoidable deterioration may be taking place:
You frequently lose things, like keys or your cell phone.
You walk into a room and can’t remember what you went there for.
You have trouble retrieving words.
You can’t “put your finger on it,” but you know you just aren’t as sharp as you used to be.
You can’t do as many things “at once” as you used to be able to do
People frequently say they told you something, but you don’t remember it.
You’re told that you’re repeating things or asking the same question.
Why Wait Until the Problem
Is Even More Advanced?
One cause of memory loss concerns alpha waves. In the aging brain alpha waves can slow down, compromising memory and processing speed. That’s why it can take an older person longer to cook dinner, balance their checkbook or figure out what to wear that day. Neurofeedback is perfectly suited for speeding up alpha waves so that ordinary daily tasks seem easier. This is called “brain brightening.”
Customizing With Screening Tools, Brain Mapping and Targeted Treatment
At Center for Brain we have memory screening tests and special functional brain mapping technology that provide insight into what is occurring.
Those tools (1) help us design a neurofeedback program that specifically targets areas in your brain that aren’t functioning optimally and (2) gently encourage these areas to “wake up.”
The Lifestyle Connection
Neurofeedback isn’t all we do with clients concerned with memory. We deep dive into their lifestyles – what kind of nutrition are they getting and how can that be improved? How much do they exercise? What are their hobbies and possible exposure to low level neurotoxins? Have they had whiplash or any impact on their head such as a concussion or a fall?
In one startling case, a man who said he just felt “off” in his daily functioning revealed that he was a sport fisherman who had eaten a lot of game fish over the years. We had him tested for mercury, a known neurotoxin found in larger quantities in larger fish, and discovered he had high levels in his bloodstream. High mercury levels can impact memory!
In another notable case, a woman who had lost much of her speech and some memory told us she was a fine artist who spent many hours daily in a small, unventilated studio working with oils. Oil paint has a lot of volatile organic chemicals that can affect the brain.
In both cases, eliminating exposure to these chemicals, in combination with neurofeedback, resulted in noticeable improvements.
Too many people are being told there isn’t much that can be done for memory loss. That’s just not true.
What About People with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?
Neurofeedback is not just for people with slight memory deterioration. It potentially can help people with early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – and even those with more advanced cases.
A recent neurofeedback study conducted by a neuropsychiatrist in Europe with Alzheimer’s patients reported that subjects experienced a six-point increase in a key memory test, the MMSE (mini mental state examination). This is greater than what has been observed in patients using medications, where score improvement is generally around 1.5 or less.
We look at it this way: If we can help someone with dementia function slightly better or slow their slide, this is significant for them and the people who love them because it gives them more time to be themselves.
Help for Those Who Need to Train at Home
For those who cannot come to the office for treatment, Center for Brain now offers several simple instruments for home use that appear in initial research and clinical application to help people with memory loss.
If you or someone you love has early memory loss or memory loss concerns, visit our office for an evaluation. There are many things that can be done to break the cycle. We have options not likely to be available from your doctor because these are not widely known in the medical community.
It’s critical to do what you can to stop it now.
Playing games like Lumosity and Sudoku aren’t enough. You should do everything possible to address your memory concerns.
It takes time and effort, but people who come to us with memory issues frequently improve.
Call us today for a free consultation.
Center for Brain is located at:
550 Heritage Drive, Suite 140
Jupiter, FL 33458