Neuro-Degenerative Conditions: Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia

Neurofeedback for super aging by Ru Knox
@RuKnox

Neurofeedback for Super-Aging.

Neurofeedback for super aging by Ru Knox
@RuKnox

Quality of Life improvements with neurofeedback.

Neurodegenerative Diseases and Conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis can be addressed with neurofeedback training to improve quality of life

Neurodegenerative Conditions include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease; MND / ALS; Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis. 

Neurofeedback training is a complementary therapy that can improve life quality in many evidence-based ways. 

Life Quality improves with neurofeedback training

Personalised Brain Training aims to improve life quality by restoring a healthy sense of self.

Sleep improves with neurofeedback training

Neurofeedback training can improve sleep, as well as reducing surgical resident burnout.

Comorbidities in Schizophrenia and other neuro-degenerative pathologies such as Parkinsons, include depression, anxiety, sleep and focus issues and mood dysregulation

General (non-PD specific) effects of neurofeedback training include:

– overall increased fine motor skills

– boost behavioural performance and learning

Comorbid mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, aggression,  and mood imbalances can be addressed directly with neurofeedback. 

Chronic Pain is another application for neurofeedback, where studies have demonstrated its efficacy.

Subjectively, PD sufferers find neurofeedback training calming, reassuring and report an improved sense of feeling being part of their body.  

 

Neurofeedback has been shown to improve motor symptoms, movement, life quality, sensory integration and other symptoms in Parkinson's Disease sufferers

Neurofeedback improves quality of life, sensory integration, motor skills, movement initiation and balance in Parkinson’s Disease.

Peer-reviewed research shows the following effects in neurofeedback applications to Parkinson’s Disease:

improvement in static and dynamic balance

improved motor symptoms, on a par with other therapies such as rTMS – while being non-invasive and drug-free

– improvement in life quality

– potential to train up speed of movement initiation by 37%

– increased sensory integration in 10-12 sessions

– reduced symptom severity

Neurofeedback training improves cognitive ability and strengthens white and gray matter per Ghaziri Study 2013 "Neurofeedback Training induces Changes in White and Gray Matter"
Neurofeedback can Strengthen Neuronal Pathways​

With neurofeedback, we can train white matter tracts.  In healthy patients, this growth was faster than the rate of neurodegeneration in PD.  Research has yet to confirm that this works for PD specifically.  Encouraging neuroplasticity, particularly when faced with neurodegeneration, would seem a worthwhile endeavour.  

 

Effects of neurodegenerative diseases could be mitigated by neurofeedback training due to its demonstrable effect of strengthening white matter tracts per 2013 Ghaziri study

It has recently been shown that neurofeedback training led to cognitive improvements in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients, and that this corresponded to improved functional connectivity in key motor and salience networks.  Increased fractional anisotropy (FA) was observed, which correlated with cognitive improvement. 

 MS is a neurodegenerative condition that adversely affects axonal myelination.  FA is among other a measure of myelination, so the result that neurofeedback can make positive changes in this condition is very encouraging. 

study with sufferers of Huntington’s Disease, another neurodegenerative condition, showed that cognitive and motor skills improved and that these changes related to improved functional connectivity in key brain regions, again a conclusion that neuroplasticity can be induced despite the presence of neurodegeneration.  

 

 

Research on audio-visual hallucinations in Schizophrenia patients have found that Neurofeedback training can produce significant results in reducing treatment resistant auditory verbal hallucinations.  I30% of cases antipsychotic medication has little or no effect

Neurofeedback is evidence based therapy with a wealth of over 3,500 peer-reviewed research reports per PubMed neurofeedback

Researcher Katherine Fletcher (PhD) of Parkinson’s UK  asserts that:

The idea of Neurofeedback is very interesting and the evidence [above] shows great potential.  Larger studies would be needed to fully understand the potential and safety of this method for people with Parkinson’s before we could share it with our community.”   

Research funded by Parkinson’s UK regarding hallucinations is currently focused on CBD and anti-sickness pillsNeurofeedback training is drug-free and non-invasive.

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps show character traits for neurofeedback

The functional connectivity between various brain areas allows us to see vulnerabilities to character traits or behaviour patterns.  

Every Brain is individual and different, therefore Personalised Brain Training neurofeedback

Personalised Brain Training is a neurofeedback training method devised by founders of the field, Barry Sterman and David Kaiser.  

 

qEEG recording of brain waves is analysed to generate a brain map in form of a Kaiser Neuromap

A brain map is an analysis of brain wave behaviour as measured by a qEEG recording.  We record 20 minutes of the brain activities with a 19-sensor qEEG recorder.  There is no stimulation, and contact between the sensors and the head is via an easily removable gel applied to specific points.  From this recording, we can generate a brain map using Kaiser Neuromap software.  

Neurofeedback process illustrated by electrode measurement analysed and transformed into feedback via a movie in visual and auditory form for the preconscious mind to process and adapt its behaviour to in a learning process.

Neurofeedback training is a process where we give the brain feedback about its own activity at a particular cortical site in real time, via visual, auditory or tactile means.  There is no direct stimulus to the brain and the sensors attached are for measurement of cortical EEG, or tiny electrical currents detectable on the surface of our head.  This signal is then amplified and analysed by software in real-time, and this information is used to provide auditory and visual feedback to our brain.  

Neurofeedback Training calms the mind and restores functionality

With neurofeedback training, we can reduce stress, calm the mind and restore cortical functionality.

Neurofeedback training restores balance and equilibrium between brain and heart

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.  In our view, and experience, symptoms resolve when our system is balanced.

Neurofeedback helps restore functional connectivity in key neural networks

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs.

Neurofeedback is evidence based therapy with a wealth of over 3,500 peer-reviewed research reports per PubMed neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  

Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive shown in a picture using Othmer Method

Neurofeedback training is safe, effective and non-invasive. 

Kaiser Neuromap qEEG recording forms basis for neurofeedback personalised brain training

A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording.  We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities.  Findings are presented in a separate conversation.  Note this is not diagnosis – issues found are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for a particular attribute and represent vulnerabilities.

Following a Kaiser Neuromap we do Neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  

Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs. 

Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable. 

neurofeedback training sessions last two hours to capture an entire ultradian rhythm cycle

A two hour training sessions allows us to do 90 minutes of neurofeedback.  This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies.  We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children.

 

Forty hours of neurofeedback training is twenty sessions, three per week, over two to three months; intensives with two sessions per day for two weeks

Ideally, we do three or more sessions per week to start with.  We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or ten sessions.  Generally, we would expect to doing forty hours or twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary. 

We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.

Neurofeedback training relies on real-time EEG measurement, analysis and translation into feedback

Neurofeedback training can substantially improve the life-quality of sufferers of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Stroke victims.  It has been shown to improve cognitive performance in elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment.

By targeting specific brain areas responsible for functions that are observably degenerating, neurofeedback aims to arrest and possibly reverse declines.

Specifically, white matter tracts can be trained, and comorbid mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, anger) treated.

Improving the brain’s ability to self-regulate can substantially benefit a person’s sense of well-being.  Physical and emotional calming help to soothe irritability and mood swings.  We can work on specific areas of the brain responsible for bodily coordination, speech and expression.  With the Synchrony protocol, we aim to improve memory, focus, and through further calming produce a sense of comfort, thus reducing any anxiety.  Given the organic degeneration at the root of the condition, neurofeedback training is likely to be an ongoing complement to care.

Sue Othmer, who devised the Othmer Method of Neurofeedback, discusses what it does and how it can help with age-related conditions by giving the example of own family members:

Dopamine and Hallucinations linked by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180216142646.htm

Hallucinations in Schizophrenia and other pathologies have been found to be linked to the dopamine system.  People who experience auditory hallucinations tend to hear what they expect.  Researchers have found that elevated dopamine levels can result in the person relying more on expectations, which in turn could result in hallucinations.  In general, the process of sensory perception is an optimal combination of prior expectations and new sensory input.  

If prior expectations are given to much weight in this combination process – which is constantly happening as we take in the world – perceptual distortions can occur, such as illusions and hallucinations.  Those with hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis are known to have elevated dopamine levels, and research has now established a link.  

Thalamo-cortical connections play a part in auditory hallucinations too.  

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps show character traits for neurofeedback

The functional connectivity between various brain areas allows us to see vulnerabilities to character traits or behaviour patterns.  

Every Brain is individual and different, therefore Personalised Brain Training neurofeedback

Personalised Brain Training is a neurofeedback training method devised by founders of the field, Barry Sterman and David Kaiser.  

 

qEEG recording of brain waves is analysed to generate a brain map in form of a Kaiser Neuromap

A brain map is an analysis of brain wave behaviour as measured by a qEEG recording.  We record 20 minutes of the brain activities with a 19-sensor qEEG recorder.  There is no stimulation, and contact between the sensors and the head is via an easily removable gel applied to specific points.  From this recording, we can generate a brain map using Kaiser Neuromap software.  

Neurofeedback process illustrated by electrode measurement analysed and transformed into feedback via a movie in visual and auditory form for the preconscious mind to process and adapt its behaviour to in a learning process.

Neurofeedback training is a process where we give the brain feedback about its own activity at a particular cortical site in real time, via visual, auditory or tactile means.  There is no direct stimulus to the brain and the sensors attached are for measurement of cortical EEG, or tiny electrical currents detectable on the surface of our head.  This signal is then amplified and analysed by software in real-time, and this information is used to provide auditory and visual feedback to our brain.  

Neurofeedback Training calms the mind and restores functionality

With neurofeedback training, we can reduce stress, calm the mind and restore cortical functionality.

Neurofeedback training restores balance and equilibrium between brain and heart

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis.  In our view, and experience, symptoms resolve when our system is balanced.

Neurofeedback helps restore functional connectivity in key neural networks

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs.

Neurofeedback is evidence based therapy with a wealth of over 3,500 peer-reviewed research reports per PubMed neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  

Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive shown in a picture using Othmer Method

Neurofeedback training is safe, effective and non-invasive. 

Kaiser Neuromap qEEG recording forms basis for neurofeedback personalised brain training

A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording.  We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities.  Findings are presented in a separate conversation.  Note this is not diagnosis – issues found are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for a particular attribute and represent vulnerabilities.

Following a Kaiser Neuromap we do Neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  

Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs. 

Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable. 

neurofeedback training sessions last two hours to capture an entire ultradian rhythm cycle

A two hour training sessions allows us to do 90 minutes of neurofeedback.  This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies.  We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children.

 

Forty hours of neurofeedback training is twenty sessions, three per week, over two to three months; intensives with two sessions per day for two weeks

Ideally, we do three or more sessions per week to start with.  We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or ten sessions.  Generally, we would expect to doing forty hours or twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary. 

We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.

Neurofeedback training relies on real-time EEG measurement, analysis and translation into feedback