Brain Health – 4 Part Process
- Prevention: While healthy, establish a baseline of brain function and learn if you are at greater risk of injury.
- Trauma Evaluation: In the unfortunate event of brain injury (e.g. concussion) be able to quickly and accurately diagnose and identify the impact of the trauma. Don’t rely on symptoms to determine function.
- Health Management: Intelligently rehabilitate the area(s) of the brain that were affected (e.g. areas which scores lower than baseline assessment) and restore function to baseline / “healthy state”.
- Optimization: Increase the performance of the most valuable organ in the human body in a similar way to how we train our muscles in soccer, basketball, football, and as adults pay 100s of $$$’s for training at 24 hour fitness and Gold’s gym.
COMPREHENSIVE EXAM / BASELINE:
A comprehensive functional neurological evaluation or baseline testing assesses the strength and symmetry of all levels of the nervous system. Examining each level of the neural axis, comparing the symmetry of responses and putting the findings into the context of the whole network allows for pattern appreciation of what areas are weak and how you can be helped.
While disease management or symptom management is about uncovering or diagnosing a specific issue a comprehensive baseline evaluation is about finding your “weak links” or systems. Uncovering these asymmetries in function or relative weaknesses provides the opportunity to take a proactive approach to the health of your nervous system. If an area of your brain is not working very well and you injure that same area the outcome, in all probability will be much worse.
When it comes to sports and academics, we want to always be at the top of our game. Understanding what areas of brain function that you can improve, will provide you with the information and tools necessary for you to be on top.
Combining a functional neurological exam with diagnostics that test the strength of different brain “muscles” gives you a complete picture. If you were training your physical body would you evaluate half your muscles? Of course not. Our brain “muscles” work in concert with one another just like a body operates. An incomplete picture leaves us with assumptions about your present functional level.
Understanding where you are prior to a concussion or other neurological insult is important for returning you to your pre-injury status. Symptoms resolve well before pre-injury functional levels are reached. If symptoms rather than functional baseline levels are used to determine when you are once again “healthy” you will be short changed.
If you want an ideal approach to brain health management you need to establish a number of different baseline windows of your brain’s present function. The following diagnostics are used in addition to the neurological examination to ascertain the level of performance of various aspects of your brain / nervous system:
A) ImPACT testing measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning including:
• Attention span
• Working memory
• Sustained and selective attention time
• Response variability
• Non-verbal problem solving
• Reaction time
B) Posturography is perfect for screening, assessing and diagnosing balance disorder/falls-risk patients. This testing gives us insight into areas of the nervous system associated with balance / vestibular function.
C) VNG equipment provides simultaneous subjective observation of the individual’s eye movements and objective collection and analysis of eye movement during both testing and rehabilitation.
D) Interactive Metronome (IM) is an assessment and treatment tool used in therapy to improve the neurological functions of motor planning, sequencing and processing.
A) Posturography is perfect for screening, assessing and diagnosing balance disorder/falls-risk patients. This testing gives us insight into areas of the nervous system associated with balance / vestibular function.
Brain Training :
Once we understand what areas of your nervous system are the weak links, an individualized home program is created to strengthen these areas. If you can commit 15-30 min a day doing simple brain based therapies you can strengthen your brain and improve your academic performance and sports performance in ways you may not have dreamed possible.
Functional neurology emphasizes the nervous system as being the modulator of human expression and experience. The unique and complex responses of each individual’s nervous system to changes in their environment are central to the discipline of Functional Neurology.
New protocols in diagnosis and treatment are being developed everyday, and focus on neuro scientifically based interventions for brain injury prevention, concussion treatment as well as sports performance optimization.
Brain Centers NW offers affordable, integrated instrumentation for non-invasive brain baseline assessments, traumatic brain rehabilitation and functional optimization. Our equipment is designed for functional neurological and vestibular testing.
Our equipment and our detailed understanding of how information is shuttled through the nervous system allows us to develop and implement cutting edge, theory based therapies for concussion injuries and brain training exercises to enhance sports performance.