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A Pilot’s Success Story with Brain Training

ear anatomyJohn’s Story

John is a 66-year-old grandfather and successful businessman from Asheville, NC who plays tennis and counts flying among his favorite hobbies. But he is concerned that his memory is starting to slip. There’s no family history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

John, however, did have a car accident and subsequent skiing accident in which the fall he suffered was so serious that his helmet broke. He also admits that he is often dizzy, fatigued, easily angered, and frustrated over his physical and mental limitations.

Intervention for balance and cognitive decline

John underwent comprehensive Brain Training at a frequency of three times per day over the course of five days. His brain function was carefully monitored throughout the training process with measurement of EEG brainwaves, vital signs, eye movements, balance, mental and physical timing, and more to ensure he was receiving the proper amount of therapy without exceeding fatigue limits that might promote worsening of his symptoms as is often the case in more conventional rehabilitation programs.

Understanding the relationship between physical functions such as balance, timing and eye movements and higher cognitive functions like memory (both major challenges in his case), we implemented the following Brain Training procedures: EEG neurofeedback, Interactive Metronome, vestibular rehabilitation, metabolic/nutritional therapies, eye movement and neurological rehabilitation, electrical stimulation, breathing exercises, lifestyle changes and home care therapies.

Outcomes with Brain Training

John reported midway through his five-day training program that he had “one of his best games of tennis.” He also said he felt less dizzy and improvements in his mood and memory were noticeable to him and others. “I walk better, talk better and feel better,” he said.

Actual measurable, objective improvements recorded with post-intensive diagnostic testing included:

  • Interactive Metronome (Timing): 14% improvement in timing accuracy and normalization of hyper-anticipatory timing tendency with motor tasks (i.e. becoming more ‘in-sync’ with a specified reference tone).
  • Videonystagmography (Eye movements): Significant improvements in numerous aspects of oculomotor functionality including: gaze holding, slow and fast eye movements, optokinetic responses, and spontaneous/involuntary eye movements.
  • Computerized Assessment of Postural Stability (Balance): 24% improvement in balance under the most challenging circumstances (eyes closed on an unstable surface – noted as PSEC on charts below below). Near complete normalization of a hazardous posterior center of pressure (tendency to carry his body or sway to the rear):

Pilot 1

Pilot 2

Implications Following Treatment

After his treatment was completed, John says he was able to recapture the moments of joy and sense of accomplishment he experienced through playing tennis and flying his aircraft, his two favorite hobbies; as well as being more engaged with his family.

He reports his memory has improved, he has fewer symptoms of dizziness and fatigue, and most important – he is now a safer, happier pilot following his specific Brain Training program.

Case Study: Post-Concussion Syndrome – Jackie

concussion ep 43Jackie’s Story

At the time of presentation to APEX Brain centers in Asheville, NC in late 2015, Jackie was a 55-year-old, soon to be retired professional female. Post-concussive symptoms of debilitating headaches, memory loss, learning and behavioral issues, fluctuations in heart rate, and difficulty handling visual stimulation such as driving, busy public places and computer screens were preventing her from leading a normal life. Prior to traveling to APEX from Charlotte, NC, Jackie had sought care from several different doctors in her area. Vestibular therapy and chiropractic care had given her some relief of symptoms, although her other experiences were not so positive. At one point a provider told her that she was mentally ill. Jackie was outraged and, as many with post-concussion syndrome report similarly, she offered this statement: “I’m not crazy. I didn’t have any of these symptoms before I had the injury and I am definitely not making them up”. This is the unfortunate reality of many who suffer with brain injury.   

Intervention for balance and cognitive decline

Jackie underwent comprehensive Brain Training at a frequency of 3 times per day over the course of 15 days (with 2 days off between each week for much needed rest and recovery). Her brain function was carefully monitored throughout the training process with measurement of EEG brainwaves, vital signs, eye movements, balance, mental and physical timing, and more to ensure she was receiving the proper amount of therapy to be effective without exceeding fatigue limits that could potentially promote worsening of her symptoms. Modalities implemented included, but were not limited to: neurofeedback, Interactive Metronome, vestibular rehabilitation, metabolic/nutritional therapies, eye movement and neurological rehabilitation, electrical stimulation, breathing exercises and home care therapies.

Outcomes after Brain Training

Jackie reported prior to brain training that she would have a constant headache of 6 on a 0-10 scale (0 being no pain and 10 being the worst possible pain) that would escalate into an 8-9 of 10 by the end of the day. The week after her program she reported the headaches were finally manageable at a level of 3-4 of 10 and would not escalate. Jackie has had continued success and reported at 3 weeks after her program that she is headache free, unless she spends too much time in front of a screen or in a busy public place. She also reports that when this occurs, her ‘at home’ brain exercises will relieve them. Aside from headaches, Jackie has reported that she no longer feels like she is in a constant brain fog. Her heart rate has also normalized and no longer fluctuates or spikes. 

Actual, measurable objective improvements recorded with post-intensive diagnostic testing include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Testing: Jackie showed an increase in her Neurocognition Index of 11%. This is a standardized overall score of cognitive performance. Significant improvements in specific areas of memory (one of her biggest concerns) are as follows: 65% in composite memory, 33% in verbal memory, and 67% in visual memory.
  • Interactive Metronome: 56% improvement in motor timing accuracy and normalization of hyper-anticipatory timing tendency with motor tasks (i.e. premature response to a specified reference tone).
  • Videonystagmography (VNG): Significant improvements in numerous aspects of oculomotor (eye movement) functionality including: gaze holding, slow and fast eye movements, optokinetic responses, and spontaneous/involuntary eye movements.

Implications for others:

Diagnostic and functional tests can be used to direct an effective Brain Training program and improve post-concussion symptoms. Increased sensory and environmental sensitivities are common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. There are several areas of your brain that process information from your environment and from your body. If these areas are damaged then it becomes difficult for the brain to process sensory input, resulting in fogginess, memory and cognitive issues, impaired processing of pain, and the many other symptoms seen after concussions. The frustration felt by individuals being made to feel they are “crazy”, as Jackie noted, is entirely unnecessary and driven by a health care system that is largely focused on diagnostic testing and lacking significantly in functional treatment options. There is great hope for partial and full recovery in most cases of concussion given a thorough investigation and functional interventions addressing the physical, cognitive, metabolic and lifestyle factors that influence brain health.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing ANY of these symptoms, or anything out of the ordinary related to a head or brain injury, call APEX Brain Centers now at 828.708.5274. You may also email us at [email protected] for more information and to set up a free consultation. 

Case Study: Balance and Memory Problems – Roger

Son & Elderly FatherRoger’s story

At the time of presentation to APEX Brain Centers, Roger was a 70-year-old male struggling with severe balance problems, clumsiness, fatigue, and a general disinterest in life. He used to enjoy life as a family man, successful entrepreneur and golfer. Just over 10 years prior he had undergone radiation therapy for cancer that damaged his 8th cranial nerve (the balance and hearing nerve). He had also undergone prism therapies and surgery for eye position abnormalities, which have caused further insult to his ability to maintain good balance and to learn effectively. Although not listed as a primary complaint, he also suffered from significant cognitive decline in several areas as evidenced by very low to low average scores on standardized cognitive testing.

Roger sought care at APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC in May of 2015 and underwent an intensive course of Brain Training. He was admitted into in an individualized program directed by extensive diagnostic testing, and led by clinicians highly experienced in functional neurology. What follows is a sampling of some of the cutting-edge clinical interventions and amazing functional gains Roger experienced during his time at APEX.

Intervention for balance and cognitive decline

Roger underwent comprehensive Brain Training at a frequency of 3 times per day over the course of 15 days (with 2 days off between each for much needed rest and recovery). His brain function was carefully monitored throughout the training process with measurement of EEG brainwaves, vital signs, eye movements, balance, mental and physical timing, and more to ensure he was receiving the proper amount therapy to be effective, but not too much so as to be counter-productive. Modalities implemented included, but were not limited to: neurofeedback (NFB), Interactive Metronome, vestibular rehabilitation, metabolic/nutritional therapies, eye movement and neurological rehabilitation, whole body vibration, electrical stimulation, breathing exercises and home care recommendations.

Outcomes after Brain Training

Subsequent to his Brain Training program, Roger reported subjective improvements in the vast majority of his pre-intensive complaints. More profound than that; his wife was quoted as saying, “it’s like I have my old husband back”. She noted that he used to be the life of the party and had been slowly deteriorating over time to the point of sitting in his chair all day and sleeping more and more often. He was finally plugging back into life, putting an end to his isolation and apathy. As is demonstrated by his balance testing, he is also experiencing a renewed ability to maintain balance, allowing him to be safer and more efficient in navigating his physical environment.

Actual, measurable objective improvements recorded with post-intensive diagnostic testing include:

  • Cognitive Testing: Increase in his Neurocognition Index of 48%. This is a standardized overall score of cognitive performance. Increases in various aspects of memory, attention, processing speed and more as great as 21%.
  • Interactive Metronome: 56% improvement in task average with motor timing, and normalization of hyper-anticipatory timing tendency with motor tasks (i.e. responding prematurely to a pre-set reference tone).
  • Computerized Assessment of Postural Stability (CAPS): 20.5% improvement in balance on an unstable surface with eyes closed – bringing him from severe to mild reduction in balance compared to his peers. Elimination of a posterior center of pressure (CoP); significantly reducing his risk of falling backwards.
  • Videonystagmography (VNG): Significant improvements in numerous aspects of oculomotor (eye movement) functionality including: gaze holding, slow and fast eye movements, optokinetic responses, and spontaneous/involuntary eye movements.

Takeaway

With an alarming increase in the number of baby boomers and seniors experiencing balance issues and cognitive decline (that are in fact related), it is important to recognize the symptoms of these potentially debilitating disorders and, more importantly, that something can be done about them. Early intervention is key, as the longer one waits and the more function is lost, the more difficult it is to recover and have full engagement with life!

Your Brain’s Clock – Timing is Everything

Every breath you take, every move you make (enter the distinct guitar sounds of The Police’s wildly popular 1983 hit) is controlled by your brain’s innate timing system. Whether physical movements or production of thoughts, your brain’s ability to time these magical feats appropriately is the difference between unnoticed normal everyday functioning and disastrous consequences.

Most can relate to the impact timing has on the way we move. We’ve all seen someone with Parkinson’s disease or brain injury, or simply decline in function with aging, struggle with what most of us take for granted (i.e. walking, tying shoes, speaking, etc.). Our ability to effortlessly time movement is taken for granted… Until that ability is lost.

On the other hand, it might be a bit more difficult for one to consider that the disorganized thoughts of those with schizophrenia or similar conditions has anything to do with timing. This is in fact a growing area of research where disorganized or uncoordinated thoughts are being related to uncoordinated motor activity such as walking and speech. When movements are improved through various types of physical training, individuals experience more efficient thought processing and communication of these thoughts. Through this lens it is quite easy to see how our thoughts, and even emotions, can be impaired by improper mental timing.

Can I improve my brain’s timing???

Musicians, dancers and other athletes would tell you… Absolutely! Simply involving yourself in activities that revolve around a regular beat or rhythm (cadence) will help to strengthen your mental timing ability. The obvious here would include activities such as music and dance.

But what if there are problems with my brain???

Previously mentioned brain injury and Parkinson’s disease would be natural barriers to improving timing in the brain. Studies also show that key physical abilities (bio-markers) such as balance and eye movements are impaired in those experiencing cognitive decline with aging. Challenges in these and other abilities will undoubtedly have an impact on our ability to improve timing. Addressing the physical and metabolic aspects of these conditions would be the logical first step in improving mental timing in any situation. For those with severe impairment, and for those looking to be the best they can be, there are other options.

Can my mental timing be measured and improved???

Fortunately, yes! With sophisticated measurement and training tools such as the Interactive Metronome, those with neurological conditions and peak performers alike can have their brain’s timing measured quite accurately. This particular program utilizes auditory (sound) cues to first measure and then train one’s mental timing capacities. Through matching body movements to a standardized metronome beat, the computer software can determine (down to the millisecond) how accurately one is timing. Numerous aspects of timing can be measured including early and late timing tendencies, left vs. right side of body differences, upper vs. lower body timing differences, consistency in timing from one beat to the next, and much more. Armed with this information, experienced clinicians such as those at APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC can design and deliver specific Brain Training programs to repair the deficient timing issues to the highest degree possible.

What does this all mean for me???

With intact and efficient mental timing our risk of injury due to falling decreases… Thought processing and problem solving become more efficient… Attention and focus get sharper… Memory formation and retrieval becomes much easier… Certain unwanted behavioral traits improve… Academics and test taking require less effort and produce less anxiety… Our limits of physical performance can skyrocket…

I believe you get the point. There are few aspects of humanism that are not positively impacted by an improvement in our brain’s innate timing abilities. Go exercise that rhythm – your brain will thank you!

Boot Camp for Your Brain?

03E08469[1]Google defines ‘boot camp’ as: a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training. Aside from the obvious military style boot camp, many are seeking out boot camps in all shapes and sizes to help with everything from fitness to addiction.

Why not boot camp for your brain???

A basic understanding of how the brain works will help you realize that a boot camp is the most effective way to train your brain. From those with neurological issues, to those looking to elevate their level of performance to new heights, a well-trained brain will help ensure you are functioning at your highest possible level (both physically and mentally).

Neuron Theory, 101

Your brain’s sole purpose in life is to receive and transmit information. Sensory information from the environment and your body travels up to your brain to be processed; and thoughts, actions, hormone circulation and more are the end result of that input. The brain receives and transmits information through neurons (nerve cells), more specifically networks of neurons, in the brain and body. The more powerful the information traveling in those networks, or pathways, the stronger they become. In short, from a theory developed in the mid-20th century by the psychologist, Donald Hebb: cells that fire together, wire together!

What determines if cells get ‘wired’ together is the intensity and frequency of the stimulation delivered to them. There can be equal parts frequency and intensity, or more of one or the other. Using the example of learning how to play a guitar; one can play 10 minutes per day, 5 days per week – representing moderate frequency and low intensity – and could expect slow gains in the ability to play guitar. The same individual could participate in a ‘guitar boot camp’ playing for 1-2 hours, 3-5 times per day, for 5 days – very high frequency AND intensity – and expect to make much larger gains in their skills on 6 strings.

Now, About that Brain Boot Camp

Paying respect to the understanding that cells that fire together, wire together, it should now make good sense that training of brain function would yield the greatest outcomes in this high frequency, high intensity boot camp model. Every brain is different and unique, and faced with its own sets of strengths and challenges; and the frequency and intensity of individual aspects of Brain Training can be adapted to fit these unique needs.

Another added benefit of the boot camp training model is that of fitting a great deal of learning into a very short period of time. Moms and dads, sons and daughters, athletes and CEOs, brain injured and infirmed – time is a valuable commodity, and to compress months (if not years) of benefit and improved quality of life into a 5, 10, or 15 day period of time is something most folks could not put a price tag on. Further, the longer we wait (and the longer it takes) to train our brains, the less benefit we will gain from the experience.

To learn more about our Asheville, NC based Brain Boot Camps for learning and behavioral issues, peak performance, concussion and brain injury, and more; contact us at 828.708.5274 for a FREE 15 minute consultation.

iPads for Everyone!!!

Logo concept FINAL_RGB_WEBEveryone that signs up for a 5 or more day full intensive training program at APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC, that is! (Unique offer details below).

While technology and all that come with it can cause significant impairment for many, it can also be used to provide an extreme advantage when it comes to Training your Brain. The ever-growing list of hi-tech applications (apps) for mobile devices and tablets is astounding, many of which hold significant promise for re-training brain dysfunction, and for improving upon already strong performance in those looking to reach their peak potential. As with anything, there is a downside – apps used improperly and not under expert guidance can, in some cases, be counter-productive, and even harmful!

The following are the main areas of apps for brain performance: 

  • Memory and Attention: We have all heard of that brain training program that begins with ‘L’ that most folks pronounce incorrectly! While this and many other similar apps are quite useful and largely without side-effects, they may not be providing all they claim in the absence of a comprehensive brain health program. 
  • Eye movements: The secret is out, eye movements are directly related to our higher, more human, cognitive brain functions. A simple Google search of ‘eye movements and cognition’ should get you rolling there! The challenge is that these sensitive windows into higher brain function can very easily be trained incorrectly, leading to further dysfunction or significantly limiting peak performance. User beware: Expert direction is essential with these type of apps! 
  • Neurofeedback/Biofeedback: By far the newest and most concerning area of mobile brain training, app stores are piling up with programs that will help you regulate your brainwaves, heart rate, muscle tension, and more. Common sense should let you know that training your brainwaves in the absence of higher education in neurophysiology and neuroplasticity might not be a very wise choice. Once again, user beware!

Although just a sampling of what’s available in the various app stores in the cyber world, the take home message here is that ANY effort in training your brain should be directed by a qualified health care provider trained in these areas of brain performance for maximum benefit and decreased probability of side-effects.

Enter the iPad…

All clients entering into a 5 or more day full intensive training program at APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC through May 31, 2015 will receive a FREE iPad Mini with Retina Display (or comparable device) as a valuable aid to your brain training program, and to help you continue progress once discharged. All you would need to do is have an iTunes account to purchase any needed applications (typically less than $35.00), and the desire to make your brain the best possible brain it can be.

This special offer is not to be combined with any offers and you must reference this post at the time of consultation or admission for validation purposes. Let us help you harness the power of technology and put you in the driver’s seat on your journey to Building a Better Brain!

NaturalNews Blog: Do Brain Games Exploit Memory Loss Fears for Profit?

People ask me all the time if brain games “really work.” Their interest is understandable. Most people are looking tools they can use to improve their brain function and prevent age-related memory loss. But the effectiveness of brain games has been publicly called into question recently by members of the scientific community. My new blog on the NaturalNews Network responds to the critics and gives consumers some insight on the role that brain games can play in supporting brain health.

A recent article in The Guardian, titled Brain Games Exploit Anxieties About Memory Loss for ProfitScientists reference an open letter signed by 73 members of the scientific community that largely condemns the effectiveness of brain games due to lack of adequate research supporting the claims made by the various companies producing them. Claims cited include making one smarter, speeding up the time it takes to learn, and reducing cognitive slowing and forgetfulness. In this letter the signatories do acknowledge the existence of brain plasticity – the brain’s ability to change based on its experience – although apparently feel as if the positive impacts on the brain from these games do not extend beyond the “training-induced” learning that occurs from these games. Even if this were in fact the only benefit…is this a bad thing?

Read the full article HERE.

At APEX we create targeted brain training programs designed to improve brain health and function. Brain games are one of many tools we use to help our clients achieve their personal goals. Brain games alone may not be a complete solution to improving brain health, but we believe that they can be a valuable part of a comprehensive strategy to help individuals build better brains.

Read all of my NaturalNews blogs by visiting my profile.

Improve Your Working Memory With This Great Brain Exercise

The most common type of memory problem is a decrease in working memory, or the mind’s ability to hold on to bits of information while we attend to other things. If this sounds familiar (for instance, if you’ve been having trouble remembering all the items you meant to buy at the grocery store) there is something you can do about it. Brain exercises can strengthen your working memory.

Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is your brain’s absolute ability to change and grow throughout life in response to its environment. Brain plasticity means you can intentionally change your brain for the better. Take full advantage of neuroplasticity by doing this simple brain exercise to improve your working memory.

Brain Training Game:

Play the, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a…” game. Here is how this brain exercise works:

Say, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a…” and then name an item. Start at the letter A (apple, for example) and continue through the alphabet. Repeat all accumulated picnic items as you proceed (Apple, then Apple + Bicycle, then Apple + Bicycle + Carrots…etc.). By the time you get to the letter Z you will have 26 items to remember and repeat. Change the picnic items you name every time you practice. Play this brain game with others to make it more challenging. The more you do this exercise, the stronger your working memory can become. That is brain plasticity at work!

Why You Should Exercise Your Brain Every Day

Our brains are often thought of as computers. For the most part, this is a poor analogy. If you want your computer to learn something new you simply plug in some new software and within minutes it is installed and working (hopefully). The human brain takes quite a bit longer to learn and acquire skills. In most instances, the brain learns best through repeated experiences. It can take years of practice to learn a language or musical instrument. Make brain exercises like this one a part of your daily routine to see maximum improvement in your memory.

Click HERE to read some of our other tips to improve memory.

How to Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Related Memory Loss

There are many types of dementia, some of which are preventable and others that are not. Conditions that are considered genetically driven, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and brain tumors, lead to degeneration and loss of nerve connections and cells within the brain that result in the decline in cognitive abilities such as memory, reasoning and problem solving. But no matter the cause there are ways to slow the rate of dementia and Alzheimer’s related memory loss. The key is acting early. Most types of dementia are progressive. The earlier you seek help the more successful you will be at preventing memory loss.

Even in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, thought by most to be completely incurable, evidence suggests that the progression of the disease is impacted by factors within our control, most notably the proper control of our blood sugar levels. Finding the cause of memory loss can help you and your health care providers determine the best means of preventing further memory decline. Certain types of depression lead to ‘pseudo-dementia’, which can be treated with great success. Even age-related memory loss can be impacted quite successfully with the appropriate nutritional, exercise, stress management and Brain Training methods.

Recognizing Early Signs of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

If you recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia you can be proactive in preventing memory loss. If you or someone you know is struggling to find the right words, regularly misplacing common everyday items, overreacting (or underreacting) to situations, getting lost in familiar surroundings, or having extreme difficulty with simple tasks such as balancing the checkbook, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may be suspected. Disinterest in formerly pleasurable activities and a decrease in the sense of smell are also telltale signs that one’s brain function may be declining. If this is the case seek help from a practitioner who is experienced helping those with memory loss as soon as possible.

Prevent Memory Loss through Brain Training

APEX offers Brain Training for memory loss prevention. We understand the mechanisms of memory loss well and use specific diagnostic and training procedures to help anyone, even those with dementia, to Build a Better Brain. Through brain mapping, cognitive testing and other brain assessments, we design a Brain Training program customized to help you retain your memory, or possibly even improve it. Brain Training for memory loss may include neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation, Interactive Metronome training, specific brain and body exercises and nutritional support, among many other modalities.

Foods and Supplements to Support Memory Retention

To support a healthy brain and memory, it is good practice to avoid processed and refined foods. Minding your calorie intake is critical. A great first step is to develop an ‘eat to live’ philosophy instead of a ‘live to eat’ strategy. Eating a sensible diet of real, live, or whole foods is the logical first step towards Building a Better Brain and preventing memory loss.

The lists of brain foods or ‘superfoods’ that are reputed to prevent memory loss are long. One needs to exercise caution when claims for products or foods are seemingly too good to be true and some simple advice will go a long way towards eating for a healthy brain.

Also consider a full metabolic and nutritional assessment to see if dietary changes can help you see improvement in your memory, or in other areas of health.

Exercise for Brain Health 

Memory loss prevention is only one of the reasons that exercise is good for our brains. Exercise encourages new nerve cell growth in parts of the brain that facilitate memory and learning. Exercise also improves blood supply and fuel delivery to already existing brain pathways and regions. Exercise simply makes us smarter and is considered by many to be the best memory loss treatment on the market!

5 Ways to Improve Your Memory

People with memory issues commonly say…
“I’m not as sharp as I used to be.”
“I used to be able to…”
“I keep losing things.”
“I get lost all the time.”
“I can’t seem to remember anything.”

If any of these sound like you, you may want to ask yourself: What is your memory worth? Would better memory give you a better quality of life? A way to maintain your independence? A higher level of academic achievement? Or perhaps a greater level of confidence and happiness? If you’re looking for ways to improve your memory so that you can retain more information, here are five crucial tips and tools that can help you Build a Better Brain, and boost your memory in the process.

1. Improve Your Sleep Quality

As we get older, our brains undergo structural changes that naturally interfere with sleep quality, and reduced sleep quality interferes with memory. One way to slow memory loss in aging adults is to improve sleep quality with regard to the deep sleep phase associated with slow brain wave activity. At APEX, our state of the art neurofeedback training can help you achieve the optimal brain waves during your waking life that in turn can help facilitate deeper, more quality sleep at night.

2. Consume Healthy Fats

All fats are necessary in certain ratios and various types of unsaturated fats have been shown to have a positive effect on brain health and memory. Organic virgin coconut oil, while a saturated fat, contains fatty acids that supply energy to the brain and can have a therapeutic effect on brain disorders. Another easy thing you can do right away is add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. The omega-3s in fish oil—particularly EPA and DHA—have been shown to help slow the progression of age-related memory loss.

3. Exercise

Moving more isn’t just good for your body, it’s great for your brain as well. Maintaining an active physical lifestyle has been shown to have mental (cognitive) benefits that can actually help improve your memory. Not only does exercise improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to the body, but also it helps create new cells in the hippocampus (through a process known as neurogenesis), which can help improve cognitive function and memory storage.

4. Manage Stress

The brain’s control center for learning and memory is in the hippocampus. When you’re feeling on edge, the stress hormone cortisol increases in the hippocampus, which interferes with the ability to encode memory and retrieve information. Over time, chronic elevated cortisol levels due to stress can even result in a smaller hippocampus. Instead of ignoring what’s stressing you out, at APEX we can deliver tools to help you positively manage your stress, so you can improve your ability to create, store, and retrieve memories more effectively.

5. Learn and Play

Challenging yourself mentally creates fresh connections in your brain, which can help generate new cells in the hippocampus. New cells build cognitive reserves that are important for creating new memories and can help protect against memory loss. Timed games and ‘brain training’ games that improve speed processing can also boost cognitive skills and have a positive effect on memory.

Learn more about APEX Brain Training to improve memory or contact us.

APEX Brain Centers is leading the way in neuroplasticity-based brain enhancement programs that are opening new doors for those struggling with addictions, learning and behavioral disabilities, test performance, athletic performance and more.

2 Walden Ridge Drive (STE 80) ~ Asheville, NC 28803 ~ 828.708.5274
© 2015 APEX Brain Centers