Sports Related Brain Injury aka Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE)

It is now almost common to hear about athletes who suffered a number of concussions over their careers having some difficulties later in life. The damage can be very serious.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE) is associated with repeated head traumas — concussions or sub-concussive hits — that are not allowed to properly heal. It is a progressive degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. A variant of the condition, dementia pugilistica, is primarily associated with boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in gridiron football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports, who have experienced head trauma, resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy may show symptoms of dementia such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression which may appear within months of the trauma or many decades later.

A number of athletes have been affected by the condition with serious consequences. Recently a former NFL lineman committed suicide after serious mental decline. His wife said it started with the nightmares and progressively got worse.

Bob Probert’s brain was examined after his early passing at the age and was found to have CTE (read more here).

Read moreSports Related Brain Injury aka Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE)

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Position Statement On Sports Concussion

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN)—an association of more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients with neurological disorders—is an advocate for policy measures that promote high quality, safe care of individuals participating in contact sports.

Concussion is a common consequence of trauma to the head in contact sports, estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to occur three million times in the United States each year. Among people aged 15 to 24 years, sports are now second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. While the majority of concussions are self-limited injuries, catastrophic results can occur and the long-term effects of multiple concussions are unknown.

Members of the AAN specialize in treating disorders of the brain and nervous system, and some members have particular interest and experience caring for athletes and are best qualified to develop and disseminate guidelines for managing athletes with sports-related concussion. Based on the clinical experience of these experts, the AAN supports the implementation of policy that supports the following recommendations:


Recommendations

  1. Any athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion should be removed from participation until he or she is evaluated by a physician with training in the evaluation and management of sports concussions
  2. No athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion.
  3. Following a concussion, a neurologist or physician with proper training should be consulted prior to clearing the athlete for return to participation.
  4. A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion.
  5. Education efforts should be maximized to improve the understanding of concussion by all athletes, parents, and coaches.

Position Statement History
Approved by the AAN Sports Neurology Section, Practice Committee, and Board of Directors
October 2010 (AAN Policy 2010-36).

International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR) 18th Annual Conference

International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR) 18th Annual Conference
Denver, Colorado Sept 30-Oct 3, 2010

ISNR invites you to their 18th Annual Conference for Health Professionals, Education Professionals, Researchers & Students. This conference offers workshops by the leading clinicians and researchers in the field of neuroscience. There will be many workshops and keynote talks on clinical as well as theoretical applications in the neuroscience field.

Read moreInternational Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR) 18th Annual Conference

First Direct Evidence of Neuroplastic Changes Following Brainwave Training

The scientific and academic press is now considering Neurofeedback as one of the ways neural plasticity can be induced/enhanced. The paper below shows the NF training changing the brain’s plasticity measurably within a single feedback session.

This may not surprise too many old-time NF practitioners, except that it is now being proven with well done studies in the traditional neuroscience literature!  Neurofeedback can induce changes in brain plasticity!

Jay

First Direct Evidence of Neuroplastic Changes Following Brainwave Training

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2010) — Significant changes in brain plasticity have been observed following alpha brainwave training.

A pioneering collaboration between two laboratories from the University of London has provided the first evidence of neuroplastic changes occurring directly after natural brainwave training. Researchers from Goldsmiths and the Institute of Neurology have demonstrated that half an hour of voluntary control of brain rhythms is sufficient to induce a lasting shift in cortical excitability and intracortical function.

Remarkably, these after-effects are comparable in magnitude to those observed following interventions with artificial forms of brain stimulation involving magnetic or electrical pulses. The novel finding may have important implications for future non-pharmacological therapies of the brain and calls for a serious re-examination and stronger backing of research on neurofeedback, a technique which may be promising tool to modulate cerebral plasticity in a safe, painless, and natural way.

Continued at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310114936.htm

The Art of Aging: Limitless Potential of the Brain

This is an excellent video talking about how seniors can help keep their brains young.

How can we live a fuller and healthier lifestyle as we get older? Perhaps keeping our body and brain engaged can help. That seems to be the case in Japan where the number of centegenarians is greater than 20,000.

THE ART OF AGING:THE LIMITLESS POTENTIAL OF THE BRAIN introduces a number of these “super-seniors” who lead healthy lives at nearly 100-years-old and, through them,searches for the “keys” to living a healthy and vital life regardless of age.

[veoh]http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/lifestyle/watch/v19832384XKk8wQ5m[/veoh]

Related article from BBC July 3,2013 Active brain ‘keeps dementia at bay’

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: LORETA findings

Thanks to Jay Gunkelman who made a very informative post on January 27 on this forum entitled Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. There he described the EEG patterns that we should expect and detect when evaluating for AD or other dementias.

I’d like to just throw out there a few other findings that were discovered in a few exploratory investigations while working on some studies with our colleague Alicia Townsend, at the time at Univ. of North Texas. Lexicor funded these projects and now the arrangements are such that I can’t disclose more than was published in the abstracts from our talks at ISNR and AAPB.  I did at least want to point to these very preliminary findings because theoretically they are in concert with your explanations.

First, we explored 10 participants between the ages of 65 and 85 were recruited at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.  Each was diagnosed by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale and a medical interview.  The aim of the study was to identify current source density markers in AD.  EEG recording of the eyes closed condition of an AD group was compared to an age-sex matched control group using within-subject multiple t-test procedures. sLORETA difference maps in nine frequency bands were investigated. Interestingly the results showed that there was a significant increase in current source density in the delta and theta bands in the Brodmann Area (BA) 39 of the right temporal lobe and BA 31, the cingulate gyrus respectively.  Additionally there were decreases in alpha in the BA 21 of the right temporal lobe and right inferior parietal lobule (Sherlin, Townsend & Hall, 2006).

Read moreDementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: LORETA findings

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

I often get questions about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and the EEG.

Whenever a client presents with the question of dementia, all other forms of
dementia need to be ruled out before you are left with the diagnosis of AD.
There are many EEG signatures of various forms of dementia, all of which are
helpful in evaluating a client’s presentation of dementia.

Done by experts in EEG in dementia, the EEG and qEEG may be of substantial
additive value in the differential diagnosis puzzle that all cases of
dementia represent clinically.

One EEG pattern seen in dementia is the presence of periodic triphasic
slowing in the EEG, which is actually diagnostic of subacute sclerosing
panencephalitis (SSPE). SSPE is a “spongiform encephalopathy” where the
brain becomes like “Swiss cheese”, with holes scattered throughout. This
periodic triphasic finding is differentiated from MULTIFOCAL triphasics
which are diagnostic of Crutzfeld-Jacob Syndrome (CJD), which in lay terms
is a form of mad cow disease in humans.

Read moreDementia & Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)