Brain disorders (some) brain training or medication?

When the brain is on time, balanced, everything else is regulated.” This is how Marta Romo, a pedagogue specialized in neuroscience applied to learning and creativity, explains the importance of having our brains ready and how training techniques such as “neurofeedback” directly intervene in the generation of new connections between neurons and brain self-regulation. And how this procedure avoids in some cases the use of drugs whose results are not clear and consumption can even harm more than benefit, says this expert. But what is “neurofeedback”? «It is a training with which we feed or tell our brain how it is working, and that at the same time regulates the deficits or deficiencies that we may have. I am being able to see firsthand how the brains of a lot of people are transformed through this training. The most general comment is that, in addition to solving the problem they brought (insomnia, attention deficit, fatigue, migraines, depression, apathy, stress …), they feel themselves again, “explains the expert.

The Neurofeedback interacts with the brain and gives it the information it needs to work best, regardless of cause or reason. A 2013 study by The Ohio Applied Brain Research Foundation states that mental training with Neurofeedback reduces symptoms of cognitive dysfunction in 90% of patients who have received chemotherapy. “The pharmaceutical industry is up to this issue, as studies comparing the benefits of this training with the consumption of medications are also being published and the data produced are very impressive,” argues Romo, who expands: for example, many children with attention problems are medicated with Concentra or Ritalin among other stimulants containing methylphenidate,

Data from research conducted in 2009 by the Zengar Institute and supervised by the University of Victoria in Canada, shows an 88% improvement in children trained with Neurofeedback, compared to 44% offered by Ritalin. Or with respect to obsessive compulsive disorder, an improvement of 39.2% has also been shown with Neurofeedback, compared to 19% offered by the consumption of Prozac. “It is still a very novel technique in our country, which is increasingly popular with its incredible benefits. I am sure that this type of training in brain gyms will be in fashion in a few years, like gyms to train the body ”, concludes Marta Romo.

Some history

How did the idea for this brain training come up? First you have to talk about brain waves. In 1875, the British doctor Richard Caton found in animals that the electrical activity of the brain was linked to mental activity. And about fifty years later the discovery of the first electroencephalogram arrived. It was already thought then that certain abnormal electrical signals reflected clinical disorders and that the different things we do throughout the day require different states of consciousness: being relaxed, fully concentrated, alert or asleep.

Neurons communicate with each other through electrical signals from the brain, and these are measured in brain waves. The frequencies of the brain waves indicate the state of the brain at a specific moment. The brain needs a lot of flexibility to be able to adapt to changes in the environment and the lack of it can cause us to be in a bad mood, have problems with concentration, sleep, stress, exhaustion … “Most of us only access a number of alert states, and we are not always able to reach states that require higher frequencies. We get hooked on slow frequencies. Elasticity or resilience is the brain’s ability to recover from negative circumstances – from an argument, a bad day at work to something more serious.

For all these reasons, Marta Romo recommends training with Neurofeedback: “sometimes, our brain needs a little push, especially when you try to regulate your emotions and you don’t succeed. Whether you are down and unwilling, or if you explode with people who do not touch and at times that are not appropriate, this training can come in handy. Dynamic Neurofeedback can give you that boost so that, by balancing your brain waves, you can take the helm and choose how to feel at every moment.

 

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