A January article in the online Journal, Behavioral Medicine Report and a study published in the Journal “Nueron” describe new understandings about the synaptic connections that underlie what we commonly call "neuroplasticity.”
In an informative article, Study Shows Map of Brain Connectivity Changes During Development, Christophey Fisher, PhD, points to two important issues:
“Connected highways of nerve cells carry information to and from different areas of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Scientists are trying to draw a complete atlas of these connections – sometimes referred to as the “connectome” – to gain a better understanding of how the brain functions in health and disease.”
“Another surprise was that when growing dendrites go searching for potential partners, they reach out to axon boutons that had previously connected with other dendrites – “as if they were attracted to a restaurant that already has a line at the door, rather than trying a brand new one,” says Cline.”
These observations reinforce the work that Frank Belgau describes in Chapter 26 of his book A LIFE IN BALANCE. The Learning Breakthrough Program is based on Belgau’s model about the entrainment potential of synaptic responses (trainability). His design of a variable difficulty balance challenge combined with repetitive perceptual motor skills activities gives us a real world training tool to effect neuroplasticity changes.
For detailed technical information refer to Dynamic Formation of Functional Networks by Synchronization.
The Temple University researchers, Kristie Koenig, PhD, OTR/L, and Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, wanted to determine whether ADHD problem behaviors would decrease if underlying sensory and neurological issues were addressed with occupational therapy. Their study, "Comparative Outcomes of Children with ADHD: Treatment Versus Delayed Treatment Control Condition," was presented Friday, May 13, at the American Occupational Therapy Association meeting in Long Beach, Calif.
Children with ADHD have difficulty paying attention and controlling their behavior. Experts are uncertain about the exact cause of ADHD, but believe there are both genetic and biological components. Treatment typically consists of medication, behavior therapy or a combination of the two.
via TherapyTimes.com: Occupational therapy improves ADHD.
LBP's focused sensory processing program for ADHD is a perfect fit for those looking to introduce a complete and complementary set of sensory exercises to their daily routine.
Auditory processing disorder in relation to developmental disorders of language, communication and attention: a review and critique - International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
This article describes the vagaries of diagnosis of auditory processing issues and shows how important work is being done to help make proper evaluations and treatment research widely available. It is not definitive but is a useful article for those orienting themselves to CAPD issues.
Background: Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) does not feature in mainstream diagnostic classifications such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), but is frequently diagnosed in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and is becoming more frequently diagnosed in the United Kingdom.
Aims: To familiarize readers with current controversies surrounding APD, with an emphasis on how APD might be conceptualized in relation to language and reading problems, attentional problems and autistic spectrum disorders.
Methods & Procedures: Different conceptual and diagnostic approaches adopted by audiologists and psychologists can lead to a confusing picture whereby the child who is regarded as having a specific learning disability by one group of experts may be given an APD diagnosis by another. While this could be indicative of co-morbidity, there are concerns that different professional groups are using different labels for the same symptoms.
Conclusions & Implications: APD, as currently diagnosed, is not a coherent category, but that rather than abandoning the construct, we need to develop improved methods for assessment and diagnosis, with a focus on interdisciplinary evaluation.
All of those programs involve regular practice of certain behaviors, and there are three behaviors we humans can hope to manage or control, our thinking, our feelings, and our behaviors, or how our body moves.
If you have read Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s book FLOW, which is treatise on the psychology of optimal performance, then you know that we process sound, visual, touch, smell, and taste information at the rate of seven bits of data every 1/18th second, so self help programs need to be learned and implemented in a very short period of time. (1/18th second is twice as fast as I can blink my eyes).
Self help then must be a process of awareness and management of sensory processing done very quickly and very frequently.
I liken the process for my anger management clients to steering a car, you make thousands of small adjustments to the position of the vehicle on the road, and are paying attention to hundreds of variables at a given moment, traffic in front, behind, traffic lights, children, the policeman six blocks ahead, ect. As you do this, you keep the vehicle going in the direction you want, at the speed you want, in a safe way for yourself and other drivers. You avoid potholes.
The blog post linked to below talks about Dr. Charles Parker, psychiatrist and ADHD expert. I have spoken with Dr. Parker on a couple of occasions and he was quite gracious in looking at our program. He was helpful, open minded and great to listen to as I was getting more involved in the science behind brain fitness topics. As will many psychiatrists with expansive minds and reading lists, he was never closed minded in his approach to LBP even though he never decided "take it on" or make it more central to his studies. I recall spending a great deal of time learning about SPEC imaging and other empirical methods based on reading from his blog and last year got to enjoy his presentation to the Virtual ADHD conference. Nice article and best wishes to Dr. Parker. Thanks to Moms With ADD/ADHD site for the posting.
Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, ADHD expert and best-selling author, announces making the Learning Breakthrough Program available at the prestigious Hallowell Centers in both Massachusetts and New York.
Dr. Hallowell's inclusion of Learning Breakthrough's proven balance and sensory remediation program is a welcome addition to the therapy options offered at his US centers. Learning Breakthrough will be critical to his positive, multidisciplinary, "strength-based" treatment aproach and is being used to help solve the challenges of ADHD, Dyslexia, CAPD as well as other cognitive needs. The program's value lies in enabling clients to further their developmental and academic objectives as well as social, behavioral and self-esteem ones, which is exactly why it has been so valuable as a complementary treatment in similar clinics for decades.
Use It or Lose It: The Theory and Practice of Brain Exercise and Fitness for Cognitive Health - 1252th Edition | Health Blog
When we exercise our brains, we put our Neurons and connections between neurons in action.
Given the diversity of functions outlined above, it is clear that different activities are going to activate different brain areas, which scientists now know thanks to neuroimaging techniques. There is no one magic bullet that is best (either crosswords puzzles, or computer-based programs, or physical exercise): we do need a variety of mental stimulation or “brain exercises”.
Found this article with commentary and tips. many you may have heard before but regardless, reminders that keep us focused on the most important themes are always useful and I enjoyed the article as well. As an example, I found the homework advice a good refresher...
This is also first test of Zej's new tool recommendation of "Press This" for fast publishing of links and just raw text from any source. Excellent tool for efficient publishing.
A newly published article by the Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine outlines another look into the role the cerebellum plays in language development and cognition. There are many researchers investigating this part of the brain that is so deeply involved in movement and a huge variety of "automated" functions. The exact logic of how the brain uses all its various systems to divide and tackle the complex cognitive tasks it performs every day is still in its infancy. However, the efficiency of cerebellar functions and how it can be enhanced through calibrated neuro-motor and vestibular training is constantly being examined as a likely method of improving brain fitness generally and as a way to overcome specific learning challenges.
The entire article is available here: Functional Topography of the Cerebellum in Verbal Working Memory, with the abstract printed below for your convenience.
Welcome. As we launch this blog and work to communicate with our program users and readers from many fields, we plan to do as much listening as talking. We will be elaborating on our mission and better defining what we call "The Belgau Hypothesis" and we are thrilled to have the input of blog readers regardless of their background.
LBP has had much anecdotal success for a couple of decades on the learning disabilities and cognitive efficiency fronts. The program continues to be used by therapists and doctors as an "alternative treatment" for challenges like auditory processing delay, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, dyspraxia, memory, comprehension, executive function and as an academic improvement tool for users of all ages. However, it still needs the type of scientific validation that takes great time and resources to establish. If the web is good at anything...it is moving a clinically proven concept like LBP to a community supported, scientifically validated treatment model. We invite the assistance of all like-minded supporters as well as skeptics. We believe that Frank Belgau's work will only become more widely appreciated as time goes on.
Years of working with Frank and Beverley Belgau (and their son Eric as well as others close to the program) has generated a working hypothesis of cognitive organization (based on sensory integration treatment with a precise vestibular remediation component). We intend to see this become the basis for the future scientific study of LBP. Supporting and documenting the general efficacy of the program is of primary importance. However, sharing relevant and helpful information, concepts and the writings of others with all who are interested in strength-based, "alternative" interventions, is a close second. Watch this space, share your thoughts and help us spread the word in what ever way you can.
Thanks for reading and for not keeping Learning Breakthrough a secret.