Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain why teens have trouble controlling impulses.


Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD.

In the United States, at least 9 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5 percent. How has the epidemic of ADHD—firmly established in the U.S.—almost completely passed over children in France?

Featured imageIs ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the U.S. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes. The preferred treatment is also biological—psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin andAdderall.

French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.

To read the full article click here

About the Author:  published by Dr. Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on Mar 08, 2012 in Suffer the Children


Does a Real Anti-Aging Pill Already Exist?

One afternoon in the early 1980s, Suren Sehgal brought a strange package home from work and stashed it in his family’s freezer. Wedged beside the ice cream, it was wrapped in heavy plastic and marked, “DON’T EAT!” Inside were several small glass vials containing a white paste—all that remained of a rare bacterium that today is the foundation of the most promising anti-aging drug in decades. Sehgal had been studying it since 1972, when he’d first isolated it in a soil sample at Ayerst Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company in Montreal.

A Canadian medical expedition had collected the soil from beneath one of the mysterious stone heads on Easter Island, a speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the dirt, Sehgal had discovered Streptomyces hygroscopicus, a bacterium that secreted a potent antifungal compound. This intrigued him; he thought perhaps it could be made into a cream for athlete’s foot or other fungal conditions. He purified the stuff and named it rapamycin, after Easter Island’s native name, Rapa Nui.

It soon proved its potential. When a neighbor’s wife developed a stubborn fungal skin condition, Sehgal mixed up a rapamycin ointment for her. “It was probably illegal,” says his son Ajai Sehgal, but the infection cleared up quickly. Suren, a biochemist who’d immigrated to Canada from a tiny village in what’s now Pakistan, became convinced that he’d stumbled upon something special. Before he could develop it any further, however, Ayerst abruptly closed its Montreal lab, and his bosses ordered all “nonviable” compounds destroyed—including the rapamycin. Sehgal couldn’t bring himself to do it and instead squirreled a few vials of Streptomyces hygroscopicus into his freezer at home. Most of the staff was fired, but Sehgal was transferred to the company’s lab in Princeton, N.J. The plastic package made the move packed in dry ice.

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About the Author:  Bill Gifford, Bloomberg News

Neurofeedback technique can ‘reboot’ brain for ADHD, PTSD sufferers

electrodesIn September 2013, Chris Gardner went from kicking and spinning as a black belt in taekwondo to being locked in a world where he could not follow conversations — or even walk his dog. The 58-year-old Vienna, Va., resident had just had brain surgery to remove a large tumour, and the operation affected his mobility and cognition.

After nine months of physical and occupational therapy, he’d made little progress. So he tried neurofeedback, hoping this controversial treatment would improve his balance and mental processes.
Neurofeedback — a type of biofeedback — uses movies, video games, computers and other tools to help individuals regulate their brain waves. A patient might watch a movie, for example, while hooked to sensors that send data to a computer. A therapist, following the brain activity on a monitor, programs the computer to stop the movie if an abnormal number of fast or slow brain waves is detected or if the brain waves are erratic, moving rapidly from fast to slow waves.

The stop-and-start feedback, repeated over and over in numerous sessions, seems to yield more-normal brain waves. Researchers who endorse the technique say they don’t know exactly how it works but they say the changes in brain waves result in improved ability to focus and relax.  Read the complete article by clicking here



Machines Teach Humans How to Feel Using Neurofeedback

Humans are social animals, and feelings of attachment, connection and empathy are the glue that binds societies together. Before an infant’s immune system is fully operational, before a baby can even use its hands, it recognizes its parents’ voices, responds uniquely to human faces and even, incredibly, smiles back.

Yet, some people, often as the result of traumatic experiences or neglect, don’t experience these fundamental social feelings normally. Could a machine teach them these quintessentially human responses? A thought-provoking Brazilian study recently published in PLoS One suggests it could.

Researchers at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, performed functional MRI scans on healthy young adults while asking them to focus on past experience that epitomized feelings of non-sexual affection or pride of accomplishment. They set up a basic form of artificial intelligence to categorize, in real time, the fMRI readings as affection, pride or neither. They then showed the experiment group a graphic form of biofeedback to tell them whether their brain results were fully manifesting that feeling; the control group saw the meaningless graphics.

fMRI, brain scans, mental health, artificial intelligence, AI, medicineThe results demonstrated that the machine-learning algorithms were able to detect complex emotions that stem from neurons in various parts of the cortex and sub-cortex, and the participants were able to hone their feelings based on the feedback, learning on command to light up all of those brain regions.

Jorge Moll, the lead researcher, told Singularity Hub that the participants weren’t beating the system by faking feelings, because that would lead to its own fMRI pattern. They were learning to feel a particular emotion more completely.

Click below to read the full article:  http://www.singularityhub.com/2014/06/16/machines-teach-humans-how-to-feel-using-neurofeedback/

To learn more about Neurofeedback Services in St. George, Utah click here: http://www.nfcenters.com

There’s a Suicide Epidemic in Utah — And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why

Welcome To Utah SignLiving in Utah means packed powder in April, canyoneering in the clouds, snow-capped vistas so vivid they look Photoshopped — and the shortest average work week in the country. So it’s not surprising that surveys show how much Utah residents love their outdoorsy, adventure-filled state.

But there’s another side to Utah that isn’t shown in surveys. Despite ranking as America’s happiest state, Utah has disproportionately high rates of suicide and associated mood disorders compared to the rest of the country. In fact, it’s the No. 1 state for antidepressant use. These polarized feelings of despondency and delight underlie a confusing phenomenon that Perry Renshaw, a neuroscientist at the University of Utah investigating the strange juxtaposition, calls the “Utah paradox.”

Utah residents and experts are aware of the paradox, often attributing gun use, low population density and the area’s heavy Mormon influence as potential factors. But Renshaw thinks he’s identified a more likely cause for the Utah blues: altitude.

Renshaw believes that altitude has an impact on our brain chemistry, specifically that it changes the levels of serotonin and dopamine, two key chemicals in the brain that help regulate our feelings of happiness. America’s favorite antidepressants (and party drugs) work by controlling the level of these chemicals in the brain. The air in Utah, one could say, works just like this.

Since moving to Utah in 2008, Renshaw has found mounting statistical, scientific and anecdotal support for his theory. If Renshaw’s theory holds true, his work represents a major step forward in solving a long-standing mental health mystery.

Read the full article here:


To learn how Neurofeedback Therapy treats Depression without drugs or surgery click here:


The Day Neurofeedback Became “the Biggest Thing to Ever Happen” in Addiction Recovery.

1993It had been 25 years since Bob Dickson, now Head of the Texas Commission for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation, had been dealing with the growing epidemic of substance abuse.  The year was 1993 and Commissioner Dickson was having little to no success.  “We weren’t making much progress.  When cognitive behavioral therapy came along we got excited.  It helped a little. As Commissioner, my annual budget had exploded from $20,000,000 to $180,000,000.  Nothing was working.  We kept seeing the same people again and again.  Something had to change.”

Unbeknownst to Commissioner Dickson, in a clinic some 1700 miles away, 2 researchers: Bill Scott and Eugene Peniston were about to make history.  In an effort to decrease relapse rates in recovering alcohol addicted individuals, they began a study involving 25 Navajo Veterans, all suffering with alcohol addiction and PTSD.  Their research revolved around reducing the anxiety associated with addiction recovery.  Addiction, as well as PTSD, create a situation where stress neurotransmitters and hormones are produced in large quantities.  This makes the patient hyper sensitive to stress and overreaction to the slightest incident produces the foundation for relapse.  Left unaddressed, relapse was all but a foregone conclusion.  Scott and Peniston theorized that stopping the flood of stress related neuro-chemicals could eliminate hyper sensitivity to stress and help reset the pleasure centers of the brain.  Their solution: in addition to traditional addiction treatment, they would add very specific Neurofeedback Therapy protocols.  To their amazement, the study was beyond a success and bordered on a breakthrough.  Of the 24 participants receiving treatment, 79% remained abstinent from alcohol 12-24 months following treatment and 100% experienced no symptoms associated with PTSD.  Their study was published and found its way to Commissioner Dickson’s desk.

Commissioner Dickson now recalls, “After reading the study I got on a plane and flew to California to meet these guys.  Needless to say I was impressed.  I came back and we ran three pilot studies.  All produced the same results as Scott and Peniston.  Neurofeedback had become the biggest thing to ever happen in Addiction Recovery Treatment.  When you give them Neurofeedback, they don’t come back.

This had a profound impact on Bob Dickson.  At that moment the state of Texas was offering select individuals early retirement.  Bob recounts, “I told my wife I had to pursue this (neurofeedback) and this is my opportunity.”   Bob Dickson soon retired from the state and went on to found the Southwest Health Technology Foundation where he conducted and published multiple studies concerning Neurofeedback, Addiction Recovery and Peak Academic Performance Training.  Bob is now semi retired and living in Tennessee but recalls that moment like it happened yesterday.

For the opportunity to experience Neurofeedback Addiction Recovery Treatment in Utah, visit the website below:


About the author:  Greg Warden is Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah and Program Director of the Neurofeedback Addiction Recovery Center

Cats, Astronauts and Orange Robes… The Unlikely History of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback began in the late 1950’s through the work of Dr Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago.  He discovered that he could train cats to control their epileptic seizures through a simple brain feedback device. Happily, he moved on to train humans to control their epilepsy using the same method.

In the 1960’s, the technique caught the attention of NASA scientists, who used it in astronaut training – initially to train out the likelihood of astronauts having seizures when exposed to lander fuel, and later for focus and attention training. They still use it in their space training programs today.

In the mid 1970’s, neurofeedback caught the attention of meditators as an aid in spiritual development, and so wandered into the no-man’s land between science and religion. Conferences were attended by two people in orange robes for each one in a white lab coat. Soon neurofeedback gained a certain reputation as a meditation or spiritual tool, which considering the extreme biases of the time made it an unpopular choice for career minded researchers.

Neurofeedback didn’t fit the (now defunct) medical view of how the brain functioned. Though the empirical data proved that neurofeedback worked, it couldn’t possibly work under the medical model. This kept neurofeedback regarded as ‘spooky’ medicine.

On the fringes work continued. By the late 80’s neurofeedback was being applied to attention deficit disorders, and through the 90’s to a wide variety of psychological and central nervous system based conditions.

Over the last decade, the medical view of the brain has changed completely and the principles of neuroplasticity are universally accepted. Neuroscience has come to accept the interrelation between the central nervous system, the autoimmune system, emotional, physical, and mental health. It has conceded that indeed, the brain can change at any age, and that we create new neurones throughout life. The natural mechanisms underlying neurofeedback are now becoming clear.

To most medical practitioners, neurofeedback is still foreign. Many hold a view based on its old reputation, and have had no exposure to the vast research available concerning neurofeedback. Old views die hard, particularly regarding competing methods that lie outside of their expertise.

About the Author:  BrainWorks Neurotherapy is located in London, UK.  http://www.brainworksneurotherapy.com

Why Astronauts Have Ice Water in Their Veins

jet packImagine this… you are 203 miles above the Earth, traveling at 17,000 miles per hour and you are attached to nothing.  For most, this would conjur feelings of absolute terror but not if you work for NASA.  Why?  For the past 50 plus years NASA has made Neurofeedback a quintessential component of astronaut training.  By utilizing Alpha – Theta Brain Wave cross training or “Deep States” Neurofeedback, astronauts are capable of harnessing their emotions, clearing their minds of “chatter” and focusing like a laser beam.  They do not obsess and are able to quickly move forward following a negative incident.  Does it work?  On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were descending towards the lunar surface.  This was to usher forth Man’s first steps on the moon but something went terribly wrong.  Armstrong and Aldrin realized they had over shot the landing zone by several miles and were heading towards a field of massive boulders.  The situation presented two options: abort or crash.  With 100’s of millions of people watching the descent on television, Armstrong made a fateful decision… he disengaged the auto pilot and took manual control of the Lunar Module.  After spending several minutes surveying the surface for a landing spot, Mission Control began counting down, “60 seconds, 50 seconds, 30 seconds.”  The entire planet heard this but no one knew what it meant.  Mission Control was warning Armstrong of how long he had until he was out of fuel.  With 20 seconds of fuel remaining, Armstrong safely landed and the rest is history.  The amazing thing is not that he safely landed but his demanor when reporting it to Mission Control, “Houston… Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.”  Stated like just another day at the office. Cool as a cucumber. Neurofeedback Peak Performance training provides this level of focus and control.  To hear the the final moments of Aldrin and Armstrong’s descent, click the link below and go to 2:52 of the video.  Listen for the Mission Control countdown and Armstrong’s landing announcement.

To learn more about Neurofeedback Peak Performance Training visit our website at http://www.nfcenters.com

About the Author: Greg Warden is Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah in St. George

What’s in a Name? How Neurofeedback works.

questionEvery day I receive calls from people asking, “Does Neurofeedback treat this?  Does Neurofeedback treat that?”  The conditions range from Adult ADD to Anxiety to Depression and everything in between.  What Neurofeedback is effective in treating is much easier to understand once we drop the “labels” for specific conditions.  Neurofeedback is used to address symtpoms associated with Brain Wave Dysregulation Syndrome (BDS.)  BDS occurs when Brain Wave levels depart from accepted normal magnitudes, be it high or low.  When this occurs, specific symptoms are manifested.  For example:

A) Higher than normal magnitudes of Alpha Wave activity may produce symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia such as pain, irritability or depression.

B) Higher than normal magnitudes of Beta Wave activity may produce symptoms associated with generalized anxiety, panic attacks, migraine/tension headaches, chronic pain or insomnia.

C) With higher than normal magnitudes of Theta or Delta Waves, the person will likely experience attention and focus issues such as those associated with ADHD, cognitive decline, learning disorders, or symptoms related to concussion.

These are just a few examples of Brain Wave Dysregulation Syndrome.  So, the more appropriate question when calling would be, “Do the symptoms associated with depression (or any other condition) fit the known pattern of any form of Brain Wave Dysregulation?”

To learn more about Neurofeedback and its role in combatting BDS, visit our website at:


About the author: Greg Warden is the Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah.