While being a physiotherapist I advocate physical activity over brain training for brain health. I definitely believe there are benefits to completing brain games and puzzles. Now this does not mean endless sessions on the play station or solitaire on the computer. The research is definitely stacking up in favour of researched and carefully planned activities. One great website I have found is BrainHQ which is heavily based on research in the field of neuroplasticity. New research is also showing that specific brain training is having an impact on dementia and improvements in executive functioning.
Brain HQ was started by Michael Merzencih, he is the founder of a great website Posit Science and prominent neuroscientist that works in the field of Neuroplasticity.
One study called the ACTIVE trial has shown that with just 10 hours of speed training ( a type of brain exercise offered by BrainHQ) dementia risk is almost halved. There was a 33% reduction in the incidence of dementia with 10 hours training and 48% reduction in the study participants that practised for longer than 10 hours. For more information on Speed training you can read the results on Posit Sciences Blog here, for full details do check out the FAQ.
Other studies have also shown how the use of brain training from Posit science have had benefits in executive functioning including speed, attention, working memory and useful field of view. This independent research was published in Plos one. For a summary and information on other research into BrainHQ brain training exercise read this blog article on Posit science.
See what you think is it time to add some brain training to your day on top of your physical activity.
STROKE CARERS DAY
Information Day for Carers of those affected by Stroke
Organised by the Stroke Foundation
An event with:
• Guest speakers
• Workshops & Information tables covering:
o Carers experiences and connecting with other carers
o Grief adjustment and self-care
o Entitlements and access to services
o Continence and Pharmacology
Date: Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Venue: Commerce Club of Auckland, 27-33 Ohinerau Street, Remuera
Time: 9.30am to 3.00pm
Cost: $10 per person – includes registration, tea/coffee and lunch
Please contact Tracey Dealey for a registration form
Telephone: 09 475 0070 or Email: email@example.com
Neurological rehabilitation is a specialised area of medicine and health with many different expert professionals involved all striving towards one common goal…
To improve the quality of life of the individual living with the neurological condition.
Health modules have presented for decades that close team work with good communication and a client centered approach are vital to achieve and maintain goals. However in reality this can often be difficult to achieve and even more so when outside of a hospital setting and in the community. With more and more health care systems turning towards different types of private set ups clients can get easily lost in the system and be completely unaware of the amazing professional skills out there.
Also as a health professional our quality of service is highly lifted when I am able to referrer and suggest all types of other professionals that would be able to assist my client. For example, neurological orthotists, clinical psychologists, dietions, speech and lanuage therapists, yoga instructors, equipment companies and even engineers who can help create leading technology.
With all this in mind we have set up the NZ Neuro Rehab Networking Group, we will have an informal get together in Auckland one evening once a quarter which is open to any professional working in the field of neurological rehabilitation. This will provide a platform for some fantastic networking and relationship building with all the same goal in mind…
Please like and follow the facebook page below to join the group and be kept up to date for when the first meeting will be. FACEBOOK GROUP
A neurological condition is with you for life and it is important that you take steps to manage your condition.
A Neurological physiotherapist is well placed to help set you up to maintain and improve your quality of life. Often we see a physio when we have had an injury or we are struggling with our condition. We advocate that you take a more proactive approach to therapy and check in regularly to a neurological physiotherapist to ensure that you are on the right path and addressing any concerns before they start to impact your quality of life.
You should be booking a review with your therapist at least every 6 months, you may find that it is easier to stay accountable, motivated and ahead of major changes before they happen.
It is also highly beneficial to participate in an intensive program periodically, for example;
We recommend that if you are participating in an intensive program that you book a review for 6 weeks after completing the program to ensure you are still tracking towards your long term goals and then 3-6 monthly after that.
LSVT BIG is an exercise therapy program designed for people with Parkinson's disease.
It is an intensive treatment program delivered by specifically trained physiotherapist or occupational therapist over a one month period with a total of 16 one hour sessions.
The training specifically focuses on increasing amplitude of movement “bigness” to enhance overall mobility and function.
It is based on the principles of LSVT Loud a speech therapy technique for Parkinsons disease.
LSVT BIG is designed to be prescribed to patients at initial diagnosis is research is showing lifestyle modification and exercise has a huge impact on quality-of-life but it is never too late to start exercising and should be a priority for all patients.
Starting therapy early is viatally important to patients with Parkinson’s disease as this gives the best chance of maintaining function and neuroprotection.
If you would like further information or an assessment to see if LSVT BIG is suitable for you contact Sarah on 09 424 3254 or 0221270098. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information is also avaliable at LSVT GLobal and LSVT New Zealand
On Thursday the 28th of July 7-8 pm, there is a webinar for patient's with Parkinson's disease by Gilly Davy a Physiotherapist who has recently spent time working in Australia and the UK. She is trained in PD warrior and LSVT BIG she is energetic and engaging her webinar will be informative and helpful for patients and family or carers of those living with Parkinson's disease.
The talk will be inspiring and educational discussion on exercise in Parkinson's disease a must for anyone who has Parkinson's disease.
For those of you who are new to webinars it is an online lecture, where you listen and talk directly with the speaker at the time the webinar is live on line. It is a great way to learn in the comfort of your own home. You can be an active participant or you can just listen.
There is much debate over the existence of cervicogenic vertigo, which would be rotational movement associated with neck pain. Cervicogenic dizziness (CGD) however is a feeling of dizziness often described as lightheadedness (not presyncope) or that a patient has a floating head which is associated neck pain and often with decreased balance.
The mechanism by which cervical pain or dysfunction could lead to dizziness is in dispute, it is thought that inflammation or irritation of the cervical roots or facet joints could cause disruption to the proprioceptive receptors (cervical joint and tendon receptors) in the neck. These receptors are responsible to the postural neck reflexes which are linked with spinal cord, brain stem, cerebrum and cerebellum. It is thought that upper cervical spine proprioception is responsible for the generation of cervico-ocular reflex (COR) which works with the vestibular ocular reflex at lower frequencies. Disruption to proprioception is said to result in a mismatch of information to the balance centres due that cause ongoing dizziness and balance impairment.
Did you know that physical exercise is better for your memory than completing a crossword or Suduko.
We all know that physical exercise is good for our bodies and physical health, but it is also good for our brain health.
Just like other muscles of the body if you don't use it you lose it. Exercise affects the brain on several levels research has shown that with physical exercise that increases your breathing and gets your heart pumping there is an increase in the amount of oxygen the brain receives which provides a nourishing environment for growth of brain cells. Also it has been demonstrated that when we get out of breath hormones that are directly related to improving memory and neuroplasticity of the brain are released into the bloodstream, these hormones are called growth factor an increase in growth factors in the brain- making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections new blood vessels and the health of brain cells.
Showing that exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells and strengthening existing connections in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain.
Exercise helps with neuroplasticity there are also direct and indirect ways that exercise can help overall brain health The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.
Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in people who exercise versus people who don’t.
So how can we put this into practise???????
Researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance (weights) training and balance exercise did not have the same effect.
Studies have shown that people who walked briskly for one hour twice a week had this improvement, which is a total of 120 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Normal recommendations are based on 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes five days a week. Just remember you can build up to this with as little as 10 minutes a day as you get started exercising.
If you don’t want to walk, consider other moderate-intensity exercises, such as swimming, stair climbing, tennis, squash, or dancing. Don’t forget that household activities can count as well, such as intense floor mopping, raking leaves, or anything that gets your heart pumping and breaking out in a light sweat.
Current research is showing that by using vigorous exercise you can potentially slow the progression of your Parkinson’s disease. Medical intervention at present can only help with alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
It has long been known that exercises is important for health, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, helps mood and sleep and is now even shown to improve memory.
However often when we get diagnosed with a Neurological condition we tend to neglect our other systems and often, we start to become inactive and inactivity can be just as damaging as your diagnosed neurological condition. It is important that you are prioritising exercises as it is just as important as taking your medication for your health now and in the future. Anyone can exercise anywhere anyhow.
So how can exercise help with Parkinson’s
Being aware of environment both inside and out is essential to maintain safety and keep our balance. Anyone that has had a fall over something can appreciate how something can just jump out at you from nowhere.
So how can we make our environment safe.
Owner/operator and Senior Physiotherapist of Hibiscus Neuro Rehab.