The weekend of June 17th to 19th, 2016, I had the pleasure of attending the “Living with Lyme Retreat” held at the lovely Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts. This retreat was sponsored by Lyme Awareness of Cape Cod. Jim and I arrived on Friday late afternoon and received a warm welcome followed by a barrage of questions. The majority of attendees have been challenged with Lyme and associated diseases or Post Lyme Treatment Syndrome for many years with significant functional impairments.
Across the world today, there are 47.5 million people struggling with dementia, or the decline of mental ability so severe it affects a person’s day-to-day life. The term describes a range of symptoms from decline in memory to reduced brain function, which affects a person’s ability to perform regular activities. Damage in the brain’s nerve cells causes dementia, with many parts of the brain being prone to this type of damage. The symptoms are dependent on which part of the brain is affected.
A person’s diet plays a very large role in both physical and cognitive function. Therefore, if a person has a particular nutritional sensitivity, it can impact a person’s daily performance without the person even realizing it. One of the most under diagnosed food sensitivities today is gluten, a protein specifically found in wheat, rye, and barley.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States today, affecting more than 15 million people. On average, people start experiencing depression at 32 years old, however 3.3% of teenagers between 13-18 have depressive disorders as well. Depression is greatly influenced by biological, genetic, environmental, nutritional, and/or psychological factors. Impaired functioning between neurotransmitters in different regions of the brain that are responsible for regulating mood may result in onset of depression. Neurofeedback is a great supplemental method to help retrain the brain to function most efficiently. Neurofeedback specialists pinpoint exactly where the brain is having trouble functioning, and teaches the brain to self-correct, reducing or eliminating the symptoms of depression over time.
Learning a foreign language is arguably one of the best ways to exercise the brain, as the process of learning a new language requires an immense amount of brain activation in various areas of the brain. When the brain hears a word, the brain immediately begins to analyze the sounds to make sense of what is being said. This process of understanding and formulating responses engages different parts of the brain at once. Various executive functions are utilized and developed in the process, including attention, memory, reasoning, organization, and planning. In fact, these parts of the brain are notably larger in bilingual people than in monolinguals, making them able to manage complex situations and switch back and forth between tasks with more ease.