Category: Brain Health

Concussions from School Sports Were Keeping David from Landing His Dream Career

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 Sometimes David got to the locker room and  couldn’t remember the football game he’d just played.

In junior high, David had been a straight A student. But after a concussion, he began struggling in school, and additional concussions while playing football in high school only made things worse.

Years later, married and with a baby on the way, David graduated from a police academy. But repeatedly his applications for jobs were rejected because his test scores were too low.  After applying to 56 police departments—without a single job offer—David called LearningRx.

He calls what happened next “an awakening” of his brain.

“Shortly after starting brain training, I remembered a dream I’d had the night before,” David says. “That hadn’t happened since… well, since I was a kid! After that, improvements just kept coming.”

One day, driving on a familiar tree-lined street David realized that, in his peripheral vision, he could see houses past the trees. For years, his field of vision had only included the street and the trees. Brain training was even improving his vision!

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Great News! Many Holiday Favorites are Actually Good for Your Brain!

This holiday season, there’s a good chance you’re going to eat your fill of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pecan pie. And you’ll probably polish it all off with a good cup of coffee.

And if you’re tempted to feel guilty about chowing down on all your holiday favorites, maybe this’ll make you feel better:

Many traditional holiday favorites are actually good for your brain!

Stuffing, for example, is chock-full of bread crust, which is rich in antioxidants. And researchers say that the ursolic acid found in cranberries can improve cognitive function by increasing the brain’s sensitivity to insulin. It can also correct metabolism errors caused by obesity and protect against brain damage immediately following a stroke.

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The Scary Side of Sugar: You Know It Expands Your Middle, but Did You Know It Slows Growth in Your Brain?

Halloween may be over, but there’s a good chance you’ve got plenty of Halloween candy lying around your house. Maybe you’ve got a bowl of unclaimed miniature Snickers from trick-or-treat no-shows. Or maybe you simply know where your kids hid their stash of goodies. Either way, you—and your kids—probably have access to lots of sugary goodies from the October 31st tradition.

We don’t need to tell you that indulging your sweet tooth by binging on all that candy isn’t good for you. You already know that too much sugar will impact the size of your waist. Did you also know it can also impact the size of your brain?

Here’s how it works:

Your body produces a brain chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (or BDNF). This chemical is a good thing, because it helps your brain grow and create new neurons. In other words, if you want a healthy brain with the ability to expand neural connections and function well, you want as much BDNF as possible.

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Link Between Adult ADHD and the Second Most Common Form of Dementia

September is National ADHD Awareness Month, and in their ongoing quest for answers, researchers continue to discover new things about the common diagnosis, estimated to affect up to 16% of school aged children and close to 5% of adults. In the United States alone, roughly 8.8 million adults are thought to struggle with the condition.

A new study has found a link between adult ADHD and a certain form of dementia.

After Alzheimer’s, DLB is the second most common form of dementia. DLB stands for, of all things, “Dementia with Lewy Bodies.” Lewy bodies, named after the doctor who discovered them, are spherical protein deposits found in nerve cells that disrupt the normal functioning of the brain’s important chemical messengers.

Currently DBL accounts for 10% of dementia cases (although many doctors think it is vastly underdiagnosed, since it shares some characteristics with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease).

In a recent study, researchers in Argentina studied  509 people in their 70s (360 of them with DLB) and discovered that nearly half of the men and women who ended up with DLB in their senior years also had adult ADHD. The occurrence of adult ADHD in seniors with DLB was more than three times the rate in the group without DLB.

Dr. Angel Golimstok, one of the authors of the study, says that it looks like the same neurotransmitter pathway problems are involved in the development of both conditions. 

Traumatic Brain Injury Miracle: John Keller’s Amazing Journey to Recovery

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Traumatic brain injury. Crushed pelvis. Seventy (70!) days in a coma. John Keller may have survived the horrific motorcycle accident that derailed his life, but his fight for life had just begun.

After 14 surgeries and 344 days in the hospital, John Keller was released to go home—but life was anything but normal for the 34-year-old.

John says that, more than a year after his accident, his traumatic brain injury left him so impaired that, “I could meet somebody and forget their name in 30 seconds.” His vision, speech and ability to think were also impacted.

In this riveting video, John’s dad describes the mixed blessing of bringing his son home after 344 days in the hospital. He explains, “John went into the hospital on a gurney, in a coma, and we’re so thankful that he walked out. But what do you do after they walk out? John had come to a certain level in his understanding, his functions and his speech, but he needed to go further.”

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