Really tough question for sure. I am regularly in the position of being asked whether the things we can offer will help someone's parent, spouse, sibling, lover, partner recover their memory and other cognitive and physical functioning. I understand that I'm going to be asked these questions and each time my internal experience is that I have to answer this for the first time. Each situation is different and yet there are some aspects that are unchanging, mainly the profound pain and fear coming from the questioner. I take in their feelings and it resonates with my own sense of urgency, frustration and fundamental impotence.
What we know is that in principle the combining of functional medicine, neurofeedback and light therapy can have a profound effect on the progression of dementing illnesses. The root cause analysis is crucial to being able to address each person's condition effectively. This is not difficult to understand and yet it is a challenge to explain this to people struggling with loss of cognition and their family members who are seeking answers and solutions. Explaining the 3-legged stool that comprises our thinking is sometimes hard to grasp and yet is necessary to elicit compliance especially when we are not talking about a shot or a pill taken once or twice a day. Especially when we are talking about spending sometimes thousands of dollars on therapies that are not acknowledged to be effective by the FDA or Medicare or the AMA. We are asking people to trust us with their lives and resources at an extremely vulnerable point in their lives and this must be dealt with directly and with complete transparency and integrity.
We have evidence that what we're suggesting works, studies have been published but they are few and the sample sizes are often less than 50 subjects. Our recently completed trial on transcranial and intraocular infrared photobiomodulation had 100 subjects in two sites which makes it larger than the typical study in this field. Our collaborators being a large academic medical institution is also a helpful addition to bolstering our credibility. The point is that there is evidence to support the use of these methods of treatment and they are not what is being promoted on television or currently being funded by the NIH. We are hopeful that this will change soon and that combined photobiomodulation and neurofeedback training will find support within the Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Division.
The hard part of knowing when to stop compulsively trying the next thing that 'might help' is how to cope with the thought that you didn't do everything you could. We don't want to be blamed by others but moreso not by ourselves for having stopped trying to 'help'. How to live with the guilt and recrimination? Admit that you were doing things more to reduce your distress than to help them recover. If we listen to the traditional doctors these days, there's 'nothing to be done' other than palliative and hospice care for people with moderate to severe dementia. I think this has led folks to terrible conflict wherein they want to accept the relief of 'there's nothing I can do' while feeling the need to 'do something'. The hard conversations that must be had with family to admit what they are feeling and then be guided as to what can be done to support their loved one while also supporting the family as a whole's survival and well being. The questions about 'how long do we want this to go on? What is realistic for us to do to help them recover, i.e., how much time, energy and resources can we put toward this endeavor? How do we support each other in managing our guilt when it comes up and how to do we manage our impulses to reduce our own difficult feelings by putting them on someone else?
Don't skip over these conversations not matter how much you'd like to as they will serve the family and you in the years ahead.
The Freespira respiration training system is a game-changing resource for people in our practice and with whom we've conducted research to evaluate its' effectiveness. This study:https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10484-020-09465-0 linked here is a recent study of the Freespira with panic disordered patients. Our work with subjects experiencing anxiety, PTSD, post-concussion syndrome and panic disorder have all reported significan and lasting improvement in symptoms. Please consider this safe and reliable option for home-baed, self-administered, non-drug help If you are struggling with anxiety as many people are in this exceedingly challenging time. The treatment is available at a significant discount along with a comprehensive neurophysiological assessment for those participating in our trials. Contact Dr. Berman at 610-940-0488 for details or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are seeing a remarkable moment in our field where pretiigious laboraories like Ben Gurion University are making claims of new breakthroughs in the field of neurophysiology that for some of us are coming about 50 years after the fact. This report notes that EEG activity of people with neurodegenerative diseases exhibit predictably altered patterns of brain electrical activity that can be measured noninvasively. The focus is on non focal seizure activity that relates to abnormalities in cortical perfusion. Our lab described this in an early poster at the 2009 International Alzheimer's Association meeting in Vienna. We showed that subjects were able to modify their brainwave activity using operant conditioning methods which translated into improved behavioral and cogntitive functioning on a number of neuropsychological test measures.
In a study published in 2017 we showed that near infrared spactroscopy of subjects receiving daily transcranial and intraocular pulsed near-infrared light therapy showed a significant increase in the range of perfusion and extraction of blood flow in the frontal lobes. These increases also correlated with improve cognitive functioning, behavior and mood stability.
Hopefully, these institutions will consider integrating these approaches and noting the potential synergistic potential as we are doing now in our current trials.
The recent report from the University of Cambridge has reinforced the longstanding view of many clinicians and researchers in the neurofeedback community that improving neural connectivity is critical to improving cognitive, behavioral and other functions. Their research on children with learning challenges demonstrated the importance of modifying neural connection hubs rather than specific locations.
“Scientists have argued for decades that there are specific brain regions that predict having a particular learning disorder or difficulty, but we’ve shown that this isn’t the case,” said Dr Duncan Astle, senior author on the study. “In fact, it’s much more important to consider how these brain areas are connected – specifically, whether they are connected via hubs. The severity of learning difficulties was strongly associated with the connectedness of these hubs, we think because these hubs play a key role in sharing information between brain areas.”
Neurofeedback and neuromodulation techniques including photobiomodulation have shown that intervening at the network level can produchttps://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/learning-difficulties-due-to-poor-connectivity-not-specific-brain-regions-study-shows significant improvements across many different areas of functioning. The research now being done at Quietmind Foundation in collaboration with their study partners at Baylor Research Institute in Temple, TX has demonstrated this to be the case for helping reverse both motor, mood and cognitive functioning in older adults with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Future trials will integrate targeted light stimulation with neurofeedback training of specific brain networks to see how this may improve the robustness of clinical outcomes compared to light therapy alone.
In 2018, Dr Berman was invited to speak about how Photobiomodulation (Light Therapy) & Neurofeedback (brain mapping) could help those with Alzheimer's, Dementia, or Parkinson's. During this podcast, Dr Berman shares his experiences as a psychotherapist that helped him recognize how there could be potentially many neurological disorders that were caused by undiagnosed traumatic brain injury. Through this realization, he set to explore how he could combine brain mapping (using a QEEG) and photobiomodulation as a treatment for other neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Dementia, and Parkinson's.
Photobiomodulation (light therapy) is the process of using Near Infrared Light to both stimulate blood flow in your brain and protein. This light is pulsed at a specific frequency between the range of 700 and 900 nanometers, and then a QEEG (brain mapping) is used to monitor the changes in a person's brain.
At the end of 2020, Dr. Berman completed his recruitment for study (granted by the National Institute of Health (NIH)) that will follow the progress of a 100 patients with with early to mid-stage dementia. In early 2021, he hopes to have published the results of this study.
I want to share this important news about a treatment for COVID 19 that has been upgraded by CDC and has been shown to be quite helpful as a prophylactic and early intervention therapeutic intervention. This report is from our functional medicine colleagues at Health Revival Partners with whom we collaborate on all our cases where evaluation of underlying metabolic, infectious factors. They play a key role in our 3-pronged treatment approach of digital neurotherapeutics, photobiomodulation and functional medicine.
Recent evidence is proving that COVID19 causes serious white matter damage much like that caused by stroke. I am sharing this with everyone as it is quite clear that my not having sustained neurological injury from my experience with CV19 last April is due to my intensive use of transcranial photobiomodulation therapy. I treated myself with the Cognitolite device 2-4xdaiky for 5 weeks during the period I was infected and then 3-5 x / week thereafter. I also used 5 doses of clarithromycin, 2G vitC 3-4x/day, 5000iu D3, 50mcg zinc.
There is published evidence that this type of stimulation has improved healing rates against viruses eg, MRSA and improved cognitive cognitive functions of people struggling with various forms of dementia.
I encourage the use of near infrared LED light stimulation and am participating in several studies to further describe the mechanism of action.
see the equipment section of this website for several options including the Cognitolite now available for purchase.
This report underscores the importance of increasing efforts to recruit communities of color to participate in ongoing clinical trials of innovative dementia treatments. Quietmind Fdn. has succeeded in recruiting 12% of the forty subjects in it's most recent trial on the efficacy of twice-daily, self-administered, transcranial and intraocular near-infrared (1068nm) photobiomodulation therapy. We have to find ways to encourage greater participation from these communities in order to determine the disparities in response and therefor how best to modify treatment protocols to produce better clinical outcomes.
QMF will soon be initiating several home-based, self-administered, clinical trial protocols using different noninvasive, non-drug therapeutic applications of infrared-light and pulsed electromagnetic stimulation. Please contact us through the website or by phone (610) 940-0488 to inquire and enroll as there will be a limited number of subjects accepted.
January 5, 2021Disparities Persist in Dementia Risk of Black and White AdultsMary Stroka
More work is needed to identify and address modifiable sources of persistent racial disparities in US dementia prevalence.The ratio of dementia risk across non-Hispanic Black and White individuals in the United States does not appear to have changed between 2000 and 2016, researchers found in a study published in JAMA Neurology.
Several studies have reported that the risk of dementia is higher in non-Hispanic Black individuals than in non-Hispanic White individuals. Using data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative study of adults aged 50 and older, the researchers sought to examine whether relative racial disparities in dementia in the US, both in terms of relative prevalence and relative incidence of dementia, changed from 2000 to 2016.
The researchers analyzed data from 9 HRS waves spanning 2000 through 2016. Each wave (which had a range of 6322 to 7579 eligible participants per wave) became a cross-sectional study to quantify racial disparities in the prevalence of dementia at 2-year intervals from 2000 through 2016. The researchers estimated trends in racial disparities over that time using the data from all 9 waves.
Subcohorts (which ranged in size from 5322 to 5961 participants) with 4 years of follow-up were nested within the larger longitudinal HRS to quantify racial disparities over calendar periods, with baseline years in 2000 to 2012. All subcohorts’ data was then combined.
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Participants who had an algorithmic dementia diagnosis in the baseline year were excluded from subcohorts, and subcohort participants who did not have a diagnosis at the end of 2 waves of follow-up were censored.
The researchers conducted all analyses using the Expert Model, LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator), and Modified Hurd Algorithms, which predict dementia status based on sociodemographic characteristics, physical health, and cognitive health collected at HRS interview. All 3 algorithms were designed for use in HRS-based studies of racial and ethnic disparities in dementia by having similar out-of-sample sensitivity and specificity across non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black subgroups.
The study authors applied HRS sampling weights to adjust for differential probability of inclusion and accounted for geographic stratification and clustering when estimating standard errors. Data from non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White HRS participants who were aged 70 and older at each wave to whom they could assign an algorithmic dementia diagnosis were analyzed. Weighted regression models were used to estimate crude dementia prevalence ratios and to estimate and quantify time trends in dementia incidence. Race-specific distribution of age and sex in the year 2000 were standardized.
The Expert Model and LASSO algorithms classified an average of 20% of participants as having dementia while the Modified Hurd algorithm classified 18% of participants as having dementia. All 3 algorithms found that non-Hispanic Black participants had about a 1.5 to 1.9 times higher prevalence of dementia compared with non-Hispanic White participants in all waves in both crude and standardized estimates.
Overall, dementia prevalence declined with time in both crude and standardized estimates, and point estimates suggested a slight decline in the crude prevalence ratio comparing the groups in later years, but relative dementia prevalence across both groups did not change substantially over time. After age and sex standardization, there was no evidence of a shrinking racial disparity over time.
Across all subcohorts, non-Hispanic Black participants had an approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher incidence of dementia in comparison with non-Hispanic White participants. Analyses using the Expert Model or Modified Hurd algorithms to ascertain dementia status suggested no change over time, whereas analyses using the LASSO model suggested declining dementia incidence with time only in age- and sex-standardized analyses.
Limitations of the study included the use of an algorithm to ascertain dementia and the focus on the prevalence and incidence of the clinical syndrome of dementia rather than biomarker-based diagnoses of Alzheimer disease.
“Although our findings suggest stable or declining dementia risk overall, we found no evidence to suggest that relative racial disparities in dementia risk have narrowed between 2000 and 2016,” the authors said.
Power MC, Bennett EE, Turner RW, et al. Trends in relative incidence and prevalence of dementia across non-Hispanic Black and White individuals in the United States, 2000-2016. JAMA Neurol. Published online November 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.4471
The gross politicizing of the COVID 19 pandemic has crippled the relevant process of scientific dialogue and exploration leaving us without a shred of alignment as to how best to treat this disease and pinning far too much hope on the vaccination process. There are important insights regarding the use of existing treatments like ivermectin and hydrochloroquine and infrared photobiomodulation that are not being taken seriously enough here in the USA while other countries are saving lives and decreasing the disasterous effects of lockdowns on the economy. Quietmind is working with Durham University and other research groups to better understand the use of PBM for treating CV19 symptoms and helping to prevent infection by boosting immune responsiveness. Take this article seriously and prepare your own lines of defense against this terrible disease.
Our team regularly publishes articles and blog posts on the latest research and news coming out of our group and the field in general.