Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is brain plasticity and why does it matter?

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It’s been a while since scientists first noted that the brain is plastic. This doesn’t mean it’s made of plastic. Instead, neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the ability of the complex organ to change throughout life. The central nervous system can adapt or change after some external stimulation, or the same principle used for restoring brain damaged areas and to heal from injury, according to neuroengineer Dr. Curtis Cripe.


Brain plasticity occurs at the beginning of life, a time when the young brain begins to organize itself. It also takes place during brain injury to compensate for lost functions or help remaining ones, and through your adult years whenever you learn or memorize something new. The scientific consensus is that the brain never stops changing via learning.

Image source: Pixabay.com 
Studies of neural connections also indicate that many damaged cells can lead to new connections based on a process known as synaptic reorganization, forming the basis for brain plasticity. Dr. Curtis Cripe noted that these concepts require the brain as well as the nervous system to be externally stimulated to make development or recovery – such as from trauma or addiction – to occur.

This emerges as a very important process in light of scientific findings that under the right circumstances, neuroplasticity can help an adult mind grow. While specific brain machinery can break down with age, people can still tap into plasticity and refresh this machinery. This can be done through targeted brain exercises as well as retraining the brain back to health at the onset of a cognitive condition such as schizophrenia and dementia.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. For similar reads, visit this page.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A look at common neurological disorders and their prevalence

Today, advancements in neuroscience have led to the identification of hundreds of neurological conditions, disorders that vary in symptom and severity from person to person says neuroengineering professional Dr. Curtis Cripe.
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While certain conditions are more serious and rarer than others, they are all disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system— affecting the brain, cranial and peripheral nerves, spinal cord, automatic nervous system, muscles, and nerve roots. The most common ones are Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, epilepsy, migraine headache disorders, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, neuro infections, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, and disorders related to head trauma or TBI.

It should be mentioned that a variety of infections can likewise affect the nervous system. These include viral ones like the West Nile, HIV, and Zika virus; bacterial ones like tuberculosis; parasitic infections like malaria; and fungal ones like Aspergillus and Cryptococcus. Also, neurological symptoms may be a result of an immune response or occur due to the infection itself.

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Today, hundreds of millions are affected by neurological disorders all over the world, Dr. Curtis Cripe adds. Recent studies show that over 50 million people have epilepsy; 47.5 million are suffering from dementia (with Alzheimer’s disease being the leading cause), and more than 6 million people die from stroke each year. Even migraine cases are growing, comprising over 10 percent of global neurological disorders.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group. He has published two peer-reviewed papers and wrote two book chapters on neurotherapy and neuroengineering. For related posts, visit this blog.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Boost memory-retention with these neuroscience-backed techniques

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With so many things to do and think about, adults sometimes fail to remember crucial bits of information. While some might use fatigue or age as an excuse, there are still many ways for adults to boost their mental capacities. As a neuroengineer, Dr. Curtis Cripe continues to find ways to discover new facets to a person's brain development. Check out these techniques for better memory retention:

Avoid sleepless nights: When a person is sleep-deprived, brain function slows down causing lapses in judgment and inability to focus on tasks. A good night's rest is a scientifically-proven way to ensure better brain function. It is not just enough for a person to sleep for six to eight hours. The quality of sleep also matters. During this time, the brain consolidates memories while the rest of the body recovers.

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Consume food and supplements rich in Omega 3 and fatty acids
Experts have found out that Omega 3 and fatty acids can contribute to better brain development aside from promoting improved heart function. For those who want to boost their mind's capacity even as they age, taking these supplements and eating foods rich in these nutrients will improve information processing.

Exercise
Neuroscientists like Dr. Curtis Cripe have seen a link between exercise and memory retention. Those who are at risk of neurological disorders and cognitive problems are advised to engage in regular aerobic exercise to stimulate their minds. No matter the age, medical professionals and neuroscientists encourage individuals to have an active lifestyle for better health.

Dr. Curtis Cripe played an important role in the development of the treatment programs used by NTL Group, which specializes in the treatment of learning disabilities. For more information about Dr. Cripe and his work, visit this page.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Some surprising causes of memory loss

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While some think that forgetfulness is nothing to worry about, memory loss usually accompanies other health issues. Some causes are more unexpected than others, and it is something that anyone can experience at any point in their lives. Dr. Curtis Cripe, the director of research at neuroengineering company NTL Group shares how memory loss can have surprising roots:



Medications Memory loss could be a huge sign of necessary adjustments to current medication. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are several types of drugs that can affect memory, including sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, painkillers, diabetes medication, and cholesterol-lowering medications.

Stress, depression, and anxiety. Frequent stress, anxiety and depression can lead to problems with memory and attention spans, said Dr. Curtis Cripe. This is a common mental phenomenon experienced by people who lack sleep because of juggling home and work responsibilities. Easing the amount of workload can improve the memory through time.
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Head injury According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, mild confusion and memory loss can happen after a head trauma or injury. It can also bring about confusion and trouble with concentration.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company that develops neuroengineering diagnostic and treatment programs to address a broad array of neurological dysfunctions. For more articles like this, visit this blog

Friday, March 15, 2019

Common neurological ailments caused by heavy substance abuse

Prolonged substance abuse, regardless if it involves illegal or legal substances, can have harrowing effects on the human mind and body.

This is why rehabilitation is such a crucial step in weaning people from drugs. Their dependence on substances could go beyond cravings and cause neurological disorders, which are more difficult to reverse.

Sometimes, these changes are permanent. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, a leading neurological expert, heavy substance abuse can easily cause damages to the human mind and body. Examples of such damages are:

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Seizures

Seizures are triggered in a variety of ways, and one of them is through substance abuse. Seizures usually result from erratic changes in the electrical activity produced by the brain. Taking substances like methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy in high doses can trigger this phenomenon. Likewise, withdrawal from substances like benzodiazepine can also have similar results.

Encephalopathy

Encephalopathy is associated with altered mental stages due to brain damage. It is often a complication brought about by liver damage or oxygen deprivation of the brain. While encephalopathy has a chance of being reduced through early treatments, extensive damage is often permanent.

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Dementia

Although dementia is often used as an umbrella term for various neurological conditions, dementia caused by substance abuse is often associated with decrease in intellect, as well as cognitive levels, memory loss, and cognitive functions like speech, concentration, and judgment. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, heavy abuse of substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and benzodiazepines can cause dementia.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. To read more about Dr. Cripe and his work, visit this website.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The major elements of memory

Memory plays an important role in the brain’s completion of different tasks, as Dr. Curtis Cripe emphasizes in his neurodevelopment program. One of the most frequent tasks of the brain is cognition, which is defined by Oxford dictionary as “the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.” Memory is crucial in cognition because it is required in learning, storing, and using information received by the brain.

The major elements of memory are the following:

Short-term memory: This refers to the amount or bits of information that the brain retains at any point in time. It can last between one second and 24 hours, with the span depending on the amount of relevance is placed on the memory.

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Intermediate memory: Also referred to as working memory, intermediate memory occurs when the information or memory has been processed. It determines how one might feel or decide in a given situation. Dr. Curtis Cripe mentions that some developmental delays in children and dementia in adults can be caused by poor working memory, or even short-term memory challenges.



Image source:meteoreducation.com


Long-term memory: Memories that can be recalled for years, or even throughout one’s life, are part of the long-term memory. This is divided into three parts, namely, episodic memory (events and experiences), semantic memory (facts, concepts, textbook information, and other similar information), and procedural memory (skills, tasks, and hands-on learning.)

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, brain injury, and more. Visit this website to read similar articles.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The causes and treatments of memory loss

Short-term memory or the onset of forgetfulness, even if simply occasional, can be significantly disruptive to daily lives. There are a variety of causes for loss of memory, and we’ve outlined them below:

Image source: completeneurologicalcare.com

One common cause is both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. It could very possibly be that your sleeping pills, antihistamines, anti-depressants, pain medication after undergoing a surgery, or muscle relaxants are interfering with your memory. Secondly, there’s lack of sleep. If you’ve been overworked and simply getting too little sleep, the resulting fatigue could also affect the processing and retrieval of information in the brain.


Other major contributors to memory loss are bad nutrition or deficiency in nutrients and vitamins, stress and depression, heavy consumption of alcohol, smoking, drug use, and incurrence of a head injury. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to mitigate the condition. Eating healthier food and sleeping right are practical ways to keep memory loss at bay.

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For most people getting on in age, it’s advisable to socialize more regularly, as doing so pushes back depression and stress which are also known causes of memory loss. Staying mentally active, from doing crossword puzzles and volunteering for civic projects to learning to play a musical instrument or reading more books, is also an effective deterrent of memory loss.

Engaging in more physical activities is also a good way to retain a sharp memory. A sedentary life decreases blood flow throughout our body and brain. Jogging, brisk walking, and doing aerobics and meditation activities like yoga help greatly; a simple 10- to 15-minute walk in a day is a great regular habit to develop.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in developing brain-based technology for healing and repairing neurological dysfunctions. For more info on Dr. Curtis and the NTL Group, go to this website.