Treatment for seniors
Many seniors worry about mental decline with aging. Increasingly, brain science is showing that you can stay sharp as you age. Although some degree of cognitive decline may be unavoidable, the exploding neuroscience of brain aging is revealing a new road map – showing how to stay mentally fit as you age. The research is clear. On average, brain aging does lead to a decline in function: problems with attention and remembering new information, slower thinking, reduced problem solving. But research is also suggesting that this does not have to happen to you. By making planned use of the brain’s amazing ability to reshape itself, which neuroscience calls neuroplasticity, you can get sharp and stay sharp as you age.
Neuroplasticity: you can harness your brain’s amazing capacity for change.
Neuroscience has shown that our brains are capable of enormous change. It’s called neuroplasticity. Although we are all born with “hard wiring” – networks of neurons and connecting fibers – our brains are constantly being shaped by experience. Repeated experience results in increased connections among neurons and in greater strength in the existing connections. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.
This finding is giving rise to new forms of treatment for seniors. These methods harness this capacity for change to treat depression, anxiety, and other disorders that trouble aging adults. They also can improve mental functioning to help you stay sharp as you age. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, we closely follow the research on these promising new approaches. When early research shows that a new treatment is safe and initial studies or clinical experience shows benefit, we offer you these innovative methods.
“The good news is that the brain is plastic until you die. That means you can count on it staying vibrant and alert if you stoke its electric engine with novelty and challenge. The goal is to drive our aging and less efficient brains in a positive and corrective direction…Don’t rest on your laurels. Quit complaining and buck up.”
You can choose: traditional treatment approaches and research supported innovations:
Recommended for: Anxiety | Depression | PTSD | Bipolar disorder | ADHD + ADD | TBI
Recommended for: Relationship or marital problems
Save your memory cells from destruction with HRV Biofeedback
Your heart beat is a great “stress-o-meter”. When you are stressed or “revved up” or in a negative emotional state, and your nervous system arousal is high, your heart beats in lockstep. The amount of time between heart beats changes very little. When you are calm and stable, and nervous system arousal is lower, the beat to beat interval becomes more flexible.
HRV biofeedback training provides an easy and very concrete way to learn how to reshape these heart rate rhythms for increased calm and stability. A simple sensor on your ear or finger picks up your heart beat. The computer analyzes the interval between heart beats. During HRV biofeedback sessions we will help you learn to relax your muscles and your mind, and learn to slow and regulate your breathing. As you learn, your heart rate variability will increase. The image above shows a session in progress, with the more regular signal on the right half of the top section showing increased HRV. Once you learn the techniques in sessions in our office, you can also use inexpensive software at home to build your ability to recognize when you are bothered and rapidly regain your calm. This image shows a session in progress, with the more regular signal on the right half of the top section showing increased HRV.
Recommended for: Anxiety | Depression | PTSD | Autism spectrum | ADHD | Bipolar disorder
Cogmed working memory training is a research-supported way to increase attention and improve working memory. With this online brain training program, there are a series of engaging working memory games and challenges. The challenges, like most popular videogames, get progressively harder as your skills improve. Cogmed Working Memory Training provides scientifically designed working memory exercise and practice. Just like physical exercise, it leads to improved skill and capacity. The 25 sessions are done from your home and are 30-45 minutes long, 3-4 times a week. Early research is showing that working memory training can improve mental function in aging adults. Learn more.