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Illuminating Pathways To a Healthy Brain

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Concussions

Getting your bell rung, having a mild concussion, getting some sense knocked into you, seeing stars, being a Rocky-type character… isn’t a smart idea, doesn’t develop more character, and isn’t something to just shake off. Hopefully it is only temporary brain injury. But when it occurs repeatedly, especially if time to heal the first injury is not complete, it predictably ends in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, even if it is not at the massive severity experienced by professional football and hockey players. Traumatic Brain Injury causes 20 times more disabilities than AIDS, Breast Cancer, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Multiple Sclerosis combined. Traumatic Brain Injuries have claimed more lives than all U.S. wars combined since 1977. Approximately 1.5 million Americans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year. Traumatic Brain Injury is the number one cause of both death and disability in children and young...

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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of developmental disabilities that can severely impair an individual’s ability to communicate and socially interact with others. Classic Autism (also known as Kanner’s Autism or Syndrome), Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett’s Syndrome are specific types of neurobehavioral complications, which have long been classified within a group of developmental conditions loosely known as “Autism Spectrum Disorders”. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because the number and intensity of the symptoms people with autism display may vary widely. However, all individuals afflicted with autism demonstrate challenges to some degree in the following three areas: communication social relationships restricted patterns of behavior. Generally, these diagnoses are made four times more often in males than females. In the 1980s autism was diagnosed in approximately 1 in 1,000 children. Currently, autism...

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Toxic Substance Abuse

In the last century thousands of toxic substances have been released into our global environment. Heavy metals, petroleum products, radioactive substances, smoking products, pharmaceuticals, wartime materials, alcohols, and recreational substances all directly or indirectly impact the brain. Just as we have ignored the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury until recently, we have continued to ignored toxic substances’ effects on our brain function.   Why do we ignore their impact on our brain function?  Partly this is due to the slow, insidious effects of these substances. Partly we lull ourselves into lack of concern about these effects because their occurrence is easily reversible, as with that glass of alcoholic beverage. Partly, this is also related to our ignoring the very real vulnerability of the “computer” that runs our lives – , our brain!   Many high school students have...

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ADHD

International studies estimate that between 2 – 9% of children have ADHD or ADHD-Inattentive Type (also known as ADD). In addition, patients can be afflicted with more than one condition at the same time (what is called comorbidity). When multiple conditions are interrelated, symptoms can overlap and that can result in a condition being misdiagnosed, or one condition being masked by another. Numerous studies, including the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) conducted over several years, have shown that comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception in ADHD. Approximately, 35% of children with ADHD also meet criteria for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Anxiety occurs in approximately 33% of children diagnosed with ADHD; however, the trickiest diagnostic issue is that between 15% to 75% of children and adolescents with ADHD also have mood symptoms. We often hear about Bipolar Disorder, but best estimates are that it...

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