Great news: your brain can heal. You can see improvements in learning disabilities. That point was made in yesterday’s posting. Today we discuss how it is done.
Medical intervention might be an option. Medical treatment research is explored in a paper by DeFina (2009):
First: they identify neurophysiological biomarkers (neuromarkers). These are tools for following what is happening in your brain’s networks. A doctor can look for neuromarkers through an MRI. Markers can be neurotransmitters, hormones, or brain activation patterns. (You don’t need to understand this. I don’t.)
Next, they choose a treatment. Examples are electromagnetic stimulation, cognitive rehabilitation, drugs, vitamins and other nutrients, nerve stimulation, and neurofeedback. These treatments follow the markers they find in your brain.
But some things you can do yourself. Today. Now. Following are some fixes I have implemented. But none of these are quick fixes. Sorry.
- Use it or lose it
Through research in neuroplasticity, we now know that even adult brains can change. As you perform a certain function, your brain says “feed the part that function uses.” If you don’t perform a function, your brain says “that part of the brain is unnecessary. Let neurons for useful functions take over that area.”
This explanation is not entirely accurate, but it helps me understand my brain’s potential.
You should regularly engage in mental processes that you might use in your life. Try to learn a new language. Play brain exercise games on a computer or tablet.
Heavy metal poisoning kills people. That is why lead-based paint is illegal in many countries. But lesser exposure can injure without killing. Toxic metals (such as lead) remains in the brain, damaging portions. It can be cleaned out with an oral chelation formula, available by prescription. Not all doctors are familiar with the research, so you might need to shop for the right medical professional. Another warning: chelation doesn’t immediately heal, it just removes the toxin so the damage will stop worsening.
More recent research is confirming what some people in ancient times believed: your brain and your gut are somehow linked. If you improve your digestive system health, your brain function should improve. Eat less meat. Eat more raw vegetables. Take probiotics.
The hippocampus is part of your brain. It is related to verbal memory and learning. Regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus. Weightlifting, not so much. This piece of research is from a study at the University of British Columbia. A simple summary is available from a Harvard Medical School magazine.
You don’t need to change religions to meditate. You just need to be consistent. A study by the National Institutes of Health showed that brain areas tied to tasks like focus/attention were thicker in a sampling of meditation practicers. The study suggested that age-related brain decline could be slowed through meditation. The results are not immediate, however: participants meditated for years. So start now.
You can get this from fish oil supplements. Capsules are sold at pharmacies and grocery stores. A better option is flax seed, preferably ground. Omega 3 helps overcome ADHD. It feeds your brain. Some research claims benefit in preventing Alzheimers.
Unfortunately, it is hard to remember to take these supplements if you have ADHD. Vicious cycle!
If you have learning challenges, try some of these options. Be proactive in healing yourself.
Be fierce. Be kind. Be knowledge-hungry.