Showing posts with label brain screening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brain screening. Show all posts

Monday, June 1, 2020

New Mind Approach for Brain Health Coaching

Table 1.1

Client always curious why there is a need to do initial screening session at the New Mind Centre?
The reason is simple, it is because we would like to set up a solution focused treatment plan by discussing with you.
We are not just simply "fixing" the problem, but more about "empowering" you with the right technique and coping skill.
Also, we would like to understand your brain arousal level better too.

Once we know how's your unconscious mind works, it is much easier for us to design the tailored made treatment plan according to your brain arousal pattern. Definitely, a full brain mapping session will be extremely helpful for a more better treatment plan design.
Once we know how your brain function works, we will suggest various methods based on your arousal level. You can refer to table 1.1, it is just an example about how we can use various evidence based therapies to improve your brain health. Bear in mind, the actual techniques can be more complex than what you read here. For example, Cognitive Behavioursal Hypnotherapy that we practice here in Malaysia also includes habit reversal therapy model, thought stopping, various types of ABC model etc. 

We have a team of practitioners including clinical neurofeedback practitioner, cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, hypnotherapist,  and nutritional consultant. We works closely with psychiatrist or neuropsychiatrist too. 

Interested to start your brain health coaching journey?
Feel free to whatsapp us by +60167154419

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Beating depression the natural way - EEG biofeedback training

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is important for "cognitive" and "executive" functions such as working memory, intention formation, goal-directed action, abstract reasoning, and attentional control. It is also known that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) plays an important role in top-down regulation of emotional processing as part of the more extensive cognitive network that is also critically involved in emotion regulation, particularly by distraction from the emotional stimulus. This dlPFC is important for the reappraisal/suppression of negative affect and a defect in this regulation of negative affect due to a dysfunction of the dlPFC appears to play a very important role in clinical depression. 

Modification of a negative attentional bias by cognitive training alters dlPFC activity in response to emotional stimuli and this is likely the primary result of successful treatment by means of cognitive and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapies. AThe results of a recent study examining the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the left dlPFC on temporary reduction of negative attentional bias during learning in depressed versus non-depressed college students supports the suggestion that tDCS may actually enhance the learning of cognitive-behavioural therapeutic strategies.

 While there is some strong evidence suggesting that a reduction in dlPFC activity and/or over-activity of the vmPFC may play a major role in the development of depression brain imaging studies continue to reveal other areas of the brain that are also involved in depressed mood and suggest that depression is largely a result of reduced activation/metabolism in a number of brain areas and reports of increased activation of any particular brain area have not consistently been associated with depression. Anxiety, on the other hand, correlates with increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in posterior cingulate and bilateral inferior parietal lobules. Since comorbid depression and anxiety are quite common, it is important to recognize the different areas that are activated or inhibited by both depression and anxiety.

Electroencephalographic (EEG) studies have largely confirmed these findings by demonstrating increased alpha (8-12 Hz) EEG relative power in the left frontal regions of the brains to be associated with dysthymia and major depressive disorder (MDD) as well as the onset of depression in patients with damage to the left frontal lobe. Since alpha is generally viewed as a cortical idling rhythm and is inversely related to neuronal activity, increased left frontal alpha results in deactivation of the left prefrontal cortex and a functional dominance of the right prefrontal cortex. Indeed, a number of brain researchers have suggested a laterality of the brain’s affective system; with negative emotions having a bias in activating the right hemisphere and positive emotions activating the left hemisphere. The left frontal lobes may be considered to include an “approach behavior” circuit whereas the right frontal lobes may include an “avoidance-behavior” circuit. As the left becomes more active, we tend to see things as generally more interesting, more rewarding, more approachable (i.e., the cup as half-full). In contrast, activation of the right circuit causes us to see things as potentially more dangerous and less rewarding (i.e., the cup as half-empty). Brain research suggests that a person's mood may largely depend on which side of the prefrontal cortex is more active.

In this vein, Henriques & Davidson (1990, 1991) examined frontal EEG asymmetry in currently depressed versus never depressed individuals and found elevated left frontal alpha power in the depressed individuals. Other researchers have confirmed these findings as well as observing that individual differences in frontal asymmetry emerge early in life and are associated with individual differences in “approach-withdrawal” behavior and the “introversion-extroversion” personality dimension. Taken together, these findings suggest that EEG asymmetry marked by relative left frontal hypoactivation may be a biological marker of familial and, possibly genetic risk for mood disorders. 

EEG biofeedback or Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the person. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function. Self-regulation training allows the system (the central nervous system) to function better.
Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain disregulation. These happen to be numerous. They include the anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, the autism spectrum, and cerebral palsy.

We offer brainwaves assessment service. It is a tool that designed to give the client’s subconscious mind a voice, and allow the Clinical Hypnotherapist to reveal the various underlying factors that shape the client’s cognitive abilities, emotional responses and automatic behavior. Contact us now for more info.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Education and the Brain: What Happens When Children Learn?

Have you lost your house keys recently? If so, you probably applied a spot of logical thinking. You looked first in the most obvious places – bags and pockets – and then mentally retraced your steps to the point when you last used them.
Researchers looking at child development often use search-and-find tasks to look at the ways in which children apply what they are learning about the physical world. Tests carried out on toddlers reveal that something quite remarkable happens in child development between the ages of two and five – a stage identified by both educationalists and neuroscientists as critical to the capacity for learning.
Dr Sara Baker is a researcher into early childhood at the Faculty of Education. She is interested in the role of the brain’s prefrontal lobe in how young children learn to adapt their understanding to an ever-shifting environment. Many of her studies chart changes in children’s ways of thinking about the world. She uses longitudinal designs to examine the shape of individual children’s learning curves month by month.
Research by Baker and colleagues is contributing to an understanding of the acquisition of skills essential to learning. She explains: “The brain’s frontal lobe is one of the four major divisions of the cerebral cortex. It regulates decision-making, problem-solving and behaviour. We call these functions executive skills – they are at the root of the cognitive differences between humans and other animals. My executive functions enable me to resist a slice of cake when I know I’m soon having dinner.”
In an experiment designed to identify the age at which executive skills develop, Baker and colleagues used a row of four interconnected boxes to test children’s ability to apply their knowledge of basic physics. A ball rolled down an incline entered the first box and disappeared. A barrier (its top visible) was slotted in between two of the boxes to stop the ball rolling any further. The children were asked to open the door of the box in which the ball was hidden.
Aged 29–31 months, only 32% of the children correctly identified the location of the ball by working out that the barrier would have stopped it. Aged 32–36 months, 66% of children were successful. Toddlers under the age of three appear to understand the principles of solidity and continuity, but have trouble acting on this knowledge. A single month in a child’s age affected their ability to carry out the task correctly.
Baker’s interest in children’s development of executive skills dates from the moment a decade ago when she picked up a picture book while sitting in the foyer of a nursery school; the narrative focused on opposites: big/small, light/dark, hot/cold. How would children respond if they were asked to point to the opposite picture to the one depicting the word they heard spoken? This question became the topic for her PhD. Her findings confirmed that the huge variability of children’s executive skills could explain the range of social and cognitive behaviours we see emerging in the early years. What we learn at this stage, and what we learn to apply, sets us on course for life.
Most three-year-olds find the ‘opposites’ task hard. Given two pictures of bears, one big, one small, they automatically point to the big bear when they hear the word ‘big’ spoken aloud. They point to the big bear even when they have been asked (and appear to have understood) to point to the image that is the opposite of the word they hear.
Five-year-olds are much more successful in carrying out the task explained to them. “By age five, most children have acquired the ability to override their impulses, and put them on hold, in order to follow a request,” says Baker. “The ability to control impulses is vital to children’s socialisation, their ability to share and work in groups – and ultimately to be adaptable and well adjusted.”
What happens in children’s brains and minds to enable them to make these important leaps in understanding? The answer involves an understanding of neuroscience as well as child development. Baker and colleagues are engaged in multidisciplinary projects including examining how individuals with autism may perceive and learn about the physical world differently from those without a diagnosis. Her team is also developing a pedagogical, play-based approach in collaboration with teachers.
“Executive function is a hot topic in education. When we talk to teachers about the psychology behind frontal lobe development, they immediately recognise how important self-regulation is, and will tell you about the child who can’t concentrate. It might be the case that this child is struggling with their executive functions: their working memory or inhibitory control might be flagging,” says Baker.
“The tricky part is to grasp the processes developing in the child’s brain and come up with ways to encourage that development. In early years’ education, playful learning and giving children freedom to explore could help to encourage independence as well as the ability to know when to ask for help, both of which depend on self-regulatory skills. If we want to encourage adaptability and self-reliance, we have to look beyond the formal curriculum.”
Baker’s research into children’s ability to apply knowledge to successfully predict the location of an object hidden from view revealed much more than simply which age group was successful. She says: “In looking at the data from tasks, it’s not enough to focus only on children’s failures. We need to look at why they search for an object in a particular place. Often they’re applying something else that they’ve learnt.”
When younger children opened the same door twice in the boxes experiment, despite the barrier having been moved, they were applying logic: an object may be precisely where it was found before. After all, it’s always worth looking for the house keys first where they should be.
In another experiment (involving dropping balls into opaque tubes that crossed each other), the younger children applied their knowledge of gravity (the ball would fall down the tube) but failed to take into account that the tubes were not straight. Baker says: “When children repeat a mistake, they reveal something about their view of the world and, as researchers, we learn how their brain is developing. As teachers and parents, our role is to help children to overcome that strong, but wrong, impulse.”
During the course of a day, your frontal lobe will have enabled you to do far more than find your keys. The synaptic firing of millions of cells in your brain may have guided you through a tricky situation with colleagues or prompted you to make a split-second decision as you crossed a busy road. “The development of this vital area of your brain happened well before you started formal education and will continue throughout your lifetime,” says Baker.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

[Corporate health talk] Simple Ways To Live a Longer and Happier Life in Mandarin for Rin Enzyme (JB)

此次和我同行的有中医师Miss Low。
主要是要向Rin Enzyme的消费者们推广饮食身心与长寿之间的关系。

In such busy lifes we are living, we have too much stress, too little exercise, poor diet with food that consist of saturated fat, sugar and very little fiber. An alternative to balancing your body systems is to take RIN Enzyme which is able to help you prevent heart diseases and strokes.
思考问题、运动、睡眠、呼吸、愤怒、哭泣、又或者,消化食物、分泌荷尔蒙、血液运行、促进细胞的成长,所有的都是以酵素为中心活动的结果。不仅仅是我们(人类),还有地球上所有的生命物质,在发生酵素活动反应(酵素作为催化剂而引起的反应)现象的基础上,存活成立是最好的 。




New lab experiments reveal acupuncture has antidepressant effects!


Health Talk conducted in Mandarin for Rin Enzyme (JB)

Health Talk Topic:
Simple Ways To Live a Longer and Happier Life

Hiro Koo, Clinical Hypnotherapist
 Miss Low,  Chinese Physician

Group Activities:
1) EFT ('acupuncture without the needles') for stress management
Conducted by Hiro Koo

Contact us if you are interested. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

[Event] Early ChildHood Education Expo 2015

ECEE stage program:
"How to train your brain like a muscle"
By SOL Integrative Wellness Centre.

ECEE at Setia City Convention Center (SCCC) on 15th and 16th August 2015. This Event is open to public and free admission to the Expo from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. This platform will showcase range of preschools, including international schools, Islamic preschools, kindergartens, enrichment centers, education products, health and baby products.

How to get smarter?
If you’re an athlete preparing for a race, you have to work on two levels. First you have to take care of the basics – getting enough sleep, regular maintenance exercise, a healthy diet. In the same way, optimal performance for your brain requires the same attention to sleep, exercise, and diet.

If you want to perform your best, physically or mentally, you need to go beyond the basics. You need to build your brain’s strength, flexibility, and endurance: your cognitive ability. There are a variety of tools and techniques that can help, and one of the most effective is EEG biofeedback.

What Luis, Kayla, Madeline, and Brandon did is possible for anyone who can respond to feedback. Our brains learn. It’s what they were designed to do. Our brains can learn not only facts, but also how to focus, and how to process information more efficiently and easily. That is what makes you smart.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

[Event] Walk for Autism 2015

I will be there, how about you?
We will offer a brain assessment session FOR FREE during Walk for Autism 2015, at Citta Mall. Come and join us!

Anyone who makes a donation of RM40 can participate in the Walk and be entitled to the T-shirt which they are required to wear on the day of the walk. All donations will be issued a tax exempt receipt. Detail of the event as follows: Walk for Autism 2015, Sunday, August 16th at 7.00 AM, Venue: Citta Mall, Ara Damansara in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
For more information or to register, kindly email your name, T-shirt size and proof of payment to [email protected] or [email protected].
Payment details are as follows:
ACCOUNT NO: 860 054 9806


Friday, April 17, 2015

[Sleep Specialist Malaysia] Brain waves predict our risk for insomnia

There may not yet be a cure for insomnia, but Concordia University researchers are a step closer to predicting who is most likely to suffer from it—just in time for World Sleep Day on March 13.

In his study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, from Concordia's Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology and PERFORM Center, explores the impact of stress on sleep. Although researchers already know that stressful events can trigger insomnia, the experiment reveals that some people are more vulnerable than others to developing the condition.
To determine the role of stress, the study examined the sleep cycles of 12 Concordia students as they went through the nerve-racking experience of finals. Measuring students' brain waves at the beginning of the school semester, Dang-Vu and his team found that students showing a lower amount of a particular pattern of brain waves were more at risk for developing insomnia afterwards in response to the stress of the exams.
The brain—specifically the deep, inner parts of the brain called the thalamus and cortex—produces electromagnetic activity during sleep. When monitored by diagnostic tools, this activity appears as patterns of squiggly lines that scientists refer to as spindles.
In a previous experiment, Dang-Vu and his team discovered that greater spindle activity helps sleepers resist waking, despite noise. The new study aimed to test whether there would be a similar relationship between spindles and stress.
The hypothesis proved true. "We found that those who had the lowest spindle activity tended to develop more disturbances in response to stress, when comparing sleep quality at the beginning of the semester and the end of the school semester," Dang-Vu says.
"We are not all equally armed when facing stress, in terms of how we can manage our sleep. Some people are more vulnerable than others."

How to increase spindle?
The preliminary studies carried out for the FWF project showed the positive effects of EEG biofeedback training on healthy people. This method has therefore now been tested in a pilot study on patients aged between 19 and 50 who suffer from sleep disorders. "The brain oscillations are trained during waking to a frequency range of between 12 and 15 hertz, known as the sensorimotor rhythm. This frequency range is also prominent in light sleep and manifests itself as sleep spindles, particularly when a person is falling asleep", explains Schabus. The patients were able to observe and learn to control their own sensorimotor rhythm (measured using EEG electrodes) on the computer screen. They were tasked with moving a compass needle on the screen to a green dot using only the power of mental relaxation. They received positive visual feedback each time they reached this dot, i.e. to increase the band power between 12 and 15 hertz.
"Using the training, we managed to strengthen the sensorimotor rhythm in a waking state and the sleep spindles in 16 out of 24 patients with mild insomnia. Those who responded well to the training reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep. This was ascertained by self-monitoring methods like sleep diaries and importantly also verified in our sleep laboratory", says Schabus, outlining the process. Each of the participants visited the sleep laboratory a total of 21 times, which meant that the effects could be studied in great detail. The researchers were also able to establish positive effects on memory consolidation when word pairs were retested after sleep following earlier learning. Interestingly, the subjective sleep quality among patients who successfully completed this type of biofeedback training also showed improvement

What is sleep spindle?

A sleep spindle is a burst of oscillatory brain activity visible on an EEG that occurs during stage 2 sleep. It consists of 12–14 Hz waves that occur for at least 0.5 seconds. Sleep spindles are generated in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus.

How can help you? 
1) Neuro-Hypnotherapy:
Doctors at Harvard University found that hypnotherapy actually promotes faster healing. Get hypnotized. Many insomniacs have tried this with great success. Under hypnosis, you might work out any personal issues that are robbing you of sleep. A clinical hypnotherapist can also "program" you to sleep. Our neuro-hypnotherapy technique able to help you! Personalized self-hypnosis method to fall asleep will be developed based on your brainwave response.

2) EEG biofeedback therapy/Neurotherapy 
Our EEG biofeedback/Neurotherapy is based on the international standardized 10-20 electrode location system. it is essentially a way of teaching you how to self-regulate your own electrical activity in the brain. A powerful tool for helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. Over 3,000 licensed health professionals such as psychologists, therapists, and doctors now use this new technology daily with patients. As a group, they report significant and consistent improvements for client sleep problems.

Call to schedule an appointment to meet me.
Based on your condition, I can help you to find the cause and suggest appropriate treatment.
Contact me now for more information.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

5 Genetically-linked Mental Disorders

It turns out that bipolar disorder has a genetic link to at least four other mental illnesses: autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major unipolar depression and schizophrenia. Since depression is part of bipolar disorder, it’s not surprising that unipolar depression might be related and any search for bipolar disorder is going to bring up schizophrenia. The others came as more of a surprise. The surprising thing is that there seems to be this same group of genes present in those of us with these mental illnesses that is responsible for these disorders and the one you end up with is dependent on how they express. Basically, roll the mental illness dice and see what comes up! Okay it’s not at all that simple, but when I first read about this, that’s what I felt like.

Let’s review. There are several potential causes of mental illness. We haven’t figured out exactly what does cause mental illness but the main theories currently involve genetics, brain structure, environment, and traumatic experience, among others.
  • With genetics, it’s more likely that multiple family members will have mental illnesses.
  • Imaging has shown that brain structures in those with mental illness do not function quite the same as those of the general population.
  • Environment is, unfortunately, an incredibly broad category. It can stem from an uncontrollable, in-utero occurrence, to drug use or exposure later in life.
  • Traumatic experience is fairly self-explanatory. It can be physical, social or psychological. An important thing to remember about trauma is that it is perceived trauma. If two people have the same experience, one may not experience the same level of trauma as the other. This doesn’t mean one person is stronger or better than the other. It’s just how the brain processes events at the time.
Back to genetics for a minute. If you have one of these psychological disorders in your genetic bloodline, you’re more likely to inherit a disorder, but it may not be the exact same disorder. It could be one of the other four. In fact, just because you have the gene doesn’t mean you will have a disorder at all! There has to be a stressor. Stressors go back to what I was talking about with environment and trauma. Basically, something has to happen in order for the gene to activate. There’s no real way to know, but I’m almost certain my stressor was the death of my grandfather. I’d had problems before that, but it really felt like everything went downhill from there.

It really isn’t just a role of the dice to see which of these disorders will present if the stressor is triggered. Pinning down the diagnosis is hard as it is. Most of the time, diagnosis for these disorders is a long process. They do have some overlapping symptoms, but they can be very few and more subtle. This link blurs the lines further.
Fortunately, (well, fortunately may not be a great word for anything related to this topic) there are correlations between the different illnesses and which ones may show up in other family members. Autism and ADHD are less likely to present than the others. However, ADHD is linked to childhood bipolar disorder. The earlier the onset of ADHD symptoms, the more severe the bipolar disorder. If bipolar disorder expresses in late childhood to adolescence, the severity of ADHD is lower.

The highest linked disorders are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, meaning if someone in your family has schizophrenia you are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than major depressive disorder. If you have major depressive disorder, your children are more likely to develop ADHD than some of the others. Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder have the weakest link.

Research on this is still being done. Research on mental illness in general is huge. We just don’t know enough about the brain and how neuropsychology works. Findings like these genetic links are helpful. They are a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Are you a worrier? Then you're more likely to be smart!

People prone to anxiety have higher levels of intelligence (IQ)?

  • Researchers surveyed 126 students about anxiety and intelligence
  • They were scored on the Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Those who ranked high for anxiety were also the most verbally intelligent
  • Experts claim smart people consider past and future events in great detail
  • This leads them to replay or imagine scenarios, worry and feel anxious   

Worriers can be kept awake at night replaying the day, or imagining all the possible worst case scenarios in their lives.
But they can at least take comfort in the fact that this behaviour could be a sign of intelligence.
More than 125 students were surveyed about their mood, anxiety levels and intelligence levels - and those found to worry the most, were also the smartest.

The research was carried out at Ontario's Lakehead University, led by Alexander Penney. 

The researchers surveyed 126 students about their anxiety levels, depression, overall mood, social skills, rumination and intelligence by gauging their responses to set questions.
The majority (77 per cent) of participants were women.
Based on their answers, each of the students were then ranked on the both the Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).

The higher scores on the respective tests indicate more severe test anxiety, and higher verbal intelligence.
People who are verbally intelligent are better at reading and writing, and have stronger verbal reasoning skills. 
By comparison, non-verbally intelligent people are better ‘hands-on’ learners and pick up skills using non-verbal clues.
In the study, those who ranked highest on CTAS were also the most verbally intelligent, according to the WAIS.
However, the students who scored highly for non-verbal intelligence were found to worry less.

Experts believe verbally intelligent people spend more time relaying past and future events, trying to make sense of them, for example.
This means they remember events, conversations and fears in greater detail than non-verbally intelligent people.

People who are non-verbal tend to pick up non-verbal clues, and live more ‘in the moment’ so have little need to replay situations.
‘It is possible that more verbally intelligent individuals are able to consider past and future events in greater detail, leading to more intense rumination and worry,’ said the researchers.
‘Individuals with higher non-verbal intelligence may be stronger at processing the non-verbal signals from individuals they interact with in the moment, leading to a decreased need to re-process past social encounters.’ 


You may want to contact us now for a brain screening or EEG screening session to empower your brain by using evidence-based method.