Recent studies estimate that there are more than 600 known neurological disorders. These conditions primarily disturb the workings of the spinal cord, nerves, brain, as well as nervous system, and the malfunctioning of any of these components can result in speaking, breathing, moving, and learning issues. Here are some common neurological disorders:
A stroke attack takes place when the blood flow to the brain stops, further damaging the brain cells. There’s hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, both caused by blood clots or blockages of the blood vessels. Some symptoms are dizziness, weakness, or sudden numbness of arm, leg, or face; severe headache; trouble speaking or comprehending; and problems walking and coordinating.
This is marked by frequent headaches, with an intensity that can range from moderate to severe and can last several days. It’s also linked to symptoms such as frequent vomiting and nausea, vision troubles, sound and light sensitivity, and speech difficulties.
This is a progressive condition that causes memory loss, decision-making problems, and behavioral issues. It’s different from dementia, which is the loss of ability to think due to memory impairment, usually due to aging.
This condition belongs to a group called motor system disorders, resulting from the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. It causes muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in gait and speech.
Affecting the brain and spinal cord nerve cells, MS is characterized by muscle weakness, prickling to numbing sensations, thinking and memory troubles, and visual disturbances.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer who currently heads the Research and Development Division of NTLgroup, for advanced technology for brain and cognitive repair. Read more about neurological conditions on this page.
Neuroengineering is one field of study that demonstrates potential in addressing anxiety. It is exploring how the configurations of the brain could lead to the manifestation of mental conditions. There are various types of neuroengineering already in use, including deep-brain stimulation, which has become a routine treatment for Parkinson’s disease and being tested for a growing range of disorders such as epilepsy and depression.
In 2013, the $100 million BRAIN Initiative began to seek insights on brain networks, exploring neurotechnology and clinical therapy methods to address military personnel’s mental health. The objective was to identify what is happening in the pathways of the brains of depression and anxiety symptoms, hopefully leading to new technologies that can re-channel brain signals.
Scientists are already working on a version of a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) machine that, when held to one’s head, can affect the areas of the brain within a few centimeters of the surface. While TMS does not reach the brain’s deeper regions, there are important areas of the cortex where it delivers its current. The new technology could be an affordable and wearable unit that could be widely used in therapy offices or at home to “hack” the brain.
While these advances are still underway, there are natural ways to alter one’s brain and mood, including exercising, consuming a healthy diet, doing brain-stimulating activities such as brain games, getting enough sleep, and getting proper sun exposure. These techniques become doubly important given how anxiety and emotional stress, when left unmanaged, could lead to cardiovascular disorders such as health problems.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in the development of brain-based technology for healing and repairing neurological dysfunctions. For similar reads, click here.
When a child finds it difficult to retain information learned or function well in the classroom, leading to academic underachievement, it could be an indicator of a learning disability. When such a sign as this is perceived, it is important to dig deep and determine the cause of the learning difficulty to find out how it can be addressed.
From a classical or traditional point of view, a learning disability roots from biological or genetic reasons. The memory or perceptional systems in the brain do not develop fully or at the right pace. This results in poor cognitive function or behavior that are labeled into different classifications.
The traditional remedy to the learning disability is medication and placement of children into special class assignments, which unfortunately and most of the time places a stigma on these children. In the neurodevelopmental point of view, a learning disability is determined and diagnosed by locating which parts of the central or peripheral nervous system are underdeveloped. This way, the real causes of why the brain cannot correctly receive, process, integrate, store, or express information.
After proper identification of the cause, a non-medicated neurodevelopmental program, which includes activities, therapies, and exercise, can be mapped out to develop the part of the nervous system that needs to be addressed.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer who founded Crossroads Institute, which specialized in telemedicine brain training delivery systems to address learning disabilities, autism, ADD/ADHD, memory dysfunction, and others. Read more about the subject matter by subscribing to this blog.
Memory is needed by the brain for it to accomplish various functions, such as cognition (conscious thoughts) or long-term store of skills and experiences. Memory takes on various forms, which are discussed below:
Short-term memory: This type of memory refers to the information the brain can store that lasts between one second and 24 hours, depending on the importance of the information. Short-term memories can either be dismissed after a certain period or deposited into long-term memory.
Intermediate memory: Also called working memory, this is the information the mind has processed. It defines one’s ability to express actions, based on how they feel about a given situation.
Episodic memory: The first of the three parts of long-term memory, episodic memories are a recollection of past events and experiences. In most cases, episodic memories are prompted by emotions and heightened by sensory inputs.
Semantic memory: Semantic memory refers to the general knowledge that a human stores in the mind; these include names, facts, concepts, textbook information, and more. When discussing past events, episodic and semantic memories usually overlap.
Procedural memory: Procedural memory is also called automatic memory because physical and mental skills that one acquires over time are automatically implanted in one’s mind. This memory is the reason people can read, ride a bike, play an instrument, and more.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer who has a diverse multidisciplinary background. He currently heads the research and development of NTLgroup, where he developed NeuroCodex and NeuroCoach for brain and cognitive repair. Read more about Dr. Cripe and his work here.
While a lot of injuries sustained with head trauma aren’t as severe as one might expect and wouldn’t require serious treatment, most, if not all these injuries still require first aid. In fact, the application of first aid may even prevent the condition from worsening and becoming more serious. It should be noted, however, that many injuries sustained by the head and brain may lead to chronic symptoms such as headaches and nausea, and even after first aid has been applied, would still require the person to rest and take some time off from his or her normal activities.
Before tackling first aid though, one should first be familiar with signs and symptoms of head and brain injury. These can range from severe bleeding from the head and face (or even the eyes, nose, and ears), floating in and out of consciousness, black and blue discoloration below the eyes and ears, headaches, seizures, and loss of equilibrium, among others.
The first step even before administering first aid would be to call 911. The person who was injured has to be kept lying down and very still while waiting for the specialists to arrive. Head and shoulders have to be elevated, but unless necessary, the person, especially the neck area, should not be moved. If the person is wearing a helmet, it should stay on. Pressure should be applied to wounds to stop any bleeding, except if there’s a suspected fracture of the skull. Breathing and consciousness should be observed. If the person stops breathing, begin CPR.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of the NTL Group and a neuroengineer with a vast knowledge in several other disciplines. He also has extensive experience in treating victims of brain injuries. For more about him and his work, check out this blog.
So far, the most commonly used illegal drugs are cocaine, marijuana, crack, and heroin. But there are a lot more drugs that are considered just as dangerous and have been destroying lives over the years.
Opium comes from immature seed pods of opium poppies. The latex that comes out of these pods has around 15 percent morphine. It has been a drug of choice for centuries but has since been overtaken by more purified and chemically modified varieties.
Ecstasy or MDMA is a relatively new designer drug that’s proven on several occasions that it is indeed dangerous. This semi-synthetic psychedelic entactogen is not as visual as its psychedelic cousins, but it is a potent stimulant. It has gained massive popularity in the club scene since it’s recreational properties also help in stimulating people and enhancing sex drives. It also increases the awareness of the senses, as well as euphoria, mental clarity, and heightened positive emotions. It has also killed individuals, a lot of them underage, through overdose.
Like ecstasy, LSD or Lysergic acid diethylamide is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug, but is more of a hallucinogen. LSD is probably the most popular psychedelic hallucinogen in the market and has reached its peak in the ‘60s with the rock movement. Just like other chemically-based illegal drugs, LSD has been known to be harmful to a person’s mind and can cause people to do things they are not aware of.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a background that includes addiction recovery among many other specializations. He also heads the Research and Development team at NTL Group for advanced technology for brain and cognitive treatment and repair. For more about him and the work that he does, check out this website.
Drug abuse and its treatment are very serious, which is why utmost understanding and knowledge are required when dealing with these issues. Any misconceptions have to be clarified. Let us go through a few of the myths associated with drug abuse and treatment.
The myth is that prescription drugs aren’t addictive. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Any prescribed medication is okay, as long as it’s taken in the prescribed dosage. But more than that, it won’t be just addictive, it can also be very dangerous.
The myth here is that natural, organic drugs such as marijuana and mushrooms are safer than synthetic drugs. That is not entirely accurate. People should keep in mind that marijuana, mushrooms, and other organic drugs that are grown can change a person’s brain chemistry. This can lead to harmful side-effects.
The most prevailing myth about detox is that it “cures” addiction. No, it doesn’t. Detox is actually an early step on the lifelong road to recovery. Take note, addiction needs to be treated throughout one’s life.
This myth depends more on the person than the actual information. Those in recovery would often experience moments of weakness. If he or she relapses, it doesn’t mean he or she’s addicted again. It may very well happen that he or she may realize his or her mistake and strengthen their resolve.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a multi-disciplinary background that includes drug abuse treatment. He is also the head of the Research and Development department of NTL group. Find out more about Dr. Cripe’s work by following this Facebook page.