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OUR TEAM


Team Leader Dr Stephanie Wosniak

OUR TEAM

Dr. Stephanie Wosniack is is dedicated to providing her patients with the best possible care. After receiving successful care for various aches and pains over the years, Dr. Woshiack found her calling to help others well.

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Pediatrician

Sussie Wolff


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Dental surgeon

Ashley Willson


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Cosmetic Surgeon

Gabriela Beckett


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General Doctor

George Button


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Cosmetic Surgeon

Jasmine Jordan


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Surgeon Nurse

Irene McDermott


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Pediatrician

Hellen Lowe


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Dental surgeon

Emily Washington


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PLAN A VISIT TO YOUR DOCTOR

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23/May/2019

Perhaps you are getting older and are noticing a decline in your brain function; or you are a student preparing for a huge test; or you are just curious if there is anything you can do to enhance your brain function. Well the obvious answer is YES! We will discuss the top 10 things in no particular order.

We will start with sleep. Your brain needs a certain amount of time to rest in order to even begin functioning at its maximum capability. Think of it as hard drive that gets extremely fragmented in just one day of work, and if you don’t let it completely defrag, it’s just going to work slower the whole next day. So give your brain 8 hours to fully “defrag.”

One of the most important elements that the brain needs to function at its highest potential is oxygen. Spend 30 minutes doing cardiovascular exercises (running, biking, treadmill, etc.) and you will notice an amazing improvement in your brain function as your heart is able to distribute oxygen more easily throughout your whole body, including your brain, when you are cardio fit.

The food you eat is obviously important for your brain however which foods are best can sometimes be confusing. First one is wild caught fish; let me emphasize NOT farm raised but wild caught and even better sea fish such as salmon. Next are the two foods that will probably cause you to say huh? They are chocolate and coffee. Yes chocolate and coffee, BUT the chocolate has to be 100% organic, 75% cocoa bean or more, in other words very dark chocolate and the coffee has to be 100% organic freshly ground coffee. We need to emphasize that it must NOT have any preservatives and USDA organic is not good enough; it must be 100% organic. Other good brain foods are whole grain breads, eggs, fresh salads, and fruit; especially blueberry.

Supplements and drugs are somewhat controversial because of the possible side effects nevertheless this editorial would be incomplete without the mention of these. First is hgh, or human growth hormone. Once we get into our twenties our body’s natural production of hgh declines exponentially. As youngsters we are able to learn a new language, perform mathematical functions, memorize and many more brain intensive functions significantly easier than when we get into the later years, and research proves that hgh is the single most important determinant of this ability. HGH is the only one that can be taken naturally without the risk of side effects. Modafinil is a prescription only drug used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Research shows that patients who use Modafinil show better memory retention as well as other increased brain function. Modafinil does carry with it some significant side effect concerns including death in case of overdose and addiction therefore it is something that should only be taken with caution and on rare occasion. Ritalin is another prescription only drug that is used primarily for ADHD and has very similar benefits and concerns as Modafinil.

Brain puzzles such as Sudoku, crosswords, chess and certain others are great ways to stimulate your brain function. These games or puzzles should be difficult enough to solve/beat to where it takes significant effort to do so. Where they are too easy or too hard will accomplish little in the way of brain stimulation, although too hard is better than too easy. Each type of puzzle tends to stimulate a different part of the brain, such as Sudoku is more mathematical and pattern based, crossword tends to stimulate the language and memory, while chess tends to stimulate the logical and strategic part. Therefore it is important to understand this when choosing your puzzle(s).

Learning something new may be one of the best ways to stimulate those who are past their school years. This something new should be something that you will enjoy learning otherwise it may do little in the way of stimulation. A new hobby is a great start. Learn how to make that patio you’ve been dreaming about for ages, and actually make it. Perhaps plan a trip to a country whose native language is not a language that you now speak. Then proceed to learn that language to near fluent status, perhaps make it even more motivational by making the trip a reward for learning the new language.

Music and brain stimulation remains somewhat of a controversial topic, however it is now widely accepted and confirmed by research that certain types of music will cause your brain to function at a different level. There is some new research of brain waves that especially confirms this. Classical music, especially by Mozart, is the current most widely accepted music for positive brain stimulation; although most if not all music stimulates the brain in one way or another. An even better approach here is to learn to play an instrument like the piano or the guitar. There is massive research that confirms that learning to play an instrument has amazing results on a person’s brain function in all areas of life. A note here to those who cannot stand to listen to classical music, avoid music that is too heavy or fast; soothing background music is best.

One of the easiest things you can do to stimulate your brain is reading. Reading provides one of the most positive stimulations to your brain. It doesn’t even matter so much what it is that you read. Written words that require to be read rather than listened to (audio books will not work) involves a very deep process that stimulates both sides of your brain. As good as reading is there is something, that once mastered, stimulates your brain even more. It is called speed reading. Before you dismiss this as something that’s too hard or not worth the time investment, consider this. What if your that huge client case you have to read or the biology homework that would take you two hours to read was cut down by FIVE or more times. That means two hours of reading your biology homework now only takes just a bit over TWENTY minutes. Just imagine what you could do with the extra time. Not only that but all of the stuff you just read in that twenty minutes you will remember better and be able to recall easier than if you spent two hours doing it. This is real and ANYONE can do it. It does require patience, practice and a proper guide, we recommend Breakthrough Rapid Reading. With this new found ability you will be drastically more productive but more important is your brain stimulation will go through the roof.

Spirituality is perhaps a generalized word for this area as this area deals with your internal thoughts and attitudes. This is more of a right brain stimulation area which means, knowledge, numbers and logic have nothing to do with it. Imagination is perhaps a better word; however it is too narrow to encompass this whole area. This area has to do with thinking and imagining about being on that wonderful vacation and not just thinking about it, but actually visualizing yourself seeing that waterfall, seeing how the water splashes into the pool, you standing there taking that picture. This also involves you evaluating yourself and your behavior and how it relates to society and/or your guide that keeps your grounded, such as your Bible. This is a newer area of study for much of the academic world and there is so very much information floating around about it that it would take many books to cover it all. We suggest taking the time to look more into stimulating this part of your brain as the benefits can be profound.

The last one to mention is memory exercises. There are several kinds of memory exercises and it is best to spend some time researching them online as there are many that can be beneficial. We will mention two. First take a dictionary and flip to a random page then scan to a word that you do not recognize then proceed to memorize the word and its meaning. Do this for three to five words every day. Second, search for “random word generator” online then choose one of the several free sites and generate 10 random words. Then take 60 seconds and try to memorize each of the random words. After the 60 seconds try to write down as many as you can remember. Once you can remember all 10 words, move up to 20 words, and so on.

There are actual competitions where people can remember 500 or more random words in 60 seconds of looking at them…now that’s an amazing memory. You can get there too; higher school grades, noticeably better work performance or just all around enhanced brain function are possible with these sometimes simple but amazing memory stimulating methods.


23/May/2019

Your brain is arguably the most important organ you possess. It is responsible for your movement, your emotions, your thoughts, you intelligence and more importantly, your memory. This is why those of us who want to improve our life start by improving our brain.

Unfortunately, some of the most popular beliefs about the brain are false at best… and can instead be potentially harmful. In this article, I would like to highlight 3 of the popular false beliefs that could be undermining your effort to improve your brain fitness. With that said, let’s get started.

1. Your brain is not isolated from other parts of your body. When most people think about improving their brain, they look for “brain foods” and “brain exercises”. This is largely popularized by conventional medicine’s narrow approach to healing.

Instead, when you look to improve your brain, look to improve your holistic health. For example, green leafy vegetables are obviously beneficial for your whole body – but it is also a great “brain food”. Green leafy vegetables contain large amount of anti-oxidants that fight against the process of oxidation – a process that kills cells all over your body, including your brain.

Some people mistakenly believe that what they eat do not affect their brains and learning capability but numerous studies have proven this to be wrong. If your body is healthy as a whole, so will your brain be.

So my advice is not to ignore traditional advice on improving your health. Drink more water, eat more green vegetables and don’t forget to exercise.

2. Speaking of exercise, this is another part of a brain fitness routine that many over look. Few of us ever thought of exercising when it comes to improving brain function. Exercising, on the other hand, is perceived to be a technique to adopt only if you want to build muscles or lose weight.

The truth couldn’t be further. Studies have shown that exercise keep your motor cortex healthy. Motor cortex is the part of your brain responsible for movement. Thus if you live a life that does not involve much movement, you will lose your ability to move and even balance yourself.

Exercise also reduces stress, which in turn releases chemicals such as dopamine. Dopamine increases blood pressure, increases heart rate and kills brain cells.

Other effects of exercise include longer attention span, better ability to focus and superior memory. Thus it has long been observed that people who exercise perform better than people who don’t in everything from study, business, creative skills and of course, sports.

3. Did you know that the neurons (brain cells) responsible for your thoughts are the exact same ones responsible for your actions?

Certain neurons fire signals to your limbs when you walk. When you imagine you’re walking, those same neurons would fire the same signals to your limbs. Thus even your thoughts affects your brain fitness.

This finding, unbelievable as it sounds, has been repeatedly proven in several studies. A particular research study involving a brain scan found that subjects imagining piano practice achieved formation of large neural networks – approximately equal amount of improvement as the group who actually practiced playing the piano.

Another study involved basketball players and those that imagined practicing out performed those who physically practiced.

Thus be very careful of the thoughts you put into your mind. If you expect to be frail and weak, the neurons responsible for your muscles will make sure that happens. If you think your memory is slipping, it will be a reality for you.


23/May/2019

For my Senior Citizen counseling clients, brain training software is of interest. Most of us Boomers and Seniors have noticed the changes that come to our memory with our age, and are definitely interested in managing that change, so that it does not become any worse.

Some of my younger clients are curious about how brain training software might make them more effective in the job market, or at school.

And I am glad to share with them what I have learned about the emerging concept of brain fitness.

In fact, taking care of your brain’s fitness should happen prior to choosing brain training software.

You may ask why should I take care of my brain’s fitness, isn’t it always just there, working away to move my hand to the computer mouse, thinking, and monitoring?

Yes, your brain does do all that, and it has a couple of newly discovered capacities, neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, which we can enhance by giving the brain what it needs to function best.

So the issue of brain fitness means taking care of the hardware of the brain first, then picking some brain training software to help out memory or I.Q., for example.

An excellent primer for brain fitness is the aptly titled e-book Brainfit for Life by Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., neuroscientists at the University of Michigan who have culled the neuroscientific research for tips that we non-neuroscientists can use to make our brain more effective as it moves us through the events of our day and lives.

Evans and Burghardt write about what they call the pillars of brain fitness, which are physical activity/exercise, nutrition, including antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acid, getting good sleep, stress management, and novel learning experience, which is where a brain training software program might be helpful.

If we maximize our efforts at taking care of the pillars, then we maximize our neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

Neurogenesis means that we grow new neurons every day, and neuroplasticity means that we form new connections between neurons sometimes within minutes of learning something new, and keeping those connections strong through increased challenge and positive feedback is the key to keeping the brain fit.

Once the Brain is Fit, Then Choose Brain Training Software

So after you have begun a regular exercise program, which will lead to better sleep, which is the time that our brain uses to consolidate memories, and you have increased your consumption of antioxidants and omega 3, and learned heart rate variability biofeedback for your stress management, then you are ready to tackle the novel learning experience pillar of brain fitness, which is where brain training software could prove useful.

Most of the experts who write about brain fitness say that the novel learning experience required to best enhance neuroplasticity and neurogenesis is the kind that we experience when learning a new language or a new musical instrument, because those endeavors expose us to increasing levels of complexity, and the regular practice gives us an opportunity to achieve appropriate levels of positive feedback.

Not sure about you, but even with retirement looming in my life, I do not have time to undertake a language or instrument regimen, so I will look for brain training software that has some research behind it to try out.

I really like three programs for brain training software. The first is based on the dual n back task, which Evans and Burghardt discuss. The next is the program put together by Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. which exercises the neurons in the Senior Citizen auditory circuit.

The program utilizing the dual n back task is addictive, and it will quickly teach you how fast your attention wanders, the Merzenich program really helps with word recall, and the online tool is a quick, easy to use, economical tool that I can boot up and use between clients or phone calls to get my brain a rest between stressful situations.

My guess is that once you find a program that you like, the use of brain training software will become a regular part of your day.

There are some significant side effects, like increased IQ and improved communication and relationships. If I can process auditory data more effectively, I become a more confident listener, which is a key piece in relationships, far more important than speaking actually.

So my suggestion is that you start with the pillars of brain fitness, and then find brain training software. I know that research driven by Boomers is going to keep improvements coming so keep your ears to the ground for more.


23/May/2019

These Lifestyle Tips Could Help Save Your Brain

Research has shown that there are a number of activities that can be incorporated into your lifestyle that can prevent cognitive and physical decline. Adopting some simple daily habits, and doing them regularly, as well as paying closer attention to the ones you do anyway, will result in both cognitive and physical health, as you get older.

1 Reduce your stress

Extensive research has highlighted the negative effects that stress has on both your body and your brain. The worst kind of stress that the brain can experience, and which leads to brain damage if it continues unchecked, is stress that combines these three factors:

  1. A lack of predictability
  2. A lack of control
  3. A lack of obvious outlets for the resultant frustration

Hints to reduce this type of stress:

  • Learn to live in the moment. Simply take a deep breath and focus on the moment that you find yourself in. Plan for the future, but don’t live in it.
  • Identify the stresses that are most likely to make you to feel as if you have no control. Accept or avoid what you can’t change.
  • Talk to someone who has had a similar challenge.
  • Learn to say NO! You will be amazed how this one factor can transform your life.
  • Do some ‘de-junking’ to reduce stress – it is easier to handle stress when you are organized.
  • Move on from the past – whatever it takes – forgiveness, counseling, acceptance.
  • Make a point of listing the things that you are grateful for at the end of each day. This lowers depression, which is a risk factor for cognitive decline.
  • Extending yourself, through volunteering. This reduces both stress and depression.
  • Laugh regularly. Happy people laugh, and are less likely to suffer from depression and stress.
  • Foster strong, positive relationships, which support cognitive health. Move away from ones that leave you felling frustrated and unhappy.
  • Exercise is a natural de-stressor, using up the chemicals that are produced when you feel stressed, overwhelmed and frustrated.

2 Exercise your body to help your brain

Research has indicated clearly that exercise strengthens the brain, through strengthening the heart firstly, but also through a direct mechanism that actually influences neurons. Exercise benefits your brain in the following ways:

  • Your heart works harder and becomes stronger by pumping more blood and oxygen around your body and into your brain when you exercise. More blood, and more oxygen and nutrients being pumped throughout your body, mean more gets to your brain too.
  • Exercising helps your blood vessels stay strong and healthy, which is protective against burst blood vessels in the brain.
  • More blood being pumped into the brain means an increase in the growth of specific cells, called astrocytes, that support neurons.
  • Exercise lowers your risk of getting heart disease, depression, diabetes, or experiencing hypertension, which – combined, or separately – are all risk factors for brain dysfunction and the death of neurons.

Further reasons why exercise benefits your brain starts deep within your muscles when you exercise:

  • Chemicals produced in working muscles, find their way into the brain, increasing the production of a chemical, called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF, which acts like fertilizer for your neurons, encouraging them to stay healthy and keep growing, even helping to grow new neurons.
  • Exercising regularly, your brain builds up reserves of BDNF, helping neurons to branch out, joining together, forming new connections.
  • A mood disorder may be a ‘lack of movement’ disorder, as specific neurotransmitters are increased after exercising, which give you a feeling of being happy and calm, focused and less impulsive.
  • Your brain becomes more and more efficient at producing BDNF the more you exercise.
  • An increased blood flow to the brain decreases inflammation.

3 Sleep enough to keep your brain sharp

Your body evolved to spend a third of its life asleep – less than that and you end up with a problem. There are a few very unusual people who seem to need less sleep, but researchers believe this is an exception to the sleep needs of most people. We get ill and eventually die when we are severely sleep deprived. These are some of the reasons why this may happen, and why the brain is severely affected by sleep deprivation:

  • Your blood pressure drops when you sleep, which is good for your heart
  • Dreaming seems to perform important functions in your brain, even though researchers do not yet understand this fully
  • A number of hormones are released when you sleep, three of which are very important in the process of healing and rejuvenation that occurs during sleep:
  1. Erythropoietin is produced in your kidneys, during deep sleep, to stimulate red blood cell production in your bone marrow.
  2. Growth hormone is a special hormone produced in your pituitary gland at regular intervals of about 90 minutes, during sleep. The most powerful wave occurs about an hour after you fall asleep at night.
  3. Testosterone is an important hormone, for both men and women, ensuring high levels of energy, a healthy libido, good immunity against illness and strong bones. Poor sleep leads to low levels of testosterone.
  • Rat brains, deprived of sleep, experience more neuronal damage due to oxidation, from energy production within neurons. Sleep seems to allow the production of antioxidant-like compounds, which counteract the damage that occurs during the day. The hippocampus, the memory centre, is the area that seems to be affected most severely when sleep deprivation occurs. Humans seem to experience the same negative effects from sleep deprivation.
  • Further research into sleep-deprived rats has found that their brains accumulate Amyloid-beta, a form of protein that is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Research has yet to uncover whether this is true for humans too, but it seems wise to err on the side of caution, and get enough sleep.

4 Mental stimulation will keep your brain young

Researchers have discovered that being socially active, engaging in many activities that involve relating to others, and being involved in new experiences, uses your brain and keeps it active. This mental activity is now believed to be very important in keeping your brain healthy, and also helps your neurons to generate new connections.

There are a few specific pointers to keep in mind when making choices about how to keep your brain stimulated:

  • The more educated a person is, the greater their ability to withstand age-related cognitive decline. This is called ‘cognitive reserve.’ However it is never too late to learn new things, so don’t let not receiving a qualification in your youth stop you from pursuing further education now.
  • Do a few things differently, every day, to stimulate new pathways in your brain, like, going to work via a different route, using your non-dominant hand for daily tasks and eating with chopsticks.
  • Learn new things by having in depth discussions with people who are experts in their fields.
  • Spark new interests, new thoughts and new discussions by reading different books to what you have become used to reading.
  • Researchers believe that playing chess and sudoka, while fun and mildly stimulating, doesn’t really make long term changes to the structure of the brain, so should not be relied on to provide all the mental stimulation that your brain needs as it gets older.
  • Go somewhere new on holiday, where you will encounter a new culture and even a new language, once again increasing neuronal connections, and therefore cognitive health.
  • Specific computer games can stimulate the release of specific chemicals within the brain, which can foster long term, positive, neuronal change.

5 Watch your weight to keep your brain healthy

As you get older, weight gain can be an insidious, creeping enemy, and a lack of physical exercise will increase the problem. People who are overweight are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and depression, all of which are predisposing factors for mental illness and cognitive decline.

Research has also indicated that increasing body mass index (BMI) coupled with increasing age is associated with decreased brain volume, helping to explain decreased cognitive ability.

The over-consumption of refined carbohydrates, a low consumption of nutrient dense fresh produce, combined with an impaired digestive system, which often accompanies aging, and a lack of the correct Essential Fatty Acids, will all lead to weight gain, and general ill health, both mentally and physically.

Furthermore, impaired glucose sensitivity, which occurs due to the excessive intake of refined carbohydrates, and which is a pre-cursor for diabetes, is also linked to diminished cognitive ability. People who have good glucose control hold onto their memories for longer, than people who have impaired glucose sensitivity.

In conclusion, normal aging, added to unmanageable stress levels, inactivity, poor sleep, little mental stimulation and a negative outlook on life, accompanied by slow, but significant weight gain, will magnify cognitive decline. By keeping an open mind and an open heart, you are open to new experiences and by default will be open to ongoing brain stimulation, and good cognitive health.


23/May/2019

Brain exercises are various activities that can help in keeping your brain active all the time. If you must have a sound mental system, you’ve got to exercise your brain regularly. You can easily achieve a healthy mind when you keep your brain properly exercised.

Brain exercises vary a lot. Any activity that can keep your brain engaged in the positive sense can be considered a good brain exercise. Listed and discussed below are 5 best brain exercises you can always use to enhance your mental wellness.

1. Meditation

This is the art emptying your mind of various issues while you focus on a particular matter. It’s also a process of contemplating on a subject or series of subject in order to draw some necessary conclusions. Your brain is the seat of mental activity like meditation. When you meditate, you’re invariably exercising your brain for greater efficiency.

2. Reading

The art of reading is a vital brain exercise you must never joke with. Reading keeps your brain active and alive all the time. When you engage in constant reading, your brain is always busy figuring out the meaning of what you’re reading. Your level of understanding is normally improved when you read voraciously. However, you have to be very careful on the kind of books or novels you read. If you read obscene or dirty works, you can get your mind filled up with ugly images. If care is not taken, you brain will be greatly distorted.

3. Writing

You can always get your brain properly exercised through writing. In most cases, creative writing is the best form of endeavor that can keep your brain busy. If you’re the type that uses computer to write, your level of understating is sure to improve. This is because, your brain works faster as you type on the keyboard while at the same time, you’re thinking out the wordings you put on. The more you write on daily basis, the more active your brain becomes in dealing with issues of life.

4. Researching

You can equally get your brain exercised by engaging in research activities. Your brain is always very active and alive when you’re researching on a topic. If you’re doing the research in a library, you’ll discover that your brain is always looking for the right thing to pick. The same scenario happens when you do your research through the internet. Your brain is always at work when you carry out any form of research.

5. Brain Stimulation

Stimulation is the process of arousing your brain to tackle difficult issues successfully. You can use brain teasers to achieve the stimulation process. You can equally solve game puzzles and mathematical problems in order to get your brain stimulated.

In all, you have to engage in the brain exercises discussed above regularly. You can achieve greater results if you make the exercises part of your daily life. As you go ahead to use the exercises, make sure you exercise your physical body too. You also need to feed well in order to keep your brain alive and active all the time.


23/May/2019

Practical benefits of trying the brain games

There are many online platforms where you can find numerous brain fitness workouts that are unmistakably beneficial to the brain. Improving memory games are the simplest of the brain games that you can find at different brain training websites. Chances are you have a difficult time remembering people’s faces, or even their names. Or you might have encountered somebody numerous times, yet every time you meet, you must re-introduce yourself. These games are specifically for you. The games offer brain training to associate faces with images, and people’s names with their characteristics.

Chess Knight is the classic brain game, which anyone willing to make radical improvements in their brain functionality and creativity must participate in. those who constantly play this game have their strategy-setting skills greatly enhanced. You could be the smartest kid on the block, but because you rarely participate in these brain games for training, you will never know this.

The following activities are the best for brain training

You may think that the activities outlined on some of the brain sites are ordinary until you try them. Among the top activities is the brain reflection test. This simple exercise is done to determine the reflection of your brain. Brain reflection is primarily the capacity of the brain to carry out purposive learning on human nature and purpose.

Brain stretching is the other brain training activity that involves filling out mathematical and crossword puzzles. But the most popular brain game for this activity is the Tower of Hanoi. The rules of this game are designed in such a way to ensure that the player critically thinks, and follows logic. These attributes can be used even in real life situations.

Brain stimulation activity- chances are that you are not aware of this; that your Sudoku addiction is actually a vital brain stimulant. The game involves entering the digits (1-9) in the regions so that each column, row contains a single instance of each numeral. Successfully filling up the Sudoku game calls for patience and logical thinking, and this strengthens the brain too.

Brain training games are definitely useful for everyone to partake in as a daily part of life. You will learn vital life and cognitive skills that everyone can make use of. Apart from being fun, these games will boost your esteem, confidence and hopefully keep your mind sharp for many years to come!


23/May/2019

Brain plasticity = ability of the brain to “rewire” itself. This capability occurs predominately in the frontal lobes, the area of the brain right behind the forehead and above the eyes. Although they make up 40% of the volume, the frontal lobes were the last part of the human brain to evolve. They don’t become fully operable until the late teens or early twenties. They provide our sense of self-awareness, our will power, and our humanity. They enable us to plan, prioritize, and conceive the future. Damage to the frontal lobes can deprive us of choice, intention, and conscience.

Professor Michael Merzenich of San Francisco, the world’s leading researcher in brain plasticity, discovered that animals’ brains that are passively stimulated aren’t significantly changed by experience. The “rewiring” occurs only when attention is given to the stimulation. In other words, to make a change we have to be actively attentive.

The “attention circuits” of the human brain are located primarily in the frontal lobes. Here the initial stages of learning take place. With attentive and adequate rehearsal, the process then shifts to other parts of the brain, freeing the frontal lobe circuits for the further acquisition of new skills.

The frontal lobes also play an important role in selecting what sensory input to attend

To-emphasizing certain stimuli while ignoring others. The ability of “tuning in” and/or “tuning out” structures our perceptions of external and internal events. Damage to the frontal lobes can affect our ability to evaluate, prioritize, and differentiate relevant from irrelevant information.

One cost of “paying attention” is that activities in other areas of the brain are significantly reduced. When we listen intently, we become blind and numb to the world around us. When we focus on minute details, we lose sight of the big picture. We may get so lost in a book or a movie that we lose all sense of time and place. This effect is called “Hebbian learning,” after psychologist Donald Hebb. The changes that take place in brain cells and synapses as a result of Hebbian learning is called “long-term potentiation” (LTP).

On a neural level, neighboring cells begin “firing” simultaneously, kind of empathically, even if only one of them receives the initial electro-chemical stimulation. In Mind Sculpture: Unlocking Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, brain rehabilitation researcher Ian Robertson described this phenomenon as “Cells that fire together, wire together.” On a metaphoric level, a coalition of actively firing cells will commandeer their more passive neighbors, enlarging the web of influence a specific stimulus can produce. On a conscious level, we experience a “zeroing in” on particular objects or events. For example: mothers can easily identify the sound of their children’s voices even in a crowded and noisy playroom. And we all respond attentively when we hear our names mentioned.

Research with musicians who play string instruments demonstrated that while a larger than average part of their brains were devoted to the fingers of their left hands, it resulted in a less than average sensitivity in their left palms. Likewise, the folk adage that a loss of one sense, such as sight, leads to the enhancement of other senses has been scientifically justified by evidence that visual areas of a blind person’s brain are taken over by touch when he learns Braille.

The commandeering of brain cells which results in the acquisition of new skills can be disrupted if we are not allowed to dream. Although REM (rapid eye movement) sleep takes up just 20% of the night, research indicates that without such dream time learning and memory suffer. This is why cramming all night for a final may get us through the test but does nothing to enhance our understanding of the subject matter.

The same does not hold true if non-REM sleep is disrupted. We may be tired and cranky, but our memories will still function. Hence, it is not enough to “sleep on it,” we have to “dream on it” to make significant changes within our brains.

Neural networks that are derived from experience or practice will break down from disuse, or as Robertson said “Cells that fire apart, wire apart.” This is why we may remember only snatches of old, familiar songs or experience a sense of “being rusty” at things we used to do so well. Brain cells don’t whither away when unused. They are simply commandeered for other purposes. In weightless space, astronauts lose their kinesthetic sense of direction. Without gravity, they have no “this side up” cue. They have to depend entirely on their eyes to orient themselves as they float freely in the space shuttle. After an extended time in a space lab, they even lose the sense of their limbs. They have to look to see where their arms and legs are. This is why astronauts “walk funny” when they finally return to Earth. On average, it takes four to eight days for their brains to “rewire” under the influence of gravity.

This extraordinary, and until recently, unrecognized capacity our brains have for continually restructuring themselves holds great promise for people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In some cases, neural networks that have been 90% damaged have reorganized into functioning systems again. They do so by “working around” the dead cells and joining together with surviving neighbors.

As might be expected, higher and broader education provides a significant advantage when it comes to overcoming brain injuries. The more connections there are and the stronger those connections are, the more likely a patient will recover functional capacity, provided that the therapy is progressively organized. Sporadic or poorly organized treatment is like knitting and then unraveling a sweater. It may keep us busy, but in the end nothing has been achieved.

The most effective form of teaching, and subsequent brain restructuring, is mediation. The mediator is a kind of external frontal lobe, selecting and highlighting what is significant, downplaying or concealing what is distracting. Designs for Strong Minds™ and Learning How To Learn exercises are designed to do just that and more. They are organized progressively and around different logical structures. Think of them as a full brain workout, cross-training and restructuring the brain to maximize potential naturally.


23/May/2019

Just like it is important for us to take care of our bodies, it is important to take care of our brains as well. You fuel your body with healthy foods and exercise. You can mold and define your muscles, and loose or gain weight to change your appearance. So what can you do to take care of your brain? Well, here are ten things to do to get you started. Follow these ten steps to take care of your brain and you may find that you are a better student, you may even learn something!

1. Work it out

Your brain needs exercise just as much as your body does. It is actually possible for your brain to atrophy just like your muscles. You can exercise your brain by making it think. Make your brain think by doing a crossword puzzle or play a word game with a friend. Read an interesting book, (reading is a big one), watch a though provoking movie and get creative with a hobby. All of these things can stimulate and work your brain causing it to function better. If you are having a hard time with homework or an assignment try taking a break and doing one of these things.

2. Get Moving

Our bodies thrive on physical exercise, even our brains. When you exercise your heart works harder to pump the blood through your body increasing oxygenation in your brain which is, in a way, exercising your brain. It is a good idea to go on a walk in between classes or take a break from homework to exercise to get your mind working.

3. Challenge Yourself!

Learning new things creates new avenues in your brain and challenges it. When you learn new information your brain becomes healthier. Try learning something new, go to a cooking class or learn yoga. Play chess with a friend or travel, after all “travel broadens the mind”. It is important to be learning new things constantly for the health of our brains.

4. Eat Brain Foods

Yes, they exist. Brain foods are foods that provide vital nutrients to your brain. First of all always start your day off with a balanced breakfast. Eating breakfast wakes you up and gives you the nutrients you need to start thinking and functioning. Studies show that people that eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day and have a higher functioning metabolism as well. Foods full of antioxidants like blueberries, and pomegranate are good for your brain along with fish, avocado, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

5. Vitamins

Your mom always told you to take your vitamins, and she was right. Your brain thrives on the nutrients in vitamins and supplements so make sure that you are putting them into your body. Omega-3, vitamin B, E and C, grape seed extract and plenty of water are only a few of the things that you should be mindfully adding to your diet to keep a healthy brain.

6. Avoid, Avoid, Avoid

There is opposition in all things. Just like there are good things for your brain, there are also bad things for your brain. For instance drugs and alcohol can actually kill brain cells. You should also avoid or use in moderation substances like caffeine, hydrogenated vegetable oils, heavily processed foods and fast foods. And last but certainly not least, do not smoke. Cigarette smoking robs your brain of oxygen and can cause many problems. In fact, there are studies out there that link some Alzheimer’s patients to smoking.

7. Protect your Noggin

Protecting your brain from injury is definitely one way to keep it healthy and smart. Accidents involving your brain can be devastating to the way that your brain functions. Always wear a helmet and wear a seat belt. Be careful when playing contact sports like football and rugby. Repetitive injuries to the brain can cause serious damage that cannot be repaired.

8. Chill Out

Stress can be really hard on your brain. It is in your best interest to reduce stress as much as possible for your mind and your body. Reducing stress can also improve your mental health and state of well being. If you’re feeling like you’re close to the edge, try to bring the stress levels down a notch. Watch a funny movie, go for a walk or take a bath. Be positive and have fun try not to let stress bring you down and your brain will be a lot better off.

9. Stimulate your Senses

Aromatherapy, massage, working in a garden and baking are all things that can stimulate your senses and influence your brain. When your brain is subjected to multi-sensory activities stimulates your brain and helps keep your mind sharp. For instance when you bake cookies, you combine the ingredients, knead the dough and smell the cookies.

10. Be a Social Butterfly

Your brain is stimulated when you talk to friends and family. When you share experiences and emotions your brain gets stimulants that it needs. Having and making friends is also good for your mental health. Feelings of isolation and loneliness disappear when you surround yourself with loved ones.


23/May/2019

Introduction:

Cancers of the brain are the consequence of malignancies of cells in the brain. Brain cancers can begin from primary brain cells, the cells that form other brain components (for example, membranes, blood vessels), or from the growth of cancer cells that develop in other body organs and that have propagated to the brain by the blood vessels.

Main Idea:

Brain tumors are all the malignancies within the neurological system and the skull. Brain tumors result from the uncontrolled and irregular cell division within the above mentioned body parts.

According to the WHO, classification of brain tumors is mainly based on the cause of cell and its behavior, from harmless, to dangerous, that is the most aggressive. The least dangerous malignancies are allocated Grade I while the most dangerous are allocated Grade IV.

The significant classification of brain tumors is reliant on the area of origin. There are two significant types of brain tumors:

i) Primary brain tumors 
ii) Secondary brain tumors

PRIMARY BRAIN TUMORS:

Primary brain malignancies begin from the mind and can remain local or propagate to other areas of our bodies. These are further broken down into different types, based on the source from different brain areas.

TYPES OF PRIMARY BRAIN TUMORS:

1. Gliomas:

Gliomas start from the helpful brain cells. Gliomas are of different types. They include: 
a) Oligodendrogkiomas – these can affect people of all ages and mainly begin from myelin-producing cells.They are rare and mostly do not propagate. 
b) Ependymomas – This type of glioma mostly have impact on the children and the youth. Its basis is the ventricles lining. 
c) Brain stem gliomas – These are found in the lower part of the brain. This part of the brain is very important as it controls the main body functions. Most of the brain control gliomas are of high quality and hence very dangerous. 
d) Astrocytomas – They take place from the cells known as astrocytes. They can grow in any part of the vertebrae or the brain. In children, they create from cerebellum or the cerebrum.

2. Non Gliomas:

These occur from the non supportive cells. Various types include: 
a) Pineal tumors – They grow from the pineal glands and can be easily removed from the brain. Some of them are very slow growing while others are fast growing. 
b) Medulloblastomas – They start from the basic nerve cells. They also can grow in the cerebellum. They are also referred to as primitive neuroectodermal tumors. 
c) Craniopharyngiomas – They originate from the pituitary glands. Most of them are harmless. In case they press hypothalamus gland because of overgrowth, various important features are lost and they become dangerous. 
d) Schwannomas – They initiate from the schwan cells and generate myelin. Myelin protects auditory nerve cells. 
e) Meningiomas – These are experienced by women of 30 to 50 age segment. They are harmless and begin from meninges.

SECONDARY BRAIN TUMORS:

The following cancers are the most common types that cause secondary tumors; lung, breast, kidney, colon and malignant melanoma.

Secondary brain tumors are those malignancies that create in different parts of the body and get into the mind. They are metastatic and get into the veins and the lymphatic system program. They then flow through the veins or/and the lymph vessels and get filed in the mind. From here they continue splitting and become obtrusive.

Secondary brain malignancies are difficult to treat. They are also the significant cause of intracranial cavity malignancies.

The following malignancies are the most typical types that cause secondary tumors:

• Dangerous cancer malignancy 
• Colon 
• Lung 
• Renal 
• Breast

Conclusion:

Brain cancer malignancy has a wide range of symptoms including convulsions, drowsiness, misunderstandings, and behavior changes. Not all brain malignancies are cancer, and harmless malignancies can outcome in similar signs. It is not always possible to find out the kind of brain tumor you have. This may be because the tumor is in a sensitive aspect of the mind that a physician is unable to operate on.


23/May/2019

Introduction

One of the common things pregnant women and new mothers complain about is that they have developed ‘Baby Brain’ (sometimes known as ‘Nappy Brain’) – the seeming inability to function as the rational, logical human being they were BEFORE they conceived. But there IS a good reason for this apparent ‘loss’ of brain function, you’ll be glad to know!

To begin to understand why this happens, we need to look a little bit at the structure of the brain as science currently believes it to be. Any neurologists reading this article can just skip the next bit! To anyone who ISN’T a neurologist; I promise, I’ll make this as painless as possible…

Brain Science Made Simple!

A healthy adult brain consists of two sides (known as hemispheres), and a collection of tissue between the two hemispheres that links them together, called the corpus callosum. When a baby is born, its brain is not fully formed. During the first year after birth, a baby’s brain develops at the SAME rate as it did before the birth, and the corpus callosum is not fully developed until about 3 years old.

The two sides of the brain process information in different but equally vital ways. The left side of the brain deals with the logical, rational, linear, linguistic etc, information we receive and the right hemisphere deals with the intuitive, creative, body language etc. It registers painful feelings and picks up emotional atmospheres. It has much stronger links with the body than the left hemisphere so can quickly register how your body is coping with an emotional event.

The corpus callosum, when fully developed, allows communication between the two hemispheres. But until this time, babies and young children do not have the words (a left-brained function) to explain their feelings (a right-brained function). They have no real left-brain activity until they reach 3 years old, so need to use their instincts/intuition to survive and their body language to communicate their needs to their care givers.

Hormones

OK, the lesson in brain science is over. Now there’s one more thing we need to understand, and that’s hormones and how they change during pregnancy and birth. One of the key hormones is oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone that makes us feel love (of ANY kind, not just the love we feel for our babies) and is at its highest levels when we fall in love, during love-making, during labour and birth, and when we are breastfeeding. A good way to remember its functions is to remember it’s the hormone of the 3 L’s – labour, love and lactation! Another useful way to remember what it does is “tend and be friend” (a bit like the good old “fight, freeze or flight” for another hormone, adrenaline). Incidentally, the level of oxytocin also rises when we share food with somebody else, hence the importance of sitting together for meals in creating and maintaining strong family bonds.

Mothers are in their Right Minds!

Before pregnancy, particularly in our Western culture, the focus of our adult brain largely tends to be on the left – the logical, linguistic side. But when we become pregnant, our brain focus tends to start naturally shifting to adapt us to use the right side more. The way this happens is that oxytocin works to muffle the left-brain so the right-brain can take over more. This is a necessary part of beginning the transition to parenthood and is vital for nurturing. As already stated, babies and young children do not have a fully developed left-brain until about 3, which is why you can’t reason with a toddler, particularly a tantruming one!! Therefore, in order to be able to nurture our babies and toddlers, and understand their needs, we need to have our instinctive antennae for body language and other non-verbal behaviour tuned into our child’s frequency, which means using our right brain much more.

This shift can be disconcerting for women if they are left-brain dominant – particularly as having ‘baby-brain’ tends to have negative connotations; we never hear anyone say “Wow, I’m so forgetful today! Must be my right brain taking over so I can tune into my baby better!” This shift isn’t permanent, but will remain whilst our children are young. Eventually, we can even switch brain dominance during the course of a day, allowing women to function in their pre-pregnant left brain state whilst, say, at work. But switch back to their right brain state when they are back with their children.

Ultimately then, it’s not so much that our brains decline, but that we spontaneously shift the focus of our brain to become intuitive, nurturing mothers. So the next time you feel less than logical, instead of berating yourself, simply remember that you’re actually in your ‘right mind’ and that you’re instinctively doing exactly what you need to do to be the best mother to your baby!!