30 Mar 2019

Seizures, Neurofeedback & Cats!

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So what do cats have to do with seizures? Read on to find out.

Perhaps one of the most interesting issues in using neurofeedback to treat disorders is the fact that almost all of our early research was on the treatment of drug-refractory cases of epilepsy. now, most neurofeedback therapists see very few cases of epilepsy.   It hard for us to imagine that one of our most successfully treated disorders is dlsorders is seldom treated with brainwave training.  It all got started with epilepsy.  Research has clearly demonstrated that many, if not all, animal species exhibit a particular brainwave frequency band, called the Rolandic or sensorimotor cortex.  This is a band or strip-type formation that runs across the brain, basically from ear to ear.  This strip plays a major role in the treatment of most disorders, as you will see later.

We owe a lot to cats because the specific frequency, which is now labeled sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), was first observed in, you guessed it, cats.  Dr. Barry Sterman and others observed that when cats produced this rhythm, there was less motor activity.  So, when you see a cat sitting still, perhaps waiting for a mouse, nothing moving aside from an occasional flick of the tail, and they seem to be quite relaxed, then they are probably making an increased amount of SMR.  It is a state of controlled relaxed focus.  Controlled is a key word.  When we are in control, there are no seizures, no anxiety, no hyperactivity. and so forth.  In this state the brain is balanced and in control of all of its functions.  Out of control, there is a cascade of problems from neurological to endocrine issues.

Seizures are caused by abnormal and excessive amplitude brainwave spiking.  The spikes are known as epileptiform discharges   That means that you get a very high spike(s) in the brainwaves.  It is like a strong burst of energy in a particular area of the brain that overrides all the other brainwaves.   It is like a strong electrical surge to your computer that disrupts everything.  The frequency band where these abnormal firings occur is in the low-frequency range, usually between six and nine hertz.  Therefore the therapeutic strategy for treating epilepsy is to train the patient to make more SMR, twelve to fifteen hertz, which is a “calm”, relaxed, and focused,”frequency band, and to inhibit or train down the low-frequency band, six to nine hertz.”

If you are interested in neurofeedback training to reduce or eliminate seizures, please give is a call at 260 432-8777.

From Healing Young Brains by Robert Hill, Ph.D., and Eduardo Castro, M.D.