How much of any particular vitamin or nutrient do you actually need? This week I came across research that sheds important light on this question. Continue reading
A recently published study used fMRI (a form of brain imaging) as the basis for neurofeedback training in neuropsychiatric patients. The aim was to teach subjects to control activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) – a brain region known to be dysregulated in OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) sufferers – in the hope of controlling contamination anxiety. The neurofeedback trainees indeed learned to reduce their anxiety, while control group subjects (who received sham feedback) did not. The researchers recorded corresponding changes in brain connectivity in only the experimental subjects – changes still present several days after neurofeedback training. I think this combination of changes in anxiety and brain connectivity adds up to impressive evidence for the efficacy of neurofeedback. Continue reading
This week Dr John Briffa blogged on earthing or grounding – this is the practice of connecting the body electrically to earth, for example at night via a sheet plugged into a wall socket.
There is growing evidence that earthing helps reduce inflammation, by allowing the body to take up electrons which work as anti-oxidants. Inflammation creates a greater need for anti-oxidants because it involves the production of damaging pro-oxidant molecules called free radicals. We need our anti-oxidants to mop up these free radicals. Continue reading
Johns Hopkins University this week reported a research study of neurofeedback for depression. This proof-of-concept study was small scale but interesting in at least two ways. Continue reading
Recent months have seen an increased awareness of neurofeedback here in the UK, thanks mainly to a couple of neurofeedback articles appearing in national newspapers.
First came this Sunday Times article on neurofeedback. Then later this Daily Mail piece on neurofeedback. The common factor is the Brainworks neurofeedback practice in London, so well done to them for their good work (the articles show they’re doing a good job). Continue reading
I heard about a new research study that shows that fewer hours of sleep in adolescents is associated with greater weight gain (or technically speaking greater increase in body-mass index or BMI) and that sleeping for longer may help reduce obesity. (Here’s the link.)
Actually that’s no great surprise. A link between sleep and obesity has also been found in adults. And there are quite a number of studies showing the link, as this article on sleep deprivation and obesity makes clear.
Why should this be the case? Continue reading
This week I came across a research study of Heart Rate Variability biofeedback training for executive function in brain injury patients. The results suggest that individuals with severe chronic brain injury can learn to increase their heart rate coherence using biofeedback, and HRV correlates with emotional and cognitive regulation in this group, but further research is needed to evaluate HRV biofeedback as a therapy for behavioural problems. Continue reading
A recently published meta-analysis showed that vitamin and mineral supplementation benefits mood. Continue reading
Yesterday on Radio 4′s the Today programme there was an item about coughing during classical concerts. Apparently these days it’s much more common and bothers many performers and concert goers alike. Research shows that people cough twice as often during concerts compared to ordinary life. On reflection I didn’t find that too surprising. What I did find surprising was how mystified everyone seemed to be about why it should be so. Continue reading
Can biofeedback techniques help the treatment of anxiety disorders and the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in particular?
This post is a guest article by Antonio Martins-Mourao, PhD, who is a practising Clinical Psychologist and a Lecturer in Psychophysiology and Mental Health, at the Open University, where he also runs the QEEG & Brain Research Lab currently researching Anxiety disorders. Continue reading