How ‘AVE’ can help manage ADD/ADHD

So, what exactly is ADD/ADHD? 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that primarily impairs function in the pre-frontal and frontal regions of the brain. As a result, ADD/ADHD children become impulsive, inattentive and distractable. They also often crave stimulation (good or bad) in an effort to excite their brains.

Many renown entrepreneurs, visionaries, inventors, artists, musicians, scientists and CEOs of corporations have ADD/ADHD. Richard Branson of the Virgin Group of companies attributes his overwhelming business successes to his ADHD! So, properly channelled, the ADHD-induced drive to stimulate and create can be a powerful asset. But without management and direction, it can be excruciatingly difficult for the ADD/ADHD person to regulate him/herself in school, society and in relationships.

All mental functioning involves an element of arousal in the brain – the “awakeness” or alertness of the brain. The level of the brain’s arousal dramatically affects how well a particular mental challenge will be performed. For instance, it is almost impossible to pay attention if the brain is under-aroused, making an abundance of alpha or theta (dreamy) brain waves. And it is just as difficult to fall asleep if the brain is over-aroused, so that even with eyes closed, it is still producing excessive beta (alert) brain waves.

People with attentional problems such as ADD or ADHD have particular difficulty shifting their pre-frontal lobes (the part of the brain behind the forehead) into “gear.” The pre-frontal lobes are responsible for attention, intention and logical reasoning. These areas function poorly in the ADD/ADHD brain because of reduced blood flow and the production of too much slow alpha and/or theta brain waves, especially during cognitive (thinking) tasks and passive tasks (reading).

For those with ADD/ADHD, high levels of stimulation have been shown to wake up the pre-frontal lobes, resulting in reduced hyperactivity, improved attention, and less moodiness.

People with ADD/ADHD do well with stimulating video games and action sports. Unless the activity is exciting (pushing up arousal), the pre-frontal and frontal lobes quickly lose their attentiveness and activation. Theta and/or alpha brain waves increase dramatically and the person “fogs out.

A lack of stimulation in the typical school setting causes ADD/ADHD children to struggle constantly with mental fog, leading to poor grades.

AVE as a tool to help manage ADD/ADHD

Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) benefits the entire brain and body. This is continually evident and demonstrated by those children who have had the opportunity to use AVE in both school and home settings.

In Canada, the home of Mind Alive Inc (who developed the DAVID-range of AVE devices), many schools have initiated AVE programmes for the benefit of their students and staff alike. More and more children are given the opportunity to realise their innate potential that for many would not have been realised.

The DAVID ALERT is the portable hand-held AVE devices specifically designed to help manage ADD/ADHD symptoms by settling hyperactivity, promoting relaxation, and improving mood & logical thinking.

The AVE sessions on the ALERT are the result of 20 years of combined expertise and research by Michael Joyce of Personal Resource Strategies and David Siever of Mind Alive Inc.

Michael Joyce completed two studies using the DAVID systems to treat ADD/ADHD. His first study involved 30 primary school children from two schools (which was published in the Journal of Neurotherapy) and his second study included 204 children from seven schools, which he completed while he was the Director of Neurotechnology at A Chance to Grow, a special-needs charter school in Minneapolis.

Both studies showed that ADD behaviours were reduced significantly, whilst reading was improved.

The DAVID ALERT device – bred for use in ADD/ADHD

Michael used the DAVIDs’ AVE machines’ unique patented field stimulation ability to generate a different frequency in each hemisphere of the brain. With this technique and a Symptom Survey checklist developed by Michael, he was able to create DAVID sessions that could stimulate or calm the left, right or both hemispheres depending on the symptoms checked off by the child’s parents.

 

Over time, Michael refined and developed these sessions based on the checklist to produce benefits in specific areas. Now, all of this expertise has been put into the DAVID ALERT AVE device.

The ALERT also features larger easy-to-read, easy-to-operate buttons and allow users to select a session very easily. The ALERT session category buttons are lit to allow the user to see them in the dark. Mind Alive Inc. has been designing and manufacturing mind enhancement products for 30 years, and has conducted extensive research in that time, continually revealing new applications for this ground breaking technology.


Peak Health Online are authorised dealers for Mind Alive kits in the UK and Europe. To view their complete range of Audio-Visual Entrainment devices, including the DAVID ALERT and the DAVID ALERT Pro may be viewed here.

For more detailed information about some of the research that underpins the development of the DAVID ALERT AVE device for the management of attention and learning issues, please see here.

 


 

Autism: Helping extended family understand

When asked what the hardest thing to cope with when dealing with Autism is a lot of parents will name things such as lack of sleep or meltdowns as their top rating stressors. Truth be told though, a lot of the time the number one stressor in our lives isn’t our Autistic child at all; it’s our extended family members. The ones that say they’ll be there, but obviously do nothing but judge. You know the ones I’m talking about; the Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparent that just simply doesn’t get it. With that ignorance a lot of the times come hurt feelings and harsh words.

The people we love often don’t understand that their words tend to cut deeper than those of strangers. Often, they have no idea they are even doing it. Other times they are aware of their prejudice.

What am I talking about and what do we do about it?

We’ve all heard them. Those hurtful comments at family get togethers or online. Those comments we hear, or the actions taken, or not taken by our loved ones. Maybe we left our child in their care and they did nothing to help them cope with a meltdown; maybe they constantly pass judgement with their harsh words such as, “If you didn’t give in all the time he/she wouldn’t be so bad. You are making it worse.” Or the famous, “Just whoop that kids butt.” Maybe you have even heard my all-time favourites, “How can someone screw up raising a kid so badly, if I had he/she they wouldn’t act like that.” And the lovely, “This is just bad parenting, Autism isn’t even a real thing.” Or possibly they just exclude your Autistic child all together. Their visits are seemingly getting further and farther apart. Whatever the case may be, their ignorance to our situations can be the biggest stressor in our lives.

Many people with no exposure or understanding of Autism honestly think it is just bad parenting. When they see your child meltdown or act out of the ordinary to them it is nothing more than a temper tantrum being thrown by a child that they may classify as a brat. This automatically leads them to the conclusion that the parent is to blame. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you say to them, they still don’t get it. Your explanation is treated as nothing more than an excuse for your poor parenting.

In these cases, it is important to come to the realization that no matter how hard we try we can’t change people’s minds for them or make them be willing to learn. No matter how much you love your “Aunt Sue” she may never be willing to learn more about Autism. She may never get you and your family. This never gets easier, but it is common knowledge that once a child is diagnosed people change. Our relationships with people change and that is something we must be okay with.

Families sometimes drift apart because of a blatant disregard for learning about Autism. Friendships often times even come to an end. Unfortunately, from time to time it just isn’t worth your breath to try to better these relationships. Just keep spreading the awareness to the ones that will listen and maybe one day that beloved family member will get it. This is one reason why spreading the awareness and acceptance of this disorder is so important for all of us to do, in force. That extends to our family members-not just the public. Our families need to be taught how to handle our children, just as we had to learn or may still be learning.

What if our family is willing to learn?

There are many occasions where you will bring up your concerns to your family member and instead of blowing you off they are very receptive to your advice and knowledge. In these cases, savour the opportunity.

Ideas of ways to help family members learn about Autism:

  • Watch some films about Autism
  • Watch some documentaries on Autism
  • Invite them to some Autism Support Groups
  • Include them in therapy appointments
  • One on One time

There are many documentaries and even films out there to help people to better understand Autism. Watching these together with relatives could be a great way forward. If they are readers, recommend some books to them that helped you. I’d suggest you consult any autism support groups, especially on social media, for book. documentary and film recommendations that have helped others. I’d also recommend inviting your family members to join of visit support groups; whether in person or online. They are wonderful resources. They also help your family members to see that other families have similar struggles to your family.

Make sure your family member spends an adequate amount of time with your child, to help better understand him/her. Doing this will also help them get a good idea of your family dynamics and in which areas their help can be best used. Another idea is to include them in therapy appointments from time to time. Let them hear for themselves what the doctor is saying. Sometimes just hearing it from a professional themselves is all they need.

Just keep in mind that almost all families face this problem with extended family members. Always remember that it isn’t your fault if your family member doesn’t want to learn. If they do that is great! Teach them, be a resource for them. Help them learn to love Autism the way we do.

Explore Further:
If you’d like to explore our range of medication-free products to support relaxation and manage your levels of stress, then you’ll find them here or to return to our home page and view our full product range, it’s here


Source Material and acknowledgements:
The author of this article is Brooke Price, it was written for the health magazine EmaxHealth., where it first appeared on 20th April, 2018. It is reproduced here under CCO licensing rules, with minor editorial amendments to account for our principal audience being in the UK and Europe. The original article, with active links, may be viewed here

The research underpinnings for the use of AVE in the management of ADD/ADHD

This academic paper details some of the research that underpins the development of the ALERT Digital Audio-Visual Integration Device (D.A.V.I.D) for the management of attention and learning issues common to ADD and ADHD


Audio-Visual Entrainment: Applying Audio-Visual Entrainment Technology
for Attention and Learning

David Siever¹, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Abstract: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are unique attentional disorders which primarily involve slowed frontal brain wave activity and hypo-perfusion of cerebral blood flow in the frontal regions, particularly during tasks such as reading. A variety of disorders, such as anxiety, depression and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), are often co-morbid with ADD, thus creating a plethora of complications in treatment procedures. Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) lends itself well for the treatment of ADD/ADHD. AVE exerts a major wide spread influence over the cortex in terms of dominant frequency. AVE has also been shown to produce dramatic increases in cerebral blood flow. Several studies involving the use of AVE in the treatment of ADD/ADHD and its related disorders have been completed. AVE as a treatment modality for ADD/ADHD has produced wide-spread improvements including secondary improvements in IQ, behaviour, attention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, ODD and reading level. In particular, AVE has proven itself to be an effective and affordable treatment of special-needs children within a school setting.

Introduction

All mental functioning involves an element of arousal, that is, the awakeness or alertness of the brain. The degree of the brain’s (cortical) arousal dramatically affects how well a particular function can be performed. For instance, it is almost impossible to pay attention if the brain is producing an abundance of alpha or theta (Oken & Salinsky, 1992), just as it’s difficult to fall asleep with excess beta and low alpha activity in an eyes closed condition.

People with attentional problems such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have particular difficulty shifting their pre-frontal lobes into gear (suppressing alpha and/or theta) during cognitive tasks, particularly passive, spatial tasks such as reading (Lubar, et.al., 1985, Tansey, 1985). However, high levels of stimulation (which AVE provides in abundance) have been shown to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity (Cohen & Douglas, 1971; Leuba, 1955; Zentall, 1975; Zentall & Zentall, 1976), and the presence of rock music has also been shown to reduce hyperactivity (Cripe, 1986). This may explain why those with ADD do so well with video games and action sports. Unless the activity is exciting (pushing up arousal), the pre-frontal and frontal lobes quickly lose their attentiveness and activation. Theta and/or alpha brain waves increase dramatically and the person “fogs out.”

ADHD rarely occurs in isolation and is often combined with other conditions including depression, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, and other significant psychological, psychiatric, and neurological problems (Lubar, 1999; Hunt, 1994; Barkley, 1989).

Quantitative EEG (QEEG) Analysis of Brain Function

QEEGs have proven reliable methods for assessing brain function (Sterman, 1999; Sterman & Kaiser, 2001; John, et. al., 1977; Thatcher, 1998; Chabot & Serfontein, 1996) as shown in Figure 1, below, a QEEG of a teenager with ADD. One subgroup (Lubar, 1999; Gurnee, 2000) of ADD typically shows higher than average alpha, more prominent on the right frontal side (left image). During a reading task, the alpha activity increases frontally (instead of suppressing) with larger increases on the right side (center image). Thisincrease in alpha during a cognitive task is known as inversion, in that higher alpha or theta levels occur during task (in this case reading) than during a simple eyes-open (EO) condition. This inversion is experienced as mental “fog” while reading. Following one session (right image) on the DAVID Paradise XL, alpha normalizes and reading speed and comprehension are improved. 

Glucose Uptake Characteristics of ADD

Considering that alpha is basically an “idling” rhythm, it would be logical to assume that both cerebral blood flow (CBF) and glucose metabolism would fall during periods of increased alpha activity. ADD children show hypo-perfusion of blood (as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging) in the striatum (putamen), and this directly correlates with hyperactivity (Teicher, et. al., 2000). When the same children are treated with methylphenidate, the relative increase in blood flow through the putamen directly correlates with reductions in hyperactivity.

Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) is a process where a small amount of radioactive tracer is put into the blood stream through an artery. The parts of the brain that receive the most blood flow also absorb the most tracer through metabolism which shows up as a bright area on the image. Areas that don’t absorb any radioactive tracer appear as black. Amen (1998, p.123) found that the pre-frontal blood flow and metabolism in a person diagnosed with ADD did not function well at the best of times, whilst during concentration, the pre-frontal lobes shut down quite completely, making it very difficult for this person to pay attention and process what is being read. After an application of Adderall (an amphetamine), pre-frontal lobe function improved considerably, leading to better attention and reduced hyperactivity. Both Adderall and AVE increase cerebral blood flow.

The Educational Challenge of ADD (excerpted from Michael Joyce – New Vision School, Minneapolis, MN)

Traditionally, educators have viewed conditions such as ADD, ADHD, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as primarily medical conditions and therefore outside the realm of education. Typically, children with such conditions are referred to the medical world to identify an appropriate medication to ameliorate the problem behavior.

Children with ADHD are often disruptive in the classroom, require frequent teacher input, do not generally keep up with their peers in academic pursuits, and often require additional services due to their significant difficulty with all aspects of learning. Additionally, many children are misdiagnosed and actually have conditions of depression and anxiety. Medicating such children with stimulant medications in these cases is contraindicated and may make their conditions significantly worse. More recently, schools have become involved to a much greater degree, and now provide screening tests to identify students with attentional disorders.

This scenario suggests that a training program that results in more or less permanent resolution of ADHD symptoms would be preferred over the traditional medication management approach. NeuroTechnology (NT) is such an approach. NT, comprising

neurofeedback and AVE, has been studied extensively in clinical and research settings for the past twenty years. Because intervention with NT is a training process and not a clinical intervention, it is more appropriately applied in the educational setting rather than in the clinical setting. It is also clear that this intervention will not be available through medical channels to the vast majority of children who need it due to the medical profession’s reliance on medication management, rather then educational approaches for such problems. Additionally, the evidence that medication compliance is significantly lower in low-income families suggests that applying NT in inner city and rural schools in low-income areas would be a more effective method of addressing such impediments to learning. Further, low-income students often cannot afford such training from a physician or psychologist and so do not have access to such an alternative approach for the remedy of their disability, even if it is available in their area.

Studies of Attentional Disorders Using AVE as a Treatment Modality

Throughout the 1980s there were a variety of case reports of improved attention and school grades when applying AVE to treat autism and ADD, but larger studies did not yet exist. Finally, in 1990, the first group study took place of the effects of AVE on 26 eight to twelve-year-old learning disabled boys from a private and public school (Carter & Russell, 1993).

In this study, fourteen children (from a private school) received two minutes of 10 Hz stimulation, 1 minute of no stimulation, and 2 minutes of 18 Hz for 5 cycles over a 25-minute period. The students received AVE once a day, five days per week for eight weeks, totalling 40 sessions. They also listened to a tape of binaural beats (recorded from the AVE sessions) for 40 sessions at home. The public school children (n=12) received three treatments per week for six weeks totalling 18 treatments. All children could see out of their eyesets, and were encouraged to play checkers and hand-held electronic games during the treatment.

The results of the first group were considerably better. They received 22 more AVE treatments than the public school children. Unfortunately this large difference in AVE treatment had confounded the study, making it unclear as to whether or not the binaural beats on cassette tape had any influence. Figures 3 and 4 show the pre-post results of IQ measures and the Burks Teachers’ Behavior Index for the private school children. Referring to Figure 4, which class of students would you want to teach?

AVE Program as a Treatment for Behavior Disorders in a School Setting

In 1997, Michael Joyce began using a unique dual frequency AVE session using the TruVuTM eyesets (independent field stimulation used with the DAVID Paradise units) to treat ADD and reading-challenged students in two Minnesota primary schools (Joyce & Siever, 2000). He measured the children for changes in inattention, impulsiveness, reaction time, and variability as measured with the TOVA (Greenberg & Waldman, 1993), and a computerized continuous performance test (CPT). After an average of 33 sessions (over a ten-week treatment period) improvements were registered in all TOVA measures.

Joyce also evaluated reading ability in students from the SPALDING reading programme school. The children were tested on the STAR (Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading). Measured against a control group’s performance the AVE group improved considerably whilst the controls performance decreased slightly.

The Brain Blood-Flow Connection

Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) has been examined in other disciplines concerned with cognition. For instance, vinpocetine, an extract from the periwinkle plant has been shown to increase CBF (Gold, et. al., 2003). In studies of seniors with memory problems or dementia-related disease, the use of vinpocetine produced improvements in attention, concentration and memory.

Hershel Toomim, a long-time pioneer in the field of neurofeedback (NF), has examined the role of cerebral blood flow in brain regulation and attentional disorders (Toomim & Toomim, 1999). He has been using a technique called hemo-encephalography (HEG), which measures the perfusion of cerebral blood flow, and has observed decreases in frontal blood flow in ADD children during reading. By translating the HEG measures into auditory biofeedback, Toomim has been able to train such children to increase CBF. He reports results greater than those of traditional NF. Because of the cerebral blood connection between HEG and AVE, Toomim (2001) analysed six well-respected NF studies (studies with ADD children) and found that the Joyce study, while treating ten children simultaneously, showed better improvements on the TOVA than had NF, conducted with one child at a time.

Academic Performance and the Alpha Rhythm – Revisited

Several studies have been completed showing the comparison between peak alpha frequency and intelligence. In 1996, Anoukhin and Vogel observed 101 healthy males ranging from 20 to 45 years of age. They discovered that those who scored well on the Raven’s IQ tests had a scant 1 Hz faster alpha rhythm than did the poor performers. In 1971, Oloffson reported that healthy human alpha production was in the range of 9.3 – 11.1 Hz. A 1990 study by Markand showed that a dominant alpha frequency of 8.5 Hz or lower reflected a state of mental dysfunction. Other studies by various research teams; Vogt, Klimesh and Doppelmayr (1998), Jausovec (1996), Giannitrapini (1969) showed a distinctive relationship between mental performance and peak alpha frequency. Roughly speaking, peak alpha production of less than approximately 10 Hz can be associated with poorer than average academic performance while dominant alpha production higher than 10 Hz is associated with better than average academic performance.

The above findings prompted Budzynski and Tang (1998) to conduct a “peak alpha” experiment with AVE. Fifteen minutes of photic stimulation at 14 Hz was given to 14 people. Peak alpha frequency was found to increase following the cessation of photic stimulation. The pre-stimulation dominant alpha average frequency was 9.78 Hz., which continually increased to 10.38 Hz., 20 minutes post stimulation (the latest measure taken).

Budzynski Study Using AVE to Improve Cognition and Academic Performance in College Students

Tom Budzynski and colleagues (1999) further divided the typical alpha band (8 – 13 Hz) into three separate bands. Band “A1” represented 7-9 Hz, “A2”, 9-11 Hz, and “A3”, 11-13 Hz. They then examined the A3/A1 ratio. If, for example, there was 15 μv of A3 activity and 12 μv of A1 activity, the ratio would be A3/A1= 1.25. Based on previous findings, a ratio exceeding “1” was considered to equate with better than average mental performance, while a score below “1” equated with poorer than average mental performance.

A group of struggling college students (n=8), defined as those receiving tutoring, attending the Western Washington University, were chosen for the study. EEGs were collected and the A1/A3 ratios were calculated while the students were attending to a variety of mental tasks. The average alpha slowing (as indicated by the negative ratio) was apparent across all measures and in particular alpha slowing was most apparent during the Digit Span task. This task requires remembering progressively longer strings of numbers until they can no longer be remembered. Following 30 sessions of repeating cycles of 14 and 22 Hz AVE, mean alpha frequency (positive ratio) increased. The positive alpha ratio continued across all tasks, indicating heightened mental performance (a reversal of the control group).

The 30 AVE sessions were completed in the Fall of 1997 and the students’ marks from their spring exams were recorded and compared against a control group. The AVE group showed improvement in grade-point average (GPA) over the course of the year while the controls showed a decrease in GPA. This study demonstrates that the carry-over effect following the cessation of AVE treatment continued for at least five months.

Comparing AVE with Psycho-Stimulants in the Treatment of ADHD in Children

This study by Lawrence Micheletti is unique in that it compares outcomes of an AVE group with a Ritalin/Adderall group, and with an AVE and stimulant combined group (total N = 99). A control group was also included in the study. The demographics are as follows:

Control Group                                       N = 31
Stimulant (Ritalin & Adderall) Group     N = 20
AVE Group                                            N = 21
Combined AVE & Stimulant Group       N = 27

Testing was done just prior to treatment (pre), immediately following (post) and after four weeks (post-post). I.Q. was tested on the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVP) and Raven’s Progressive Matrices (Raven). The children received a 20- minute session, five days a week for a total of 40 sessions. The first training session was administered by the researcher while the remaining 39 sessions were completed at home and were supervised and recorded by a parent or legal guardian.

The AVE unit was programmed to begin with both auditory and visual stimulation at 10 Hz for two minutes and at that time visual stimulation would cease and only auditory stimulation would continue for one minute. After the auditory-only stimulation, the AVE unit would switch to both auditory and visual stimulation at 18 Hz for two minutes. The children experienced four complete cycles (five minutes per cycle) for the completion of a 20-minute training session. Absolute measures were taken, but for the purpose of this article, only the comparative data between the controls, the Ritalin Group, the AVE Group and the Combined AVE & Stimulant Group are shown (Figure 10).

New Visions School Neurotechnology Replication Project

In 2001, Michael Joyce, at the New Visions School (A Chance To Grow), a charter school in Minneapolis1 specializing in special needs children (attentional and behavioral), completed the largest AVE study to date. This study substantiated previous work in schools in Minneapolis and Perham, MN, and in Yonkers, NY. The study illustrated that the public school setting is an ideal environment for conducting AVE training, particularly for low-income inner city and rural families who typically do not have access to such training. This study involved the efforts of seven Minnesota public schools (five elementary, one middle, and one K-12) with the majority of elementary age. This study employed AVE to address the inattention, impulsiveness and behavioral challenges in school-age children, thus reducing the need for medication management of these children and reducing the educational resources that are devoted to responding to their disabilities.

Students selected had a history of learning and reading challenges, impulsiveness, and a propensity to be distracted and to distract others. The students were selected by an ongoing, dynamic evaluation process based upon referrals from classroom teachers, parents, special education staff, and/or other concerned people in the student’s life. Parents and teachers completed a behavior rating scale, while the students completed a standardized reading inventory.

Apparatus: The AVE device used was the DAVID Paradise XL (manufactured by Mind Alive Inc, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). The eyesets used in the study were field independent, in that they are able to independently stimulate the individual left and right visual fields of each eye thus producing a different frequency in each hemisphere of the brain.

At two schools, the DAVID Paradise XL was attached to a multi-user amplifier, which enabled up to ten students to receive treatment simultaneously. Each student had his/her own station, which consisted of a set of headphones and an eyeset. The students could control both the audio volume and the light intensity. The students preferred brighter intensities, between approximately 400 and 600 lux (full spectrum) measured approximately 0.3 inches from the eye set screen (approximating their average eye distance from the screen).

Students participated in two or three AVE sessions (20 to 30 minutes each) per week, averaging nearly 30 sessions over a period of three months. Some students with severe impairments underwent daily sessions. The training was part of the student’s regular curriculum, scheduled around other activities. Training was accomplished using protocols established by the foremost clinicians and researchers in the field, modified to reflect New Visions’ experience working within the school environment.

Results: Pre- and post-intervention data was obtained using direct assessment and behavior rating scales completed by both parents and teachers. Behavioral and personality ratings were obtained via the BDS, both the home and school versions and normed to a value of “10″. Oral reading proficiency was assessed with the Slosson-R reading test. Students showed reductions in anxiousness, depression, hyperactivity and inattention. On average, students gained eight months (p<.001) in grade-equivalent oral reading scores.

Conclusion

Several studies show that AVE is a useful tool for treating attentional disorders. The frequencies used in its operation are similar to those frequencies used with common NF techniques. As added bonuses, the ability to have pre-programmed sessions makes AVE easy to use by people not skilled in NF, such as teachers and parents. A single clinician may also treat several children at one time, thus drastically cutting costs. The results include many behavioral improvements in addition to the primary attentional concerns.

Explore more: 

Peak Health Online are authorised dealers for Mind Alive DAVID devices in the UK and Europe. To view their complete range of Audio-Visual Entrainment devices, including the DAVID ALERT and the DAVID ALERT Pro, please visit our main website here.

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Magnesium could offer fresh hope to tinnitus sufferers

 

By Martine Hamann, University of Leicester 

You may be familiar with the experience of a ringing sensation in your ears after a night out enjoying some good music. Perhaps you’ve never given it a second thought as the sound normally disappears on its own. But what if you were to wake up in the morning and still have the ringing in your ears? And what if the ringing never stopped? The ConversationThis is tinnitus – better described as the phantom perception of sound. Tinnitus affects 10 to 15% of the adult population worldwide and there are currently no drug therapies available on the market. The reason for this is a limited understanding of how tinnitus sets in and what prevents it from going away. My work at the University of Leicester is focused on filling in the current knowledge gaps – and Dr Thomas Tagoe, one of my former PhD students, funded by Action on Hearing Loss, made some exciting discoveries which were recently published in The Journal of Experimental Neurology. The discovery is not a magic pill against tinnitus, but reveals some of the mechanisms underlying its development and provides avenues for possible treatment.

Phantom sounds

The generation and transmission of signals in the brain are subject to constant changes. In particular, signals can be boosted or tuned down in a process known as “plasticity”. When signals are boosted, it is referred to as “long-term potentiation”, a process which is critical in our ability to learn and store memories. Knowing that tinnitus is a phantom sound which does not exist in the outside world but is perceived, suggests that somewhere in the brain there are cells generating a false signal in response to a sound which does not exist. Studies show that auditory signals are transmitted from the cochlea, in the inner ear, to a brain structure called the dorsal cochlear nucleus. So in our quest to find out how tinnitus sets in and what prevents it from going away, this is where we started: in the dorsal cochlear nucleus.

Cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus are capable of boosting their signals. Based on previous results Thomas had obtained in the lab, we had good reason to believe that this ability could be compromised after multiple exposures to loud sound. If true, this would be strong evidence implicating the dorsal cochlear nucleus as the false signal generator, making it a target for therapeutic intervention. To test this out, we designed a research programme which would induce tinnitus in an animal model. This involved creating an experience of multiple exposures to loud sound, testing for limitations in the signal boosting capacity and finally assessing whether this is pivotal in the generation of the false auditory signal called tinnitus. Our suspicions were right: exposure to loud sound prevented the dorsal cochlear nucleus from boosting its incoming signals. What was even more interesting was that loud sound exposure turned up the dials, saturated the signal transmission and left no more room to boost the signal any further. Exposure to loud sound therefore altered brain plasticity, leaving the dorsal cochlear nucleus in a compromised state.

What triggers tinnitus?

First, there is an exposure to loud sound – either instantly from an explosion or multiples experiences over a long period of time. This induces a temporary period of hearing loss or a “hard-of-hearing” experience, where the whole world appears to have turned down its volume. During this period, cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus try to compensate for this low surrounding volume by boosting their signal. This intervention is successful, but by the time the temporary hearing loss disappears, the signal boost has been stored as a “memory” in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, a memory which is not easily forgotten.

The consequences of this scenario is tinnitus, a false signal generation which is perceived in the absence of an external stimulus. In brief, we have shown that tinnitus is a state of continuous painful learning. We showed that tinnitus sets in at a specific sound frequency, after the experience of loud sound exposure. Better yet, we showed that a high magnesium diet can prevent the dorsal cochlear nucleus from turning the dials all the way up and locking this in place as a memory. With that intervention, we were able to prevent the subsequent perception of tinnitus.

 

The next step is to identify drugs which can prevent the development of tinnitus and also reverse it. We now have a good starting point and are looking for drugs which can elevate magnesium concentration in the brain or mimic its action. Until this work is complete, however, we’ll have to rely on the tried and tested safeguards – limiting noise exposure or wearing ear protection.

Explore More: To view medication-free products designed to help manage the symptoms of tinnitus, please click here

About the author: Martine Hamann, Associate Professor in Neurosciences, University of Leicester. This article was originally published on The Conversation. The original article, with active links to references, is here.