Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID)

Whatever you call it, ME, CFX, or SEID, is still in the process of being defined. Sometimes there seem to be triggering factors, but much more often, the problem seems to occur randomly. We don’t know what vulnerabilities make people susceptible. Diagnosis is difficult. Treatment can be even harder.

The Institute of Medicine has just put out a new statement about ME/CFX/SEID.

Maybe this will help the medical community give this condition more recognition. However, most EEG neurofeedback practitioners are aware of this diagnosis and the application of neurotherapy to help with the symptoms. It may take years to thoroughly define SEID, but treatment of the nervous system manifestations is available now via neurofeedback.

Brain “Farts”; Optimizing Memory

I don’t know of anyone who has not been in the situation when they know what they want to say but they are unable to produce the word(s). Often it will occur to them later once they are less pressured. This article gives part of the picture.

The more that I am in the field of brain health, the more that I realize that the most important factors in having good memory in an otherwise healthy brain is lifestyle related. The brain needs to be well-rested in order to process, store, and retrieve memories well. Having a calm and focused brain is also essential.

Neurofeedback can help the brain to find appropriate activation levels for good information processing and retrieval. The tips in the article are also helpful.

The Evolution of Memory

Today’s Washington Post had an interesting interview of Michael Kahana of the University of Pennsylvania. He is working with the US military to develop an implantable device that will help those with memory disorders. However, his bottom line is that those of us with more-or-less normal brains need to go through the tedious task of practice to learn any skill in which we wish to be proficient. The practice is skill specific. So practicing mental exercises on the computer seems to improve one’s skills in those mental exercises. I know that my skills in crosswords and sudoku have improved remarkable in the years that I have enjoyed doing them, but it does not seem to help my ability to remember people’s names.

He implies that the converse, not practicing skills may promote losing the ability to do those skills, is also true. There is a discussion on relying on electronic devices as our memories. I believe in a compromise. Continue to keep up a regular intellectual tasks through a variety of exposures. However, since knowledge increases in such a spectacular way, knowing how to look something up on your electronic device is a wonderful way to further explore new intellectual and cognitive challenges.

Neurofeedback seems to be a good way to put the brain through a series of challenges to remediate or improve memory abilities. It’s utility in helping recovery from traumatic brain injury is well documented. Evidence that it can help stabilize deterioration in dementia has also been described. However, I agree with Professor Kahana that specific practice in the tasks that we wish our brain to perform must be part of any memory improvement scheme. After all, how many people do you know who learned how to speak Chinese by learning to ride a bicycle?