Headaches are the most common and familiar experience among individuals from all corners of the world, despite age, gender, or genetic background. The estimated global prevalence of about 1.1 billion sufferers, headaches and migraines are the most common neurological disease, which affects many aspects of individuals’ lives, along with placing a heavy economic burden on society. In the United States alone, as of 2020 the economic load of migraines has been estimated at $11 billion in direct cost, and about just as much in indirect cost.
Despite the current state of scientific research and its findings on headaches, especially migraines, and despite the widespread availability of drugs, their treatment still largely remains minimally successful. The current global market of migraine medication, excluding conventional over-the-counter headache drugs, is valued close to $2billion, with a yearly growth rate of over 3% since 2017.
Headaches and migraines have many different environmental causes, with everything from food triggers, to changes in hormones, stress, and hypertension being among the most prevalent. Even though they are termed differently, a migraine is just a specific type of headache that is elevated in intensity and is frequently accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, photophobia or phonophobia (hypersensitivity to light or sound), and in some cases even vomiting. The biological mechanisms of headaches, irrespective of the cause, are experienced through the pain sensitive nerve endings of the trigeminal nerve, which is triggered by one or more of the aforementioned environmental cues. A migraine is categorized as a neurovascular disorder, which has documented associations to cardiovascular disease.
Neurofeedback identifies migraine markers in the brain
The vascular nature of migraine sets off a chain reaction that leads to increased excitability of the brain and nervous system. This excitability is measurable within the field of brain wave (EEG) research, which has uncovered some important clinical information. EEG studies of migraines have discovered two main mechanisms of action, one of which shows that the occurrence of epileptiform activity in the brain is not only associated with seizures, but also shows up in over 50% of migraine cases. Although a migraine sufferer may never experience a full seizure, the increased presence of epileptiform brain activity offers clinicians an advantage that holds great promise. The second major driver of migraine has been shown to be abnormal coherence (connectivity) of brain networks. This is the rate at which different areas of the brain communicate between and influence one another.
Reinforcing healthy brain function
By using non-invasive electrodes to track the activity of the brian in real time, neurofeedback technology is able to shape abnormal function of sites and networks of the brain. The origins of neurofeedback were precisely built upon the finding of how dramatically it affects the chances of seizure activity. Barry Sterman, PhD had discovered that reinforcing the sensorimotor rhythm of the brain, had a profound effect on neutralizing the likelihood of seizures.
Along with traditional neurofeedback technology, the field has also included the powerful tool of passive infrared hemoencephalography (pIR HEG biofeedback), which targets the neurovascular nature of migraine, by measuring the thermal activity of the forehead. The actual temperature of the forehead is a marker for the rate of blood flow in the frontal part of the brain. Using an HEG biofeedback headset an individual is able to train circulation and blood perfusion in the frontal lobes, and offset the occurrence of one of the main foundations of migraine.
(pIR HEG biofeedback headset)
QEEG brain mapping
The ability of the QEEG to offer an individualized approach to targeting the specific dysfunction that underpins someone’s headaches, provides a cutting-edge approach that meets the client where they are. The QEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) brain map process uses a 19-channel head cap to measure the electrical activity over different sites of the scalp, and their corresponding brain anatomy. The standard of mapping brain function has been established by the Brodmann area model, which is universally used in neuroscience. The application of the QEEG provides accurate and clinically relevant information on which areas may have abnormal activity. These areas are then configured into the neurofeedback protocols that a clinician will use in the course of the client’s neurofeedback training.
The Brain Excel difference
At Brain Excel, you will receive a one of a kind service that goes above and beyond the standard neurofeedback resource. Brain Excel will be able to log your progress and optimize your results. Our fitness and nutrition guidance gives clients the opportunity to harness the impact of brain training, through improving one’s overall health.
The biological foundation of the body consists of the sum total of the health of its many individual systems, organs, glands, and tissues. Health of the brain is influenced by the health of the rest of the body. Brain wave activity also reflects the metabolic function of the brain and body, which is best approached with diet, exercise, and lifestyle measures.
Brain Excel provides all clients with follow-up QEEGs every 20-30 session at no extra cost throughout the lifetime of membership. This provides information about the changes that the brain is making and allows a more precise tuning of the neurofeedback protocols.
Brain Excel helps all clients understand not only how the function of the brain corresponds to their own goals, but also how to have more healthy brain habits within their daily life.
Schedule a Free Consultation below and find out how neurofeedback can help you
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826281/ (Rudolph Hess)
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