One sunny morning, an energetic little Shmuli arrived at NeuroClinic for his evaluation. Once he was sitting nicely and wired up, we recorded his EEG brain activity. Later that day, his EEG was scrutinized. NeuroClinics encephalographer was on the lookout for any strange activity which could explain his troublemaking tendencies. Bingo! We found it. Shmuli’s Alpha rhythm was a little quirky for his age. That means that all his brain communication was working to the beat of a slightly quirky background rhythm. That explains things. Thankfully, once we organize and regulate that, his behavior should get a whole lot better!
Next, we had to create a protocol for Shmuli. Wasting no time, we got straight to work. An exercise program was created for Shmuli’s brain. We decided to train his brain to create a nice, organized background rhythm instead of the chaotic rhythm which was there right now. Shmuli arrived for his Neurofeedback session very excited. He was going to be watching an Uncle Moishy video! His favourite! All Shmuli had to do now was sit nicely in his chair, look carefully at the screen and try to keep it bright. What he might not have realized is how his powerful brain was controlling the screen.
Shmuli’s Uncle Moishy video was actually connected to another computer. On that computer, our friendly technician was monitoring Shmuli’s brain activity. The brain exercises are about to begin. When Shmuli is calm and focused, his Alpha rhythm is nicely synchronized and then his video screen is clear and bright. But the second it goes a little wonky (and Shmuli loses focus), his brain gets instant feedback and his screen starts to dim! He is constantly getting feedback about his brain activity: This is good, that is bad. Desperate to watch Uncle Moishy sing and dance, Shmuli tries his best to stay focused and the screen becomes bright again.
Shmuli’s brain starts getting the message. In order to keep the screen bright, he’s going to have to create some nice Alpha activity. And he does. The technician notices a slight increase in Alpha activity, hooray! But no rest for the weary; the technician adjusts the settings slightly, makes them a little harder, keeping the brain workout challenging enough to generate some real change, whilst making sure that Shmuli is not getting frustrated. As the sessions progress, the protocol is adjusted to the pace of Shmuli’s improvements. EEG evaluations are repeated as necessary and every few sessions the brain exercises change slightly as they adapt to Shmuli’s improved brain activity.
As Shmuli progresses, his brain gets to work building new neural pathways to accommodate the new and improved brain activity it has learned. These roadworks do wonders for Shmuli, whose brain is a lot less jittery and is better able to perform executive function tasks, listen to his Rebbe and play calmly with his friends. Shmuli’s mother is so happy she decided to get to the root of Shmuli’s behavior and has given him the best gift that will last him throughout cheder, yeshiva, adulthood, and iyH as a husband and father one day. A well working healthy brain functioning at optimum level. Goodbye Shmuli – Neuroclinic misses you!