While growing older is something to be cherished as memories with friends and families grow and the wisdom we accrue and can pass down increases, one significant downside of growing older is cognitive decline.
What Causes Cognitive Decline?
Cognitive decline involves the decrease in brain functioning that occurs as we age. Certain areas of the brain no longer work at the level needed to maintain certain cognitive functions, and we see a gradual decline as these areas continue to experience a lack of use.
Cognition includes a range of processes in the brain that include someone’s ability to remember, learn, and make judgments. Cognition that declines can dramatically impact someone’s overall health and well-being, including short-term memory loss to even increasing clumsiness and falling more often.
Cognitive impairment often begins mild but can advance to more severe cases that dramatically interfere with someone’s daily life. Dementia is one such form of decline that has a significant impact on someone’s life.
While a natural part of aging, cognitive decline can also have other causes. Aging itself often causes only mild cognitive impairment, whereas other conditions and causes can result in more severe cognitive decline.
In some cases, cognitive impairment may inhibit someone’s ability to live and function independently due to an inability to care for oneself or perform activities of daily living. For example, those with cognitive decline may not remember to take their medication each day, which can lead to poor health outcomes.
How Neurofeedback Provides Help with Memory Decline
Because of the importance of cognition in the everyday activities we do, preserving and building brain function is essential for ensuring that individuals can continue living the life they desire. While cognitive impairment may be a natural aspect of aging, that doesn’t mean that we cannot do anything to combat it.
One of the critical first steps, before beginning neurofeedback, is a cognitive decline test which allows your provider to evaluate a range of functions, including:
- visual-spatial abilities
- fine motor skills
- problem-solving ability
- planning and organization
- processing speed
Obtaining this information allows your provider to plan a successful intervention.
When beginning neurofeedback, you will have a quantitative encephalogram (qEEG) taken, which provides a map of your brain activity. Through this scan, your provider can see which areas of the brain are functioning too little.
During your biofeedback sessions, your brain will be provided thousands of opportunities to learn, which help change patterns of electrical activity and improve nerve activity.These sessions work to strengthen the parts of the brain that were previously firing too little, helping to slow down cognitive decline.
There are even remote neurofeedback opportunities to make the entire process more accessible. If finding transportation to and from the clinic is too much of a struggle, online neurofeedback sessions offer an appealing solution that allows more individuals to experience the benefits of neurofeedback, all form the comfort of their home.
If you are interested in how neurofeedback can help slow down cognitive decline in a loved one, reach out to the talented team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic at (650) 215-6840 for more information.