Mary is a 68 year old female who was referred to our Brain Center to improve her cognitive functioning. Her father had died from Parkinson’s and had experienced several mini-strokes prior to passing. Mary was experiencing a progressive decline in cognitive function throughout the years and this was really concerning her. She feared becoming a burden to her children as she aged. She had lived her life struggling with 5 autoimmune disorders including: Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Psoriatic Arthritis, and a Gluten intolerance. In 1999, her physical impairments led her to dual knee replacement, and a Stroke experience affected her speech and loss of the exceptional memory she had always been so proud of. After many months of Physical Therapy, she was able to walk again without the use of a walker, but struggled with poor balance, and coordination. She also had very low energy levels and had little to no stamina. It was extremely frustrating that she not only had declining memory, but her organizational skills had declined, she found it hard to problem solve, reason, decipher, and multi-tasking was overwhelming. She had to step away from her work as a Respiratory therapist, since even the simplest tasks were too difficult. She attempted to work with her niece in Real Estate, but found that the only thing she was able to do efficiently was to show houses. Sadly, her commitment to that was also compromised due to her pain and fatigue levels.
When a family member of Mary’s encouraged her to try the Brain training program, she had many doubts, and was afraid that it wouldn’t work. She made the commitment to start an in-home program one day a week in Dec. of 2012. She started off with very low baseline scores (Brain speed of 875). Her short term memory was poor. She did not recall what she had shared with the counselor in previous sessions. She showed an impaired motor connection, and she seemed to be in a mild depressive state most of the time. She also had an extreme hypersensitivity to sound. Her program involved tasks to work on visual and auditory processing and memory, visual focus, attention, and impulsive skills. Treatment also included rhythm training to improve psycho-motor neural connections, and music therapy to enhance auditory processing, regulate mood, and activate areas of the brain through neuro-plasticity.
After 3 months of home based therapy, Mary started coming to the clinic. She enjoyed getting out of her house and having the scheduled appointment to keep her accountable and force her to get up, dressed, and ready for her day. She stated that she liked the challenge of therapy. She became very involved with competing with herself to see what she could do the next day. She started enjoying brain games like Sudoku, connecting dots, online puzzle games, and jigsaw puzzles. She liked the visual focus response games and activities on the computers in the clinic. She found herself practicing her rhythm tasks when she had downtime. Mary gave it her all, and as she was seeing her scores progress, her self-confidence improved as well. She could see that if she focused on all the things that she could do well, rather than the negative, she did so much better. Her sense of humor and her faith in God helped her through any tough days.
After 8 months of consistent brain training with her counselor, her Brain speed scores shot up to 1700, her reaction times averaged from 30-40 MS compared to 80-90 MS pretreatment. Her physical mobility has improved to a point that she walks as if she never had any knee problems whatsoever. She has full range of mobility and her balance and coordination has gotten so much better.
She is pleased with her progress, She is able to participate in more things and can run her home-based business more efficiently. She is more involved in church and is able to travel and spend more time with her family now. Everybody around her has seen her evolve as well, they don’t notice any problems with her memory. Her chiropractor has seen a big difference in her cognitive function, her balance, and her overall well-being. Mary knows that in order to age ‘gracefully’ we need to be diligent not only with our physical fitness, but our brain fitness as well. She wants to live a vital, long life till the end of her time.
A Cognitive Connection is happy to offer this little bit of hope and improved quality of life to all of our clients.