Written by: Marilyn Abrahamson, MA,CCC-SLP - CBHC (Certified Brain Health Coach)
NEUROPLASTICITY is defined as the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections after injuries, such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) - NIH.GOV
"5 Negative Antigen Tests Do Not Match How OFF I Feel..."
An IPHA Editorial Submission
hit with the Coronavirus Delta Variant! The flu-like symptoms all hit simultaneously in full force. David saw stars for most of his recuperation period while taste and smell were completely shut down. For 1 week, David quarantined in his office - armed with every super-food, every kind of soup and immune booster his support team could find. Being fully vaccinated only meant he had a better chance of NOT DYING, but as the world was only a year into the data collection, there was still so much left to understand about the recuperation period as well as its long standing effects.
FAST FORWARD to the fall of 2022. Life goes on and regular rapid (home) testing says David was negative every time. Tracking the latest in covid news reports, the idea of lingering symptoms is in the back of everyone's- especially those who got hit at least once with the virus. But HOW or WHERE in the body is it? To over-think this does not make one a hypochondriac- only someone surrendered to the realities of our times, meaning 'if it doesn't kill you, the viral load may have the tendency to linger, causing potential organ damage, failure or dysfunction.
MEMORY LOSS: They say that you shouldn't worry about getting dementia or Alzheimer's- once you have it, you won't know it. Well this is not completely true. We can attribute forgetting a name here and there as a natural, normal age-related wear down. But forgetting EVERY name is not the same. It's as if someone stole or deleted specific data from your brain, and when it's time to withdraw those names to compose a sentence, all there is is an empty shelf where that name was expected to be. The simplest proper nouns that David once quickly referenced and freely spoken about all his life- including names of product brands, movie and song titles, artists- even celebrities are now GONE- or perhaps buried in the back yard somewhere!
If "it is (in fact) what it is", David expressed his disbelief that the CDC or the WHO are pressing to come up with Long Haul therapies. "There's still so much to go with perfecting the vaccination to control the global surge. We can choose to fight the erosion in our brain with mind optimizers, exercises, better sleep and every protocol to improve brain performance. But this very insidious aftermath of the virus that buried itself into my brain is now aging me, starting with my memory, my processing speed and if the data out there is right, my waning cognitive functions. "
○ Exercise: The brain is the greediest organ in the body in terms of the need for blood flow and oxygen. Exercise helps to provide the brain with those nutrients, and also facilitates the release of a protein called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF is instrumental in supporting the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus, the brain region primarily responsible for new learning and memory storage.
MARILYN ABRAHAMSON, MA, CCC-SLP : As a Brain Health Education Specialist at Ceresti Health, Marilyn offers initiatives that supports education and empowerment of family caregivers. She also writes for and edits the Ceresti’s monthly newsletter and produces all brain health education and brain-health coaching programs for caregivers. Marilyn's prior work is as a NJ Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist since 1987 and is an Amen Clinics Certified Brain Health Coach.
9/14/2022 - ADDRESSING BURNOUT: RECHARGING FOR CAREGIVERS: During the Covid-19 surge, interviews with emergency medical professionals showed dramatic cases of ICU and ER responders exposed to major signs of advanced fatigue and risk of burnout. This significantly raised major risks to their work performance where lives are to be affected, including theirs. Over time, double and triple shifts resulted in "a different type of pandemic" on a national scale- where this level of exhaustion and overwhelm. (See full report by Dr. Leslie Valle & Dave Dachinger)