As President of ANSA, I believe it is important for me to affirm and encourage safe practice. To that end, I direct your attention to the facts and recommendations of the official website of the Department of Health. From this site you may access resources on many aspects of the National Health Plan in response to COVID-19.
ANSA’s annual conference has long been a highlight of the year for practitioners in this field, bringing us together to spend time connecting, socialising and learning with valued colleagues and friends. It is with great sadness that we need to postpone this year's conference as a result of COVID 19. Nonetheless, ANSA wishes to prioritise support to our members under these changing circumstances and is currently in the process of organising a series of webinars to help members respond to and strengthen their practice in areas relevant to Applied Neuroscience in the age of COVID 19. We look forward to your support of these webinars. See you soon and be safe.
Martha Mack, ANSA President.
ANSA members include health professionals from a range of disciplines including medicine, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, chiropractic, naturopathy, physiotherapy and optometry, who are committed to the promotion of enhancing brain health and optimisation primarily through neuromodulation techniques such as neurofeedback. A range of membership options are available.
Applied Neuroscience refers to the application of neuroscience research findings to clinical practice. The field of neuroscience has grown dramatically over the past 10-20 years, and each year we begin to understand more and more about the most complex organ of our body, the brain. Applied neuroscience is a growing field and as technologies to measure the brain become more sophisticated, we now have the ability to develop more precise technologies to treat specific areas and types of brain dysfunction.
The following are a list of advances in neuroscience and their applications to clinical practice:
Biofeedback refers to intervention where a person using a monitoring device is provided with moment to moment information regarding their state of physiological functioning. Examples include heart-rate variability training and EEG biofeedback (often referred to as neurofeedback- see below)
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback in which the focus is on feedback provided from the central nervous system and the brain. It is a non-drug therapy that can be used to treat a variety of disorders such as ADHD, epilepsy, alcoholism and drug abuse, depression, PTSD, sleep disorders and anxiety. It can also be utilized for peak performance training.
Introduction to Neurofeedback Presentation- click here
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS): TDCS is a neuromodulation (or neurostimulation) technique that works by sending very low levels of direct current to either increase or decrease the neuronal excitability in the specific area being stimulated. There are two types of stimulation with tDCS: anodal and cathodal stimulation. Anodal stimulation acts to excite neuronal activity while cathodal stimulation inhibits or reduces neuronal activity. TDCS has been shown to improve cognitive ability on certain tasks (depending on what area of the brain is being stimulated), and has been shown to have positive outcomes for disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, pain, ADHD and many other disorders. It is considered a non-invasive, cheap, painless and safe therapy when done by an experienced therapist.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms in psychiatric conditions such as depression. TMS is often used when more standard forms of depression treatment such as medication and a ta;l-based therapy do not work. TMS is currently being researched for other psychiatric, neurological and cognitive-based disorders such as bipolar, OCD, PTSD and even pain.
Photobiomodulation (PBM): PBM is the technical term for low level laser therapy. PMB has been used in medicine to improve tissue repair, reduce pain and inflamation, and generally heal injured tissue. Research has started looking into whether this type of therapy can treat brain tissue particuarly in relation to brain injury (eg. stroke, concussion), degenerative diseases (eg. Alzheimers & Parkinsons), and neuropsychiatric disorders (eg. depression, anxiety). Research is relatively new and this is a growing field.
Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE): AVE is a type of brainwave entrainment that uses flashing lights and tones to giode the brain into various types of brainwave activity. It has had some research in the areas of ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, and pain. It is thought to increase blood flow in the brain and induce startes of dissociation and deep relaxation.
Trigmeninal nerve stimulation (TNS): TNS uses mild electrical signals to stimulate branches of the trigeminal nerve (the largest cranial nerve) in order to modulate the activity of targeted brain regions. Researchers are investigating whether this can help disorders such as treatment resistant epilpesy, depression, PTDS, brain injury and ADHD.
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