Combined NIR and Neurofeedback Dementia Treatment Comment from John Gehman
Last year, 13 months ago to be exact, I posted this photo of my wife receiving an Near-Infrared Light (NIR) treatment for her Alzheimer's-like dementia. Here's what's happened in that 13 months while under the care of Dr. Marvin Berman at Quietmind Foundation in Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Through the use of the infrared light therapy, her mood changes greatly dissipated. She had already been on Ativan for that purpose, with some modest success. After Dr. Berman introduced the NIR treatment in December 2013, the mood episodes became far less frequent, and far less extreme. In that time it was revealed to me that Ativan also makes dementia worse. With that knowledge now in hand, I weaned her off the Ativan, relying totally on the NIR treatments, successfully. Her moods continued to be manageable, but by April, I saw her cognitive condition deteriorating further.
I was about ready to give up, introduce antipsychotic drugs to control moods, and allow the dementia to take it's natural course. Dr. Berman suggested we give neurofeedback a try. He had been wanting to do it for a very long time, but I didn’t think Joan would sit still for it. Surprisingly, she sat through the entire half hour the very first time, and has continued to sit through each treatment, twice a week, every week since April. Her moods continue to improve. She can be cantankerous sometimes, but it lasts for minutes rather than days, and rarely with any real severity.
Cognitively she has improved as well, though not a lot. Her symptoms place her between the sixth and final stages of dementia, so most any improvement will appear insignificant to those who don’t know her. The charts and graphs of her brain’s electrical activity showing definite progress toward normal levels of activation and connectivity show a different story, so in those graphs, lie hope.
Joan continues to ride motorcycle with me, often. She can spend all day with her primary care giver, Nina, going to the store and parks, or to Nina's mother's house where there is always activity. Tonight she's going with me to another Blue Grass concert. We made it through the last two Sunday morning church services entirely, which is a big improvement. Earlier in December, she made it half way through "The Ghost of Christmas Present" from "A Christmas Carol", being presented after the church's Christmas Dinner. I notice these small gains and am thankful for them.
I don't know where this is all going. We continue the NIR treatments twice a day at home, and the Neurofeedback twice a week at Dr. Berman’s clinic in Plymouth Meeting. I'm not seeing the cognitive gains lately that were apparent initially, but I can honestly say I haven't seen regression. Her therapist doesn't really know what the future might hold in store either. Dr. Berman muttered under his breath at the conclusion of a session last week, "that's incredible". I asked, "What's incredible"? He responded, "Her brain is normalizing". There is hope, and that's what I continue to function on.
My purpose for putting this all out there, is that Dr. Berman needs more folks like Joan to participate in research on this treatment. Folks with early stage dementia have a far greater potential for success. If Joan's modest improvement is any indicator, it seems that anyone experiencing dementia is a candidate. If you know someone who might be interested, please pass my contact information along to them. I'd be happy to get them in contact with Dr. Berman.
John L. Gehman 3243 Gehman Rd. Barto, Pa. 19504 Cell: 610-360-0696 firstname.lastname@example.org Butter Valley Golf Port S. 7th St. Bally, Pa. 19503 610-845-2491 610-845-0167 Fax email@example.com