Aspergers Syndrome  
     
 

Giving the child with Asperger Syndrome a fighting chance.

The Asperger syndrome is a sub group on the Autistic spectrum and presents with a more subtle display of difficulties, but has enough distinct features to be classified separately. Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder with the focus on reduced connectivity or reduced synapses in the thalamus, basal ganglia, amygdale, hippochampus and other cortical locations.

The most common symptoms of Aspergerís are social impairment or lack of desire to interact with peers; narrow interests or being absorbed in one activity that is being repeated, with the exclusion of other activities and repetitive routines. The Q EEG may show a hyper coherence (over connectivity) or hypo coherence (under connectivity) between certain associative areas and therefore an Asperger patient may be either stuck on thoughts and behaviour (obsessive compulsiveness) or they may show a loss of connectivity (poor insight and behaviour control); peculiar speech including superficial, perfect expressive language, pedantic language and odd prosody and misinterpretation; motor clumsiness due to a problem on neurodevelopmental level; unusual sensory sensitivity due to a sensory integration problem and poor verbal communication.

Mirror neurons play an important role regarding social understanding, facial expression and connecting with others. Research indicates that the autistic spectrum disorder group, showed little to no activity in the mirror neuron area in the pars opercularis.

Individuals on the autistic spectrum show deficits in understanding emotional states of others; they have a problem imitating emotional expressions and also when they merely observe emotions displayed by others. They seem unable to read otherís emotions and sometimes appear odd or dumbfounded not knowing how to react, called the theory of mind impairment or mind blindness.

So there seems some ground for the hypothesis: that a dysfunctional mirror neuron system may underlie the social deficits that are characteristic of the individual on the autistic spectrum. The greater the activity in the mirror neuron system during imitation, the higher the individualís level of functioning in the social domain. The mirror neuron system seems to be a key neural system for social cognition.

Neurotherapy as an alternative form of treatment
Neurotherapy is a form of treatment through which the brain is stabilized in order to improve emotional, social, cognitive functioning. Excessive low or high frequencies are inhibited by operant conditioning and the sensory motor rhythm which helps to regulate sleep, emotions, thinking, behaviour, pain and cognitive is rewarded in order to obtain state flexibility or the ability of the brain to adapt from one to the other state such as watching your sports team calmly while they are playing to jumping up and cheering when they score a goal.

When the brain produces ineffective frequencies, in other words the brain is either over or under aroused, the following problems can be experienced and these problems are treatable by neurotherapy:

ADD/ADHD Learning disabilities Depression
Bipolar disorder Anxiety disorder Panic attacks
Aggression & rage Conduct disorder Chronic pain
Cognitive impairment Sleep dysregulation Traumatic brain injury
Stroke Dissociative disorder  Epilepsy
Post traumatic stress Tinnitis Asperger Syndrome
Autism & PDD  Reactive attachment disorder  Migraine & headaches
Exam stress    

During neurotherapy training a sensor is placed over the area where mirror neurons are situated or over which ever associative area is being treated. Noticeable results normally occur during the first ten sessions. Since neurofeedback is a form of operant conditioning or a non invasive learning process, this form of treatment requires a significant number of sessions to ensure consistent and lasting benefits.

By: Dr. Annemie Peche 016-4549302
Reg Clinical Psychologist/Neurotherapist/EEG Technician 082 335 6133

 
 
 
   
       
 

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