How COVID-19 affects the brain’s health

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It may be challenging to connect the subject of brain health to COVID-19. This is probably due to the virus’s primary target — the respiratory system. But Dr. Curtis Cripe notes that medical findings show that COVID-19 can affect the body more than what is usually known.

Theories abound as to how COVID-19affects the brain, says Dr. Curtis Cripe. One leading theory concerns the loss of smell, pointing to the olfactory cells concentrated inside the nose. These cells are susceptible to viral invasion, and through them, COVID-19 may reach the olfactory bulb in the brain, located in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for short-term memory.

Another possibility is when the immune system goes berserk for it to be able to fight COVID-19. This may cause neurological complications such as the encephalitis seen in some patients who may experience mild flu-like symptoms. COVID-19 can also cause blood clots that travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Some COVID-19 patients reported having experienced stroke as their first complication, while the respiratory symptoms were mild.

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It has been reported that COVID-19 or its genetic strain was found in the cerebrospinal fluid in some patients, Dr. Curtis Cripe reveals. This raises the possibility of the virus affecting the brain directly. But some scientists, argue that the evidence for this remains uncertain at this point. More studies are still required to know the extent of damage of COVID-19.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in neuroengineering programs aimed at the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders connected to head injury, depression, anxiety, memory disorders, and learning disorders. For more on Dr. Cripe and his work, visit this page.

Some possible signs of learning disabilities in children

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As part of his work at the NTL Group, Dr. Curtis Cripe is very passionate about finding neuroengineering solutions, including addressing neurodevelopmental delays in children with learning disorders. This blog discusses some possible signs of learning disabilities in children to guide you toward seeking a professional’s help when needed.

1. Reading difficulties

Children may tend to struggle with reading as they try to engage in a new skill. However, not all reading difficulties are signs of a learning disability. If the struggle of the child is characterized by difficulty perceiving a spoken word as a combination of distinct sounds, this is a very telling sign. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, this condition makes it hard to understand how a letter makes a sound or how a combination of letters makes up a word.

2. Writing difficulties

It’s important for you to note that writing is an action that requires complex visual, motor, and information-processing skills. A child can be quite able to perform reading and understanding verbal instructions. However, he may show difficulties in writing at the same time, which includes slow and labor-intensive handwriting, difficulty putting thoughts into writing, and incoherent sentence construction.

3. Math difficulties

Math is known to be one of the toughest subjects to study. Even when most people struggle with numbers, this doesn’t always mean a learning disability. Children with learning disabilities in math have a hard time understanding how numbers work and relate to each other. They may even have difficulty understanding how math symbols work and how to understand word problems.

Be reminded that you are not advised to make any diagnosis on your own. If your child shows any of these signs, seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., hails from a multidisciplinary academic and professional background that includes addiction and psychophysiology. He is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company specializing in neuroengineering programs used to diagnose and treat a host of neurological dysfunctions. For more related articles, visit this page.


Describing the state of a person with anxiety

For the most part, people often come to know of anxiety as discussed in the random conversations that they have in private circles, observes Dr. Curtis Cripe. Seldom do they get to describe it from the perspective of one who suffers from it, especially when anxiety is referred to as a disorder, in a more strict, clinical sense.

Physically, people with anxiety manifest their condition with alternating sequences of high and low energy. The feeling of worry or uneasy can keep a person up all night, keeping them on their toes, even responsive to the slightest stimulus. They inevitably hit a low point in the energy levels, which can make them pale and lethargic. It is hard for them to sleep with so many thoughts running through their heads, notes Dr. Curtis Cripe.

Emotionally, there are hardly any positives when it comes to this mental issue. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and loss are the norm, even when there really is little to be worried about in the outside world. People with this condition struggle with keeping their feelings under control, so sadness and anger are often how the disorder manifests.

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Mentally, it is always an uphill climb for a person with an anxiety disorder because it is quite tough to shake off the sense of impending danger, panic, or doom. It’s incredibly challenging to be productive at anything, as a huge part of the mind is preoccupied with worrisome thoughts. Dr. Curtis Cripe advises not to take anxiety disorder lightly because it certainly isn’t trivial to the one who has it.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., is the director of research and development at the NTL Group. His focus is on the development of diagnostics and treatment programs for neurological dysfunctions. Visit this page for similar reads.

Healthy brains and beyond: The indispensable benefits of an outdoor adventure

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Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., has often emphasized the importance of communing with nature. He believes that the natural world holds countless advantages for the human brain and the rest of the body on a physiological level.

For today’s blog, Dr. Curtis Cripe would want to entice people to plan and go on that great outdoor adventure to reap the indispensable benefits of nature.

Time in nature can promote blood and oxygen circulation.

All the hiking people do through nature trails and uneven terrain is good exercise. And because of this, the blood and oxygen experience better circulation in the body, which is excellent for all the vital organs, especially the heart and brain.

The fresh, unpolluted air can do wonders for the mind.

The brain needs an ample amount of oxygen to function properly and stay healthy. Dr. Curtis Cripe explains that oxygen in nature, from the trees, plants, and clean bodies of water is fresh and pure and provides nothing but nourishment for the brain.

A nature hike relieves people of stress.

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This is probably Dr. Curtis Cripe’s favorite benefit from a nature hike, and would probably be others’ too, especially if they live hectic lives in the urban jungle. With all the activity and serene surroundings, the brain releases chemicals such as endorphins that lower stress levels in the body. There are very few better benefits than that.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D. heads research and development at the NTL Group, which employs neuroengineering technology that repairs brain dysfunction to treat a myriad of diseases and disorders. For more articles on cognitive health, visit this blog.

Having depression and being unaware of it – A conundrum of the mind

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Depression is as real as it gets, especially for people who have been diagnosed to have such. Dr. Curtis Cripe explores this matter further, especially in a hard to notice case wherein the subject is plagued by the disease but is unaware of it.

It may sound ridiculous to have a certain medical condition and not know about it, but it is quite possible as far as depression is concerned. A health problem like flu is easier to identify, as the symptoms of coughing, general fatigue, and muscle weakness are quite easy to observe in a person. The person may even complain out loud, bringing the people around them to awareness.

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In the case of depression, this doesn’t quite apply. A person who is plagued by depression does not show clear outward signs associated with the disease. The one who has it typically keeps to themselves is silent most of the time and does not want to engage with others too often, if at all. These symptoms alone are also descriptions that match something as common as mood swings, which everyone undergoes from time to time. People with depression can manage to function competently at work, even when suicidal thoughts run silently in their heads. Of course, their thoughts cannot be known by anyone else unless they manage to talk about it, which is unlikely for a depressed person to do.

Simply put, depression is too deeply seated for it to be noticed. This is one of the biggest conundrums in depression and mental health that all should be aware of to help those afflicted.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, which works on and develops diagnostic and treatment programs for neurological dysfunctions. To find out more about his work, visit this page.

Some proven therapy interventions for substance abuse

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An addict’s friends and family are often the most affected when they see their loved ones in a tough predicament. The reality is that a person in the habit of substance abuse will not typically bring themselves out of their situation and seek help. For the information of friends and family, Dr. Curtis Cripe shares some proven therapy interventions for substance abuse.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to lessen problematic behavior related to substance abuse. It is quite common in CBT to have awareness exercises that help the dependent recognize and anticipate situations wherein they are most likely to give in to substance abuse. In this method, the patient is taught how to remove themselves from such situations by developing coping mechanisms characterized by avoidance or self-control.

2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy is mostly applicable to patients who have a tough time handling their emotions and entertain thoughts of hurting themselves, says Dr. Curtis Cripe. In this method, patients are trained to handle negative feelings or thoughts by accepting them as a way to overcome them. DBT involves other exercises that channel a patient’s emotions towards an outlet. In DBT sessions, it is typical to see a patient taking up yoga or some other form of kinesthetic exercise.

3. The Matrix Model

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In the Matrix model, the emphasis is on recovery from stimulant addiction, wherein the patient develops a framework for effectively maintaining abstinence. Patients in Matrix sessions typically are the ones who are trying to recover from cocaine or crystal meth addiction. In this method, friends and family members of the patient are involved in the process of recovery. The patient is even encouraged to become a part of a support group. In this type of therapy, forming a sense of self-worth in a patient is of the highest importance, says Dr. Curtis Cripe.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., has a professional and academic background that spans a diverse array of disciplines, including aerospace engineering, software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, and child neurodevelopment. He is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, which develops diagnostic and treatment programs for neurological dysfunctions. Visit this page to find out more about his work,.

How addiction changes the brain

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Many films, books, and videos feature the issue of drug addiction and it’s impact on an individual’s social life. Although viewers and readers see how illegal drugs affect a person’s mental and physical health, there is not enough focus on what happens to the brain of the person battling a drug dependency, notes Dr. Curtis Cripe, neuroengineering expert.

First and foremost, one must understand how the brain works. Many experts compare the brain to a computer. Dr. Curtis Cripe explains that the brain is much larger than a single computer, it’s like the Internet where millions of computers link to and communicate with each other.

If you break the brain down to its most basic part, you’ll find a neuron, and the brain itself is composed of 86 billion of them. Neurons communicate with one another to manage and control many things like moods, memories, and bodily functions. The brain cells message each other through neurotransmitters.

Now, drugs like cocaine and marijuana can actually mimic neurotransmitters, and they may signal neurons to start feeling certain emotions like pleasure, excitement, heightened senses, etc. The “trip,” this crisscrossing of messages and mixing of signals, may sound innocent and fun, but it can release a host of negative effects.

First, it will affect the basal ganglia, which controls motivation. Continued use will short-circuit this part of the brain to make the person feel pleasure from the drugs they’re taking. The drugs will also effect change on the amygdala, where stress response controls lie, triggering fear and anxiety when not using substances. Dr. Curtis Cripe also notes that drug addiction will alter the prefrontal cortex, which helps people think and plan. When this happens, most choices a person will have will revolve around how to get a fix. These are the common ways drugs will change the brain, aside from also inducing dangerous symptoms when the patient stops the use of these substances.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., heads the NTL Group as its chief of research and development. The NTL group specializes in neuroengineering programs aimed at the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders connected to head injury, depression, anxiety, memory disorders, and learning disorders. Dr. Curtis Cripe is also extensively studying addiction recovery. Find out more about his work here.

How people can contribute during a global health crisis

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With everything that is happening in the world brought about by the current global health crisis, Dr. Curtis Cripe and the NTL Group continue to do what they can to help everyone cope with the dire situation. Writing and releasing a series of informative and educational blogs is part of their way of helping.

For today’s blog, Dr. Cripe shares two very important messages, which he recommends people should take to heart. These two points can make a huge difference in the world today.

Be responsible for everyone else.

While this may sound preachy, if everyone does it, it means people have each other’s backs. With the effects of the pandemic reaching far beyond health, people everywhere will need help in some way, shape, or form. Being responsible for others can mean simply checking up on friends or on anyone in the community to see how they’re doing. That can go a long way in today’s world.

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Appreciate the effort of people who help.

Every day, healthcare professionals are at the frontlines, with their jobs becoming exponentially more dangerous over the past few months. Other workers in different sectors of society are exposing themselves to COVID-19 as well, just to make sure everyone keeps living as well as they can. Dr. Curtis Cripe explains that these people are under a lot of stress, and showing appreciation for their efforts can make a huge difference.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in the development of brain-based technology for healing and repairing neurological dysfunctions. For similar updats, go to this page.

Stay mentally strong during these trying times

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NTL Group leader Curtis Cripe explains that with today’s global health crisis, staying mentally strong is as important as staying safe physically. With everything happening in the country and the world, it’s easy to see just how difficult it might be to keep one’s mental fortitude with all the things that cause stress, anxiety, depression, and other unnecessary emotional turmoil all around us.

Fortunately, Dr. Cripe mentions that there are ways to stay strong mentally, which he shares in today’s blog.

People should keep themselves busy.

The most basic step in maintaining a strong mind is to keep it busy. An idle mind often wanders off. There are several ways to keep the brain active. Work for adults and studies for children are the main avenues of the mind. However, engaging in hobbies and games can also provide much-needed mental exercise for people.

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People can learn new things.

From the aforementioned hobbies and games to physical exercises and sports, to writing new blogs, Dr. Curtis Cripe explains that learning new things keeps the mind working and fortified. Some of the new activities people can pick up may also benefit the brain in biological terms, as they promote the effective flow of blood and oxygen.

People may try mindful meditation.

While not for everybody, the benefits of mindful meditation are well-documented, making the activity worth people’s time. Dr. Cripe mentions that meditation calms the mind, regulates breathing and heart rates, and is good for overall health.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., specializes in the creation of neuroengineering programs that diagnose and treat various neurological disorders. Visit this blog for similar reads.

How telemedicine is helping the fight against COVID-19

When people talk about the resources we have in fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy for us to forget that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are also part of these resources. We can replace surgical masks, we can throw away medical gowns. But once a doctor or any healthcare personnel is infected, they are out of the picture. This is why Curtis Cripe believes that telemedicine is such a powerful tool when it comes to fighting the pandemic. Dr. Cripe was asked to participate in a NASA-White House initiative putting together protocols for a national program in telehealth and telemedicine.

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Telemedicine is a way for doctors to connect with their patients over the internet. It allows doctors to see their patients via monitors from devices like computer monitors, tablets, or even camera phones. While this technology has already been used by other industries like online education, telemedicine is hardly groundbreaking. However, it does address two of the biggest problems when it comes to treating COVID-19 patients.

Firstly, it allows doctors to see (and see to) their patients safely. Even with all the protective equipment, coming into contact with COVID-19 patients puts healthcare workers at risk. At the end of May, close to 300 healthcare workers have already died after contracting the virus from people who are infected. Telemedicine allows doctors to see their patients, even if the patients are under strict quarantine.

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Secondly, telemedicine allows doctors to see more patients than physically going from one bed to another. In hard-hit states like New York, healthcare workers are overwhelmed with the number of COVID-19 cases. According to Curtis Cripe, telemedicine can connect physicians to more patients regardless if they have COVID-19 or not. This ensures that people who do not have symptoms receive treatment as well.

Dr. Curtis Cripe heads research and development at the NTL Group. He has published two peer-reviewed papers and written two book chapters on neurotherapy and neuroengineering. Dr. Curtis Cripe was asked to participate in a White House – NASA committee for TeleHealth/TeleMedicine during the COVID-19. His committee has been asked to spear head long term and on-going TeleHealth and TeleMedicine protocols and procedures that can be followed during the current and future Pandemics as well as TeleMedicine and TeleHealth even after the COVID-19 diminishes. Follow thisTwitter pagefor more posts and updates related to neurology.