A man clutching his head in pain

Is a Concussion a Neurological Disorder?

A young woman grimaces as she holds her head

There is debate in the neuroscience world over whether concussions should be considered neurological disorders or not. By defining both terms and understanding what conditions qualify as a concussion or neurological disorder, one can take a stand in the debate more easily.

At Carolina Brain Center, we are willing to get into the semantics of concussions and neurological disorders to educate our prospective patients. Specifically, we are aiming to answer the question of is a concussion a neurological disorder. Read on for more information and our ultimate decision on whether a concussion is a neurological disorder.

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are a common type of head injury that occurs when the brain is rapidly shifted back and forth. This can happen as a result of a blow to the head or a sudden jolt or impact. Concussions are often referred to as mild traumatic brain injuries because they are usually not life-threatening and do not involve structural damage to the brain.

While they often are managed quickly and easily by simple methods of medication and therapy, minor concussions can add up and cause significant damage, especially when they go untreated. 

Concussion Symptoms

Concussion sufferers, in severe cases, may lose consciousness upon their heads being contacted. Other concussion symptoms include a loss of concentration, memory, and balance. Concussions, in both the immediate aftermath and recovery process, are somewhat uncomfortable and must be dealt with in a timely fashion.

Contact sports are the driving factor behind many concussions. Not giving your injuries the appropriate amount of time to heal can result in even worse symptoms and compounding brain damage. This building damage can have profound, negative implications for the sufferer in the long term and leave them at risk for advanced cognitive troubles.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

One of the most significant concerns with a concussion is the potential for post-concussion syndrome (PCS), which can occur in some people after a head injury. PCS is a collection of symptoms that persist for weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury. These symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, fatigue, irritability, and depression.

While most people recover from a concussion within a few weeks, those with PCS may experience ongoing symptoms that can impact their daily lives. Researchers are still working to understand why some people develop PCS while others do not. It is thought that factors such as the severity of the injury, the age of the person, and their previous history of head injuries may play a role.

What is a Neurological Disorder?

An older person holds their headSo, we know that concussions are a type of brain injury, but what are neurological disorders? A neurological disorder is an attack on the human body’s nervous system. The neurological aspect of these diseases comes into play because the nervous system is centered in the brain and spinal cord. Most neurological disorders are relatively rare and are defined by severe symptoms such as paralysis and loss of feeling.

Patients and concussion neurologists often have their work cut out when dealing with a neurological disorder. Many patients with neurological disorders receive specific care out of necessity due to nerve damage. While there are some more common neurological diseases, the status of concussions as a neurological disorder is a source of debate.

Is Post-Concussion Syndrome a Neurological Disorder?

Some experts argue that concussions are a type of brain injury and should be classified as such, while others believe that the effects of a concussion are temporary and do not meet the criteria for a neurological disorder.

One of the arguments for classifying concussions as a neurological disorder is that they can cause long-term changes in brain function. Studies have shown that people who have had a concussion may be more likely to develop cognitive problems later in life, such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating.

However, by the definitions typically laid out by medical professionals, concussions are not neurological disorders. Concussions are more distinct in their cause than the structural damage they cause. The blunt force that creates a concussion is the defining feature of the injury instead of the collateral nerve damage that may come about.

Regardless, concussions do cause dysfunction in how the brain is working. Most commonly there is dysfunction in the visual and/or the vestibular systems, the autonomic nervous system, in the metabolic aspect of cell function, and in cognitive function. Therefore, at Carolina Brain Center, we work on the premise that PCS is indeed a neurological disorder.

Find Concussion Treatment at Carolina Brain Center

At Carolina Brain Center, we use functional neurology to help patients with PCS by identifying the underlying causes of their symptoms and developing individualized treatment plans to address those causes. Our initial exam process runs two hours in duration and includes 6 different diagnostic tests, a bedside examination, and a review of systems. We also offer neurocognitive testing that is done in the privacy of your own home in about 70 minutes. By focusing on the functional aspects of the nervous system rather than simply treating symptoms, we can help patients achieve long-term improvement in their quality of life.

We are known for our high-quality services and care plans in Raleigh, North Carolina. Among the most exciting innovations we offer are the GyroStim and HBOT services. If you are interested in these services, you can find more information about each of these services on our website.

If you or a loved one is suffering from concussion symptoms or what appears to be nerve damage, reach out to the concussion neurologists at Carolina Brain Center. Give us a call for more information on the solutions we offer.

A purple paper head with a jumble of colorful letters spilling out from it

Dyslexia and the Brain

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the US, affecting somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the population. That means millions of schoolchildren around the country struggle with it. 

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools are required to provide special services to help these students. However, these services can be expensive, and many schools simply do not have the resources to provide these accommodations for struggling students with neurological symptoms

Keep reading to learn more about the connection between dyslexia and the brain and strategies you can use to help your child with dyslexia. 

Understanding Dyslexia and the Brain

Dyslexia used to be referred to as “word blindness” because people with dyslexia don’t naturally process the written word. They cannot easily break it into smaller units that can be turned into sounds and stitched together. This makes reading, writing, and spelling a laborious and often exhausting process.

When you better understand dyslexia, you can better understand ways to help your child thrive. 

How Does Dyslexia Affect the Brain? 

A child clutching both sides of his head surrounded by a jumble of lettersAccording to a new study from MIT neuroscientists, a distinctive neural signature found in the brains of people with dyslexia may explain why these individuals have difficulty learning to read. The researchers discovered that in people with dyslexia, the brain has a diminished ability to acclimate to repeated input. This trait is known as neural adaptation. 

For example, when dyslexic students see the same word repeatedly, brain regions involved in reading do not show the same adaptation seen in typical readers. This suggests that the brain’s plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, which underlies its ability to learn new things, is reduced. When presented with new information that was shown in a previous trial, individuals viewed and processed the information as if it was completely new.

Strategies to Help Students with Dyslexia

Experts and parents say there are key things that can help a child with dyslexia. If your child is dyslexic, here are some strategies that can help you and your child overcome their disability. 

The sooner you intervene, the better.

Research suggests early and intensive reading help is most effective. By the time many children are formally diagnosed with dyslexia, often valuable time has passed. Early literacy screening programs, beyond those standardized tests administered, can be pivotal in helping identify at-risk children. Starting specific reading programs at a young age has proven successful.

Find something else your child excels at.

Experts say that children with dyslexia are at a higher risk for depression. Cultivating another passion – where there is a more direct link between effort and success – is helpful. Whether it’s sports, computers, music, art, or baking, help your child find something they enjoy doing that takes skill and builds confidence and pride.

Make a financial plan.

Ideally, schools are supposed to help children with dyslexia, but many don’t have the resources to do so. That means parents who can afford it often bear the cost of outside testing and specialized treatment. Often this forces families to have to dip into or even deplete college savings funds to pay for the more immediate need for services. Having a long-term financial plan can help guide these difficult decisions.

Find Dyslexia Treatment in Raleigh, NC

At the Carolina Brain Center, we are equipped to test and treat children and adults with dyslexia and other developmental disorders. Treatment results include an improved ability to read and comprehend material, improved performance in math, and an overall feeling of empowerment because learning becomes easier.

Ready for a consultation? Contact Dr. Dane at the Carolina Brain Center today!

How Do Doctors Treat Concussions?

A man attempts to ease his headache

Millions of Americans suffer from concussions each year. The effects of these injuries can have profound implications down the road, especially when they go undiagnosed. For this reason, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and act quickly when you may be suffering. There is also a benefit in identifying concussion symptoms in another person, as they may not be able to comprehend what exactly is ailing them.

Concussions can be successfully treated through several methods, from medication to rest. Medical professionals who specialize in concussion treatment will be able to identify the symptoms and create a care plan that can neutralize the damage. Because concussions have a wide range of severity and symptoms, treating them quickly and correctly is essential.

Carolina Brain Center is a leader in concussion treatment and would be happy to help you or a loved one manage your care plan. Our outstanding team of medical professionals is one of the most compassionate and experienced in the business. Call Carolina Brain Center to get started on the care you require.

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are a relatively common injury caused by force applied to the head area, causing the head and brain to shift quickly. Concussions can be relatively mild and not cause much damage in the long term. However, repeated minor concussions over time can significantly damage the brain.

In more severe concussion cases, the sufferer may lose consciousness, followed by a loss of concentration, memory, and balance. The disorientation associated with concussions is incredibly uncomfortable and can be challenging to recover from if you take any precautions.

Concussions are relatively common in sports like football, soccer, and boxing. While most concussions recover, compounding brain damage by participating in contact sports before healing fully is very dangerous. Many of the most vicious concussion-related troubles that plague people later in life result from returning to activities too soon and aggravating their symptoms.

A man feels the stress of a headache

How to Treat Concussion Symptoms?

After it is determined that you have a concussion, doctors have several options for how they can treat your symptoms. Some of the standard methods by which head trauma is treated are through a balanced nutritional diet, medication, and rest. Oftentimes this is NOT enough. Carolina Brain Center is well versed in treating rest-resistant concussions. 

While your concussion symptoms should gradually fade away by embracing a solid diet and allowing yourself to recover slowly through rest, a rest-resistant concussion is a whole other beast. These types of concussions will not heal on their own and not treating them can can cause significant short- and long-term problems.

Carolina Brain Center Treats Concussions

Carolina Brain Center offers several solutions designed to help you recover from injuries or illnesses. Two of the most exciting services we offer include the GyroStim and our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). Consider these options if you or a loved one needs care.

Learn more about Carolina Brain Center by visiting our website or calling us. Our staff would be happy to help you heal and recover under our guidance. Contact us today to ensure a pleasant recovery from a serious injury.

What Can a Neurologist Do for Post-Concussion Syndrome?

A woman holds her head while reading

If you suffered from a concussion a while back but still feel some of the effects and symptoms weeks or months later, you may have post-concussion syndrome. Despite its name, PCS does not necessarily have to happen after a concussion, and PCS can follow any traumatic brain or head injury. As long as the symptoms remain after an injury, PCS is a possibility. 

The good news is that concussions and neurology are closely tied. Therefore, a neurologist can help guide you through the process of having PCS. Because PCS tends to worsen pre-existing symptoms and tack on new symptoms, it is essential to recognize the signs of this disorder as soon as possible.

The neurologists at Carolina Brain Center specialize in treating all kinds of brain and head disorders, including PCS. If you or a loved one is suffering from the destructive effects of PCS, consider reaching out to us. Read on for more on what care solutions we can offer.

Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are the same as those that might be associated with a typical concussion. Persistent headaches and dizziness that go beyond the usual concussion recovery time may be telling of PCS setting in. However, the symptoms of PCS often go even deeper.

PCS can have a damaging impact on the mental health of the sufferer. It is possible for PCS to cause stress, anxiety, or depression. Rapid changes in emotional health are unhealthy for both the sufferer and the people with whom they interact.

Some of the cognitive problems associated with post-concussion include:

  • Memory loss
  • Reliance on certain foods and alcohol
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Vision problems
  • Concentration issues

A woman attempts to relieve her headache

Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment

When rest is not enough and symptoms continue to linger or worsen after a concussion, physical treatments are necessary for recovery. Carolina Brain Center excels in the treatment of PCS. Diagnostics and physical exams determine treatment. And since every person is different, there are no cookie-cutter treatments. Dr. Dane designs a protocol based on each individual and her extensive knowledge of how the brain works. 

Functional neurology treatments work to alleviate or reduce symptoms such as headache, dizziness, PTSD, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction. 

Carolina Brain Center Can Help You

Carolina Brain Center can provide you with the care to fight and conquer post-concussion syndrome. Remember that the key to getting past concussion symptoms is to remain patient in your treatment and seek out that treatment with haste. The best preventative measure you can take against PCS is to identify your concussion symptoms as early as possible.

We offer a number of innovative care options, including our GyroStim and HBOT services. You can learn more about these options and more by visiting our website. Call Carolina Brain Center directly for more information about our solutions.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Ketosis Work Together

Hyperbaric Chamber at Carolina Brain CenterHolistic healthcare has been up to some interesting things in recent years. Through research and experience, Dr. Dane has blended hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and ketone esters to aid in the treatment of certain health conditions and to improve performance in athletes and patients who are looking for ways to feel younger.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment in which patients breathe a higher concentration of oxygen while under increased atmospheric pressure, therefore, increasing oxygen tissue saturation. Dr. Keiran Clark, professor at Oxford University, created the only ketone ester that is exactly what the body makes when a person is in ketosis, the process by which the body makes fuel from fat. The combination provides the brain and body its two favorite super fuels enabling faster recovery and more stamina for treatment. 

This is a revolutionary service that we at Carolina Brain Center are happy to offer to patients who have not had success with traditional treatments.

Learn about how hyperbaric oxygen therapy and ketosis work together so you can determine if this revolutionary medical approach is right for you or your loved one.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

First, it will help for you to understand what each part of this process is.

You may have heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy before, perhaps in the context of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. What exactly is this therapy?

The word “hyperbaric” refers to pressurized gas, and that’s exactly what’s involved in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Patients enter a chamber where they breathe a higher concentration of oxygen. Because of the increased atmospheric pressure, oxygen saturation in tissues also increases. This fills the body with increased oxygen, allowing every cell to become essentially doused in the healthy gas.

What does that do? It helps cells grow and heal so that the body can recover from diseases, injuries, and conditions such as chronic inflammation, infections, strokes, and multiple sclerosis.

What Is Ketosis?

Since we are discussing how hyperbaric oxygen therapy and ketosis work together, let’s now talk about what ketosis is and then how it relates to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Ketosis is a natural bodily process that is achieved when the body can’t get energy from blood sugar. Instead, it creates energy from fat stores.

You have probably heard of the keto diet, a popular weight-loss method. The logic is that if you reduce or eliminate carbohydrates from your diet and instead eat lots of fats such as those found in meat, you can reduce body weight without going hungry.

The human body is said to be in a state of ketosis when it is producing ketones, substances resulting from the use of fats for energy. The ketone esters we use put the body in a deep state of ketosis in 20 minutes without having to be on a ketogenic diet. 

Bringing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Ketosis Together in Holistic Healthcare

So, how are these two health concepts related?

Ketone esters and hyperbaric oxygen therapy work together to provide fuel to cells. Ketones and oxygen promote healing and recovery to the brain and body. As a result, patients may see improvements in their conditions.

woman wearing sunglasses and a hat while smiling in a field of flowers

Request a Consultation at Carolina Brain Center Today

If you have been struggling to see results from your treatments for illness, and you are interested in learning more about how hyperbaric oxygen therapy and ketosis can help, request a consultation with Carolina Brain Center’s Dr. Darcy Dane today.

Dr. Dane has treated thousands of patients over the years who started seeing positive changes only after trying her holistic-care methods.

We hope to hear from you soon!

How Can Learning Disabilities Be Treated?

Everyone learns differently, but some struggle more than others. For some, their struggles aren’t merely the result of personal differences, but diagnosable learning disabilities.

It should be noted that learning disabilities have nothing to do with intelligence, so those who suffer from them should not be misconstrued as being “less smart.” Learning disabilities are, in fact, neurological dysfunctions that disrupt the way a person’s brain processes information.

Unfortunately, there are no “cures” for learning disabilities. However, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce their negative effects. Having a learning disability does not automatically disqualify an individual from achieving academic success. Studies show that children who receive treatment for learning disabilities early in life are better equipped to cope with disabilities and often develop ways of “working around” them.

How can learning disabilities be treated? What are some common types of learning disabilities and childhood developmental disorders? And how can educational efforts be optimized to give our children the best chance at overcoming these obstacles?

Common Disabilities & Disorders

There are many different kinds of learning disabilities and developmental disorders with many different types of symptoms. Some of the more common learning disabilities are dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia.

Dyslexia is a disability that makes reading and writing difficult by affecting how a child’s brain processes language. It is not always expressed through spelling issues, as many people assume; it can also manifest as issues with person-to-person communication, grammar, and reading comprehension.

Dysgraphia is related to dyslexia in that it specifically inhibits a child’s writing ability, although unlike dyslexia, it does this in part by affecting their motor skills. It shares this with dyspraxia, which can inhibit a child’s coordination and balance, leading to difficulties in writing and typing, speech problems, and hypersensitivity to sensory data.

Finally, dyscalculia affects a child’s ability to comprehend numbers and solve math problems. This can be expressed through difficulties with things as simple as basic counting, number recognition, and times tables memorization.

Each of these disabilities can manifest differently from child to child, and they’re far from the only information processing and developmental disorders that make learning problematic. Other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even Tourettes syndrome, can qualify as learning disabilities.

The Role of the Educational System

Since 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has entitled all U.S. children with learning disorders to free special education services through the public school system. Ideally, each child is evaluated individually so that their unique issues can be pinpointed. An individualized education program can be drafted to help develop their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Unfortunately, this process often requires special training that can be expensive. Many schools don’t have the resources to fully accommodate children with learning disabilities.

If possible, parents should try to build their child’s confidence and self-esteem by finding what they’re good at—whether it be a school subject, athletic activity, or creative endeavor—and encouraging them in it. Looking for ways to relate other academic lessons through the “language” of something your child already understands is a good way of helping them learn.

Ultimately, though, treating learning disabilities is not something any parent can do on their own. Parents need to be willing to seek outside help, especially from experienced healthcare professionals.

Recommended Forms of Treatment

Treating a child’s learning disabilities as early as possible is essential to providing them with the best possible chance to improve their abilities despite neurological dysfunction. It can even go a long way towards reigning that dysfunction in so it doesn’t become worse.

Both prescription medications and behavioral therapy can help certain children. However, at the Carolina Brain Center, we know that other forms of treatment can be just as effective, if not more so. Our unique holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to treatment focuses entirely on functional neurology, biochemistry, and nutrition. In other words, instead of treating just individual symptoms and conditions, we work to treat the underlying causes.

Often, childhood learning disabilities such as dyslexia, OCD, and ADD result from weakened neurological pathways in either the left or right hemisphere of the brain. By identifying specific weakened pathways, we can create a customized treatment plan—including neurological stimulation and dietary recommendations—to help strengthen them. In conjunction with specialized education efforts, this form of treatment can help make permanent, positive changes in your child.

Don’t waste thousands of dollars on expensive but ineffective treatment options that never get to the root of the problem.  If you have a child who requires dyslexia, OCD, or ADD treatment in Raleigh, NC, or help with any other developmental disabilities, the Carolina Brain Center can help. Contact us today for more information.

How Too Much Screen Time is Bad for Developing Brains

Two children looking at a tablet on the floor

Computers. TVs. Mobile phones.

We spend a lot of time interacting with digital screens every day—even more so now that COVID-19 has necessitated a rise in teleconferencing and distance learning. But how often do we consider the effects of too much screen time on our brains? What about the brains of our children, whose minds are still growing and maturing? 

When you sit back and think about it, it makes you wonder: does prolonged screen time affect children’s brain development? When should we introduce screens into a child’s learning process, and what are the effects of doing it too early?

What Does Too Much Screen Time Do to Your Brain?

At the Carolina Brain Center, we’ve made it our life’s work to study and treat neurological dysfunction in patients, both young and old. As technology becomes a larger and more significant part of our everyday lives, we believe it is crucial for parents and patients alike to be well-informed about the consequences of spending too much time in front of a screen. 

Digital devices of all kinds are powerful tools for learning and communication, but they can also disrupt vital neurological progress. For example, too much screen time has been linked to childhood obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, and impaired academic performance. 

Below, we’ll explain why and how too much screen time is bad for developing brains, as well as what steps parents can take to protect their children from the effects of too much social media, television, and video games.

The Neurological Effects of Too Much Screen Time

Although not yet believed to be among the leading causes of developmental disorders in children, prolonged screen time has been found to have a profound effect on their neurological maturation.

The National Institute of Health’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study found that children ages 9-10 who had more than two hours of screen time each day got lower scores on thinking and language

A boy in a blue striped shirt and yellow pants wearing a virtual reality headset

 tests. Furthermore, MRI scans of children with more than seven hours of screen time a day showed premature thinning of the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain that allows for critical thinking and reasoning.

We all know how addictive smartphones and social media apps like Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, and Snapchat can be, but using the word “addictive” isn’t quite the hyperbole many assume. Another study conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Diego found that adolescent social media use triggers the brain’s dopamine reward center. This creates a feedback loop wherein the more time a young person spends using electronic devices, the more they want to continue doing that.

Children who experience this kind of “tunnel vision” often suffer developmental shortcomings, as the time they would typically spend building neural pathways through other types of interactions is instead spent repeating the same digital interactions over and over again. Too much screen time can impede their ability to learn new things, communicate with others, stay focused on other tasks, and even sleep properly.

To help recover from the effects of too much screen time, it is important to increase your daily exposure to nature, fresh air, greenery, and sunlight.

Parenting Advice for Moderating Screen Time 

As worrying as the above research findings can be regarding the effects of too much screen time, the fact is that any child growing up in modern society cannot avoid coming into contact with digital screens. Nor should they. As with anything, a key component in staying healthy, both physically and mentally, is moderation. When leveraged correctly, electronic media can be a beneficial tool in one’s life, especially with the current environment of social distancing and quarantines.

To help parents concerned about the negative effects of too much screen time on developing minds, here are some helpful tips and guidelines to make moderating your child’s screen times easier. 

Avoid Early Screen Exposure 

For children aged 18 months or younger, avoid introducing them to tablets, smartphones, and TVs altogether. This age is when a child’s brain is the most sensitive and malleable, and normal cognitive development depends on freedom from digital distractions. Children older than 18 months up to two years old should similarly have their screen time kept to a bare minimum.

Limit the Amount of Screen Time A young boy and girl sitting on a coach watching a video on their tablet

Between ages 2-5, a child’s screen time should be limited to about an hour each day unless absolutely necessary—such as in the case of pandemic-mandated online classrooms—and parents must be present throughout. Parental presence ensures that the programming/interactions children are exposed to are high-quality and educational and also helps them understand what it is they’re seeing and doing.

Supervise Your Child’s Screen Time

From ages 6-12, parents should implement specific times when screen usage is appropriate and when it is inappropriate, such as during family meals, designated homework hours, bedtime, and the like. Ensuring that a child balances their screen time with adequate physical activity, social interaction, and undisturbed sleep is essential.

By following these guidelines, you will help to ensure that your children are not exposed to too much screen time while their brains are still developing. 

The Carolina Brain Center Provides Holistic Healthcare in Raleigh, NC

With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Dane and the Carolina Brain Center team are committed to helping patients achieve the highest standard quality of life through a unique multi-disciplinary approach to neurological treatment.

Whether you or a loved one suffers from epilepsy, Parkinson’s, ADD, developmental disorders, or the aftermath of a stroke, concussion, or another traumatic brain injury, we can help. For more information about receiving holistic healthcare in Raleigh, NC, contact the Carolina Brain Center today!

What is Functional Disconnection Syndrome?

Child playing with blocksEvery child develops at a different rate. Sometimes, a delay in development can occur and may require early intervention. While many of these delays improve over time, a child may also be diagnosed with a developmental disorder or disability. When a child is diagnosed with a developmental disorder, such as ADHD, Asperger’s, or Autism Spectrum Disorders, it can be a significant adjustment for the child and their family.

Though these developmental disorders are all complex and offer their own host of symptoms, they all share a common root cause: a brain imbalance. This imbalance often results in a diagnosis of functional disconnection syndrome. Functional disconnection syndrome is where the right and left hemispheres of the brain are developing at different rates. Due to this difference in maturation, the brain is unable to connect, communicate, and share information appropriately.

Symptoms of Functional Disconnection Syndrome

The symptoms of functional disconnection syndrome vary depending on which side of the brain the imbalance is on. Learning disabilities, social disabilities, behavioral disabilities, and attention problems are all different symptoms that may manifest from a disconnection in the brain. These symptoms can include:

  • Difficulties paying attention
  • Impulsiveness
  • Negative behaviors
  • Anxiety issues
  • Inability to quickly process information
  • Reading issues
  • Social awkwardness
  • Failure to pick up on non-verbal cues
  • Unable to read people well

Treating a Hemispherical Imbalance

At Carolina Brain Center, we will conduct a thorough neurological evaluation to determine which hemisphere is underdeveloped. This may include testing primitive reflexes, cranial nerve functions, cerebellar function, frontal eye fields, and routine bloodwork. These symptoms affect multiple systems of the body, so a comprehensive assessment is essential.

Once we have collected the necessary data, a treatment plan will be developed to stimulate and promote hemispheric integration and synchronization. We will tailor this treatment plan to each patient’s needs to ensure the brain can work as a whole.

Treatment for a hemispherical imbalance is crucial. Otherwise, the weaker side will continue to get weaker, and the stronger side will take over as the dominant part of the brain. Our goal is to get both hemispheres working together to ensure the patient can access all parts of their brain.

Improving Communication in the Brain

The brain responds best to environmental stimuli, such as movement, sound, touch, and taste. To treat functional disconnections, the first step is to identify where the functional weakness is occurring. By using primitive reflex assessments, we can get to the underlying cause of the disconnection. Then, if a child has a weakness in auditory processing, for example, we can utilize auditory stimulation to help improve this disconnection.

As the best neurologist in NC, we provide a variety of treatment approaches depending on what the patient needs. These approaches can include:

Hemispheric Integration

Hemispheric integration is a rehabilitative therapy that incorporates stimulation and training of certain parts of the brain. This approach works to strengthen the weak and under-functioning neurological pathways that are not communicating with each other. The process encourages neuroplasticity, resulting in improved academic and social behavior.


The neurosensory approach stimulates sensory pathways to improve motor and cognitive behaviors, focusing on environmental stimulation to improve the weaker areas of the brain. Primitive reflex training, movement stimulation, and other specific stimuli are utilized in this method.

Functional Biochemistry

Functional biochemistry is the use of natural compounds that are proven to support neurological, immunological, and digestive processes. As a more holistic approach, functional biochemistry helps us find the underlying cause of the disconnection, not just treat the symptoms caused by it.

Nutritional Counseling

Eating habits affect your entire body, and patients with functional disconnection syndrome are no different. Through nutritional counseling, we will help you implement the best diet for your child’s needs to promote optimal brain function. Our team will conduct clinical research and tailor a nutritional plan based on the results.

When your child is experiencing developmental challenges, contact Carolina Brain Center for an evaluation. We understand how difficult this time can be, and will help treat your child’s brain imbalance so you can watch your child achieve their full potential at school and home.

Dr. Dane Published in Health & Healing's November 2019 Issue

Woman practicing yoga on the beachDr. Dane’s article, Balance: What Do You Want to Be, Do, Have? has been published in Health & Healing. This article is about physical and mental balance and what you can do to be content with your life.

In the article, Dr. Dane starts by explaining the vestibular system and how she evaluates a patient experiencing physical balance issues, such as dizziness, vertigo, and unsteadiness. She then goes on to state that mental balance is just as important. When people talk about balance, we often refer to the harmony of our lives. Are we happy? Do all critical aspects of our lives feel aligned? When our lives are imbalanced, much like our physical balance, we tend to think that something is not right.

In a seminar that she attended in her fourth year practicing, she was presented with a question that still resonates with her today: Are you willing to do what it takes to be who can have what you want? Twenty years later, Dr. Dane has boiled what she learned that day down to one thing: contentment — being content in your circumstances and the changes happening within them is how to find real balance in your life.

Read her full article at HealthandHealingOnline.com.

Carolina Brain Center Featured on CBS17 News!

X-ray image of a brainWhat You Didn't Know About Concussions and How Much Goes into Treating Them

CBS17 News featured Carolina Brain Center in their October My Carolina post about concussions and their treatment. Click the link to read this great post and learn more about how Dr. Dane can help if you've experienced an injury. If you or a loved one has experienced a concussion, contact us today to schedule a consultation.