Sometimes therapy isn't enough.

So, the doctors put you on medication. 

Medication (for some) works WHILE you are taking it, but when you get off of it, you can go back to the same issues. 

Also the brain adapts to medication and people constantly have to adjust it or change it.

If therapy isn't enough to change a brain's disregulation, and medication isn't permanent--neurofeedback may work for you.

The Ladder To Success 
Is A State of Mind


Woodland Hills and Agoura, California

(818) 346-7079

BrainBoosterPlusHomePage How We Deal With Stress Students Medication Safety Issues Our Program/Contacts

Do You Have Junk in the Trunk (Brain)!?

Information on Side Effects of Some Legal and Illegal Drugs


What Are The Right Brain Foods?

You are what you eat!

Warning Urged for ADHD Drugs, 2/10/06 L.A. Times

  • An FDA panel cites heart risks in its advisory on Ritalin and similar medications.

  • By Ricardo Alonso-, Times Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON — A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday urged that the strongest possible safety warning be issued for drugs used by millions of children and adults to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, because of emerging concern that they may increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

    The FDA had called the drug safety experts together to help design further research into such risks. But in an unexpected twist, the committee concluded that the evidence of serious risks was so great that a strong new warning — not just more research — was needed.

    "This is out-of control use of drugs that have profound cardiovascular consequences," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and member of the panel. "We have got a potential public health crisis. I think patients and families need to be made aware of these concerns."

    Although ADHD is commonly associated with children, members of the safety panel emphasized that the drugs could pose a greater danger to adults. The FDA has received reports of about 25 deaths linked to the drugs and of a larger number of cases involving serious health consequences, such as heart attacks.

    The panel voted, 8 to 7, to call for a "black box" warning on literature distributed with the drugs — which include well-known brands such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta. As many as 4 million Americans take the medications, and government figures show that about 10% of all 10-year-old boys in the United States get the drugs; about 4% of girls that age use them.

    "No one is saying that there aren't children who are desperately dysfunctional and need these drugs," Nissen said. "But it isn't 10% of 10-year-olds."

    The safety experts also voted unanimously to recommend that a brochure be provided to patients and families to inform them in greater detail about the risks and benefits of using the drugs. And it urged the FDA to expedite studies to better understand the drugs' effects.

    Senior FDA officials said that they would study the panel's recommendations and that they planned to refer the issue to another advisory committee dealing with psychological problems in children. The agency has been criticized in the past as being slow to respond to evidence of health risks associated with medications, including painkillers and antidepressants.

    "You don't want to over-scare people and make them not use an important drug," said Dr. Robert Temple, a top policy official at the FDA. "But you don't want people using drugs if they don't have to."

    Drug makers said Thursday that the attention deficit medications were safe when taken as directed. They noted that some had been in use for more than 50 years.

    Shire Pharmaceuticals Group, the maker of Adderall, said that it would work with the FDA to make sure patients had the necessary information, but that stronger warnings were not needed. Novartis, which makes Ritalin, said it had reviewed its own data and had not seen any increase in heart risks for patients.

    The companies suggested there probably were other explanations for the deaths and serious health issues reported to the FDA, such as heart problems that had gone undetected before the patient began taking the medication.

    Most of the attention deficit drugs are derived from powerful stimulants, including amphetamines. They are believed to help patients concentrate, though exactly how they work is not clear. But they also raise blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can make it difficult for children to apply themselves in school; adult patients may have trouble with multi-tasking. In the United States, about 2.5 million children and 1.5 million adults are taking medication for the condition.

    The drugs have been widely prescribed for children since the 1990s, but their use to treat adults is relatively new. Prescriptions written for adults increased by 90% from 2002 to 2005. And the risks for adults may be greater, since high blood pressure and heart conditions are more prevalent among adults.

    Currently, 10% of those taking ADHD drugs are 50 or older.

    FDA officials convened Thursday's meeting amid concerns about the drugs' potential health problems.

    "We wouldn't be going through this exercise if we didn't think there was a real possibility of an increase in risk," said Dr. David Graham, the FDA drug safety investigator who was one of the first to call attention to the heart risks of Vioxx, a leading painkiller withdrawn from the market in 2004. "There's smoke. Does that represent fire, or not? We want to answer that question."

    The risks appeared to be different for children and adults. Graham and his colleagues undertook a preliminary study using information in the databases of large health insurers and government programs.

    Their early findings indicated a higher-than-expected number of heart attacks and strokes among adults taking the medications. Among children through age 18, the number of strokes was higher than expected, but the number of heart attacks was lower.

    Not all ADHD drugs are the same. Strattera, made by Eli Lilly & Co., is not classified as a stimulant. But several panel members said the warnings should apply to the entire class of drugs, without exception. That might help put a brake on over-prescribing, they said.

    Panel member Thomas Fleming, a biostatistician at the University of Washington, suggested that the heart risks of attention deficit drugs might be comparable to those of the painkiller Vioxx and other so-called Cox-2 inhibitors.

    "While there is a lot of focus on children … the numbers tell me that the magnitude of the excess risk is quite profound in adults," Fleming said.

    For adults to continue taking ADHD drugs, the benefits of therapy would have to be shown to be substantial, he said. But some panel members said the benefits and risks of the medications for adults had not been extensively studied.

    Temple, the FDA policy official, said agency officials would discuss internally how to address the problem of the emerging risk for adults.

    The committee members suggested several types of studies to look at safety issues for all patients. One option would be to pore through the databases of insurers, as Graham's preliminary study had done. Another would be to compare heart function in patients taking ADHD medications with that of people who have similar characteristics but don't take the medicines.

    Such studies might take two years or more to complete.

    The FDA's database of reports of adverse drug reactions is not thought to be complete enough to base a study on it. Experts estimate that 1% to 10% of serious drug reactions are reported to the agency.

    Canada halted sales of Adderall last year after health authorities there received 20 reports of sudden deaths in patients. But the drug was allowed back on the market after statistical studies indicated it was no riskier than other medications. It is not recommended for patients with underlying heart problems, however.

    How did we use to deal with stress? 

    read more... 

    Heart Food Is Brain Food

    The human brain is a complex mixture packed with tiny, fragile cells easily damaged by free radicals, too much alcohol, raging blood sugar and cloying cholesterol. These very same things make your cardiovascular system run poorly.

    Unlike the body, however, the brain does not recover as rapidly from slights, injuries, abuse or neglect as other body parts such as your heart. When a nerve cell dies, it remains dead.

    You can save your brain before it is too late. You do so by “feeding your head”. This sounds rather funny, I know. Actually, it is fascinating how food affects your brain.  An important mixture of eating well and getting the proper vitamins is essential.  This will be discussed in our program.  Junk food is discouraged.  It is bad for the brain and bad for the body!

    Some sugars are good for you, some aren't!

    The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, grains, and fruits are good for you; the simple sugars found in sodas, candies, icings, and packaged treats can do harm, at least when eaten in excess.

    According to, an overdose of sugar can cause problems.
    Sugar sours behavior, attention, and learning.

    Studies of the effects of sugar on children's behavior are as wildly contradictory as a sugar-crazed four-year-old after a birthday party, but the general consensus is that some children and adults are sugar-sensitive, meaning their behavior, attention span, and learning ability deteriorate in proportion to the amount of junk sugar they consume.

    Sugar promotes sugar highs.

    Some persons are more sugar sensitive than others, and children may be more sensitive than adults.  A study comparing the sugar response in children and adults showed that the adrenaline levels in children remained ten times higher than normal for up to five hours after a test dose of sugar.

    Studies have also shown that some children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) react to glucose intolerance tests with a dip to low blood sugar levels. High adrenaline levels or low blood sugar levels produce abnormal behavior.

    Research suggests that children are more sugar sensitive than adults, and the effects are more pronounced in younger children, according to Dr. Keith Conners, author of Feeding the Brain. This could be related to the fact that the brain grows rapidly in the preschool years, exaggerating the effects of sugar on behavior and learning.

    In an interesting study, researchers fed normal preschoolers a high-sugar drink, containing the amount of sugar in the average can of soda, and compared them with children who received a non-sugar drink. The sugar group experienced decreased learning performance and more hyperactivity than the non-sugar group.

    Some children are sugar junkies. 

    Children tagged with the ADHD label are often sugar-sensitive. There may be several reasons for this. Hyperactive kids are impulsive and need instant gratification. They need more energy and they need it now! Unable to curb their appetite, they overdose on junk foods. Some studies of hyperactive children show a higher blood sugar rise following a high sugar meal than one finds in normally active children. Hyperactive children seem to metabolize sugar differently. In response to a high sugar meal, hyperactive kids increase their output of the stress hormone, cortisol, the hormone that plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels. Dr. Keith Conners, author of Feeding the Brain, concludes from his original research that while the neurotransmitters in the brains of normally active children signal the hormones to regulate blood sugar, brains of hyperactive children do not seem to send the same signals.

    While studies show that activity levels go up in both hyperactive and normal children on high- sugar diets, the hyperactive children also become more aggressive.  Adding protein to a high- sugar meal mellows out the behavioral and learning deterioration. Chalk up another point for eating a balanced breakfast.

    Sugar promotes cravings.

    The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you want. A high sugar meal raises the blood glucose level, which triggers the outpouring of insulin. This excess insulin lingers in the system, triggering a craving for more sugar, thus adding another hill to the roller coaster ride.

    As it turns out, your brain and your heart have a lot in common. If your arteries are clogged with cholesterol and oxygen can't get to your brain, you probably can't think as well, increasing your chances of memory loss. And you're risking more than not being able to find your car keys or forgetting that joke you heard at work.

    Sugar affects the immune system.

    Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

    Foods and Nutrients that Feed the Brain

    There are many different vitamins that are needed by the brain to operate properly.  

    For instance, a lack of Iron can be a problem.  Iron deficiency can lead to an inability to concentrate because the brain is not getting the oxygen it needs.  Smoking cigarettes depletes iron.  Other necessary vitamins are Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Calcium, as well as:

    • Vitamin C is required by the brain to make neurotransmitters.
    • In fact, the brain has a special vitamin C "pump" that draws extra vitamin C out of the blood and concentrates it in the brain.
    • Vitamin B12 is vital to maintaining healthy myelin, the tissue that covers and insulates nerve tissue.
    • Vitamin B6 deficiency causes hyper-irritability and fatigue.
    • Folic acid deficiency seems to affect neurotransmitter function, resulting in symptoms associated with depression.

    Most people do not eat properly and should take supplements.  You can get most of what you need from a good multi-vitamin.  Look at labels.

    The natural food sources are:

    BRAIN BUILDERS:   Avocados, Bananas, Beef, lean Brewer's yeast, Broccoli, Brown rice, Brussel sprouts, Cantaloupe, Cheese, Chicken. Collard greens, Eggs, Flaxseed oil ,Legumes, Milk, Oatmeal, Oranges, Peanut butter Peas Potatoes Romaine lettuce Salmon Soybeans Spinach, Tuna, Turkey, Wheat germ, Yogurt.

    BRAIN DRAINERS: Alcohol, Artificial food colorings, Artificial sweeteners, Colas, Corn syrup, Frostings, High-sugar "drinks," Hydrogenated fats, Junk sugars, Nicotine, Overeating, White bread.
    Also, Drugs (including Pot and Rx abuse), Cigarettes and other smoking or tobacco products.


    Health is Affected by Stress and Fatigue:
    Things we do to ourselves to deal with stress!

    Hans Seyle, M.D., Ph.D, states that around 80% of illness is stress related.  Stress related illness includes digestive disorders, skin, mental, emotional and immune problems, colds, arthritis, headaches, fatigue, sleep disorders, diabetes, etc.--and a major contributing factor to heart disease and cancer.

    Also, muscles tense in response to stress and they can't relax fully.  When the stress persists, the muscles tighten, like knots in a rope.  Tight muscles can pull joints out of alignment, irritating nerves and causing pain.

    If your body is misaligned, the rest of your body becomes more pronte to stress and disease. 

    This is why yoga and body alignment work is necessary to alleviate stress and pain, and future stress and pain.

    There is no way to get away from all stress factors, but we can take time every day to care for our emotional, as well as our physical well-being. 

    Sometimes it takes a tragedy to remember what is really important, or we can remember that every day is a gift and to make the best out of each day. 

    Not everyone in America knows how to relax.  We work hard and we have a need to self medicate or we get sick or we are in pain.

    There are many different factors where stress arises from:

    So, starting a program like this is the beginning of taking steps to learn how to relax.  Let us help you.  We have been there and we know what to do, from our experience and from our training.

    Below are some of the things we take to deal with stress, but there is a price to pay for these quick fixes!

    The Side Effects of
    Caffeine, Sugar, Junk
    Food and Drugs


    Caffeine can be a problem that goes unnoticed as it gets
    abused. Many people drink
    caffeine to improve their performance or to wake up their tired, sluggish brain, especially
    if they are sleep deprived and/or
    if they have attention deficit

    Some people self-medicate with caffeine (like nicotine) to deal with uneasy feelings. But, then they suffer from further complications
    of the drug (caffeine) later, like anxiety, mood swings, etc. and people do not connect the drug
    as a contributor to their issues. 

    Although the United States hasn't yet developed guidelines for caffeine intake and kids,
    Canadian guidelines recommend that preschool children get no
    more than 45 milligrams of
    caffeine a day. That's equivalent
    to the average amount of caffeine found in a 12-ounce (355-milliliter)
    can of soda or four 1.5-ounce
    (43-gram) milk chocolate bars.

    Older children should stay below the 100 mg mark of caffeine, per day.

    What's Caffeine and How Does It Affect Kids?

    A stimulant that affects children
    and adults similarly, caffeine is
    a drug that's naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many
    plants. Caffeine is also made
    artificially and added to certain foods. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. At lower levels, caffeine can make people feel more alert and like they have more energy. It does not take a
    lot of caffeine to affect kids, but
    in both kids and adults, too much caffeine can cause:

    jitteriness and nervousness
    upset stomach
    difficulty concentrating
    difficulty sleeping
    increased heart rate
    increased blood pressure.

    Parents: Watch out for the
    so-called "energy"
    drinks like Red Bull, Monster
    and Rockstar.  They have a lot of caffeine.  It is considered chic to hang out at Starbucks and have
    coffee drinks (cold or hot).

    I have seen teenagers
    unknowlingly drink too
    much caffeine and not be able
    to sleep at night and have panic attacks by day.

    The following are examples of caffeine amounts in popular
    drinks. Keep in mind that these
    are just 8 oz. sizes, the cans,
    not the bottles.

    Drink         Serving Size    Caffeine
    Starbucks Reg     8 oz   200mg
    RedBulMonster    8.3oz   80mg
    Amp                      8.4oz   74 mg
    Maxwell Hse Sng 6 oz     55-60mg
    Mountain Dew      8 oz     37mg
    Diet Coke             8 oz     31 mg
    Sunkist                  8oz      28mg
    Pepsi                    8 oz     25 mg
    Diet Pepsi            8 oz     24 mg
    Coca-Cola Csc    8 oz      23 mg
    Iced Tea              12 oz      70 mg
    Dark Chocolate    1 oz      20 mg
    Chocolate Milk      8 oz        5 mg
    Cold Relief Med.   1 tab.   30 mg

    Side Effects of Caffeine

    Consuming one 12-ounce (355-milliliter) sweetened soft drink
    per day increases a child's risk
    of obesity by 60%.

    Not only does caffeine contain empty calories (calories that
    don't provide any nutrients),
    kids who fill up on caffeinated beverages don't get the vitamins and minerals they need from healthy sources, putting them
    at risk for developing nutritional deficiencies. 

    In particular, children who drink
    too much soda (which usually
    starts between the third and
    eighth grades) may miss
    getting the calcium they need
    from milk
    to build strong bones
    and teeth.  Also, soda leeches
    what little calcium the person
    does have from their body.

    Drinking too many sweetened caffeinated drinks could lead to dental cavities (or caries)
    from the high sugar content and
    the erosion of the enamel of the teeth from the acidity. 

    Not convinced that sodas can
    wreak that much havoc on kids' teeth? Consider this:

    One 12-ounce (355-milliliter) nondiet, carbonated soft drink contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar
    (49 milliliters) and 150 calories.

    Caffeine is a diuretic that
    causes the body to eliminate
    water (through urinating), which
    may contribute to dehydration. Caffeine may be an especially
    poor choice in hot weather,
    when children need to replace water lost through perspiration.

    Abruptly stopping caffeine may cause withdrawal symptoms (headaches, muscle aches, temporary depression, and irritability), especially for those
    who are used to consuming
    a lot. Caffeine can aggravate
    heart problems or nervous disorders, and some children
    may not be aware that they're
    at risk.


    FDA Panel Urges Stronger
    Morning Edition,
    September 15, 2004 ·
    An advisory committee recommends the FDA
    issue stronger warnings about the use of antidepressants called SSRIs in
    children and teenagers. The panel concludes
    that available research suggests the drugs can double the incidence of suicidal thoughts and attempts.

    Ritilin and other A.D.D. medications

    Many people do not realize that it just isn't tobacco, alcohol or marijuana which are the gateway drugs to drug use and abuse.  Much of the time, it can be the use and over use of Rx drugs that are given to children and adults too easily.  Once children start taking medications, it can be easier to continue the overuse of medications later on.  Children are taught to say "NO" to drugs, but in many ways, the use of prescription drugs seems passes through the loophole of ease of use.

    And there are side effects to consider.

    Some kids lose a dramatic amount of weight on these medications.  In effect, these medications are prescribed speed.

    Warning about crystal

    Methamphetamine affects your brain.

    In the short term, meth causes mind and mood changes such as anxiety, euphoria, and depression. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, paranoid or delusional thinking, and permanent psychological damage.

    It is like frying your brain on battery acid.

    This woman's picture on the right
    is only three years older since she
    took the one on the left.

    Methamphetamine affects your body.

     Over “amping” on any type of speed is pretty risky. Creating a false sense of energy, these drugs push the body faster and further than it's meant to go. It
    increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and risk of stroke.

    Methamphetamine affects your self-control.

    Meth is a powerfully addictive drug that
    can cause aggression and violent or psychotic behavior.

    Methamphetamine is not what it seems.

    Even speed drugs are not always safe. Giga-jolts of the well-known stimulants caffeine or ephedrine can cause stroke
    or cardiac arrest when overused or used
    by people with a sensitivity to them.

    Methamphetamine can kill you.
    An overdose of meth can result in heart failure. Long-term physical effects such as liver, kidney, and lung damage may also kill you.

    Meth is dangerous and ILLEGAL.

    This is the mouth of a meth user.

    Warning About Marijuana
    Use and Effects on the Brain
    Mar 14, 2006

    Long-term marijuana use could rust your brain

    Long-term marijuana use could rust the brain and gradually reduce the ability to learn and remember things, says a new study.

    Researchers led by Lambros Messinis at the University Hospital of Patras in Greece tested the mental abilities of 20 long-term users who had taken marijuana heavily. They smoked at least four joints a week for an average of 15 years, reported the online edition of New Scientist.

    Their brains were rustier than those of 20 short-term users who had averaged seven years of use and 24 who had used the drug sporadically or not at all.

    Long-term users performed worse in tests to measure memory, learning ability and the capacity to recall information.
    Asked to recall lists of 15 words that they had seen earlier, the long-term users averaged seven, compared with nine recalled by short-term users
    and 12 by controls. (IANS)

    If you have a need for medication or drugs use, then contact us to help you get away from the need to use these drugs. 
    We can help.


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