Welcome To The Wonderful World Of
AMAZING SMART KIDS
A Movement For Raising Awareness And Funds For Kids With Brain Disorders
Our story started back in 2013.
Janine, my dear friend, was living a nightmare.
Two of her three boys were having seizures. The youngest Mac, was only 4 weeks old. He was having more than 100 seizures a week. Beck, the middle boy aged 2 , suffered his first major seizure aged 9 months. He had stopped talking, was terrified of noise, could not identify objects, was physically weak and did not socially engage. Even though Janine had the support of the Neurologists from PMH she felt that she needed more. Janine was desperate for answers as to how to stop the seizures and enable her children to lead a normal life
I felt powerless to help my dear friend in her plight. I am sure there are many others who feel as I did. Painful to watch someone you care about drown in hopelessness whilst working hard to get through each day.
Janine’s nightmare began when Beck, her second son was 9 months old. She had gone to check on him in his cot as he was crying. When she got there he was doing rhythmic jumps – immediately she and her husband, Brett called an ambulance.
At Princess Margaret Hospital, Beck had his first massive seizure that caused him to go unconscious. Recalling this memory evokes strong emotion in Janine. She still feels the heartbreak of that first moment. You cannot help but feel deep anguish for her, and other mothers, that have had similar heartbreaking moments. One can only imagine the powerlessness to protect your child from such a frightening ordeal.
A week in hospital with a barrage of tests did not help the problem. The ECGs showed no abnormal activity in the brain even with a seizure happening. Medication could not be administered until some type of developmental issue showed.
Subsequently, every time little Beck was challenged in some way by a cold he would go into a drop seizure. The worst was 40 drop seizures in one month.
When Janine was 7 months pregnant with Mac, her anxiety escalated as Beck was having seizures on her pregnant belly. How was she going to cope with a baby as well as little Beck’s needs? He was so small, weak and fragile from all the seizures. He had been through so much for his few years. Little did she know her problems were going to magnify.
Janine begged for an answer to be found. They sent Beck to Neurology for lumbar puncture and nuclear testing. The tests are so distressing for children that parents are urged to go out of the room. It still breaks Janine’s heart to think about what little Beck went through. She had to let this happen to her son for his own good. Janine is not alone in having to let her child go through such an ordeal; there are many other parents going through the same anguish.
Beck’s seizures did calm down when Mac was born. Janine knew though that something was not quite right with Mac as he got scared really easily. Her nightmare was about to ramp up. Within 4 weeks he was having seizures every 10 minutes whilst awake.
Apart from the actual seizures themselves (can you imagine nursing your baby whilst he is having seizures and having to monitor your toddler who could have a seizure as well as worry about your seizure free child not getting attention?) Beck’s physical and mental condition was deteriorating. He would just gaze into space and did not have the strength to walk. When was this nightmare going to end? What was the future going to hold for her children?
Then by chance in a conversation I was having with a friend about Janine’s horrendous ordeal she gave me a telephone number that was something to do with neuroscience. The number was The Institute of Functional Neuroscience. Dr Beck, a Functional Neurologist who works with other Doctors around the world with the newest technologies, is an expert on neuroplasticity. Simply said, this means that the brain has the ability to re-wire and change and Dr Beck has the knowledge, the team and the equipment to facilitate these changes.
I will detail their progress and the changes to Beck and Mac in a following blog. Their progress has been remarkable as a result of the science of changing the brain, the highly qualified team led by Dr Beck and Janine’s unrelenting application of the daily exercises to help change the brain.
We are an online movement raising awareness and funds for kids with brain disorders.
We ask you to join our movement by sharing our story and participating in our pre-sale buzz campaign by purchasing a copy of “Lindacita Sails the Bahamas” by LJ Morison . You will receive a free A3 poster of the artwork of the book cover by renowned artist Andy Monks. Delivery of the book and poster will be by mid December 2017.
Do you have a child with a brain disorder? Do you have a family member with a child with a brain disorder ? Are you a friend or acquaintance of a family with a child with a brain disorder?
If yes, we need you to take action today and make this buzz campaign a
Neuroplasticity: Your Ever Changing Brain
By Dr Randy Beck BSc, DC, PhD, FAAFN, FACFN
Neuroplasticity or cortical plasticity is the remarkable ability of the brain to reorganise the activity of certain cells in the brain called neurons in response to our ever-changing world. This reorganisation can range from molecular processes to behavioral activity; and can be influenced by developmental processes, environmental stimuli, learning activity, disease, injury or therapeutic intervention (Cramer et al., 2011, Beck, 2007).
The process of neuroplasticity, which is essential for learning and repair in the brain must also be extremely well regulated as not to become destabilizing by continuously modifying previously learned processes, activities and memories. Thus plasticity can be viewed as adaptive when associated with a gain in function or as maladaptive when associated with negative consequences such as increased injury, loss of function or increased unwanted activity. For example, epilepsy is a common complication of brain trauma, often arising months to years after the original injury. This delayed onset suggests that progressive reorganization in the brain, such as sprouting of new processes called axons and the formation of new connections, produce alterations in the way neurons communicate that result in the production of seizures. Other examples suggestive of maladaptive plasticity include chronic pain and other sensations following injury to a limb, such as amputation or injuries to the spinal cord.
This reorganisation, adaptive or maladaptive is experience dependant and is sensitive to internal and external environmental demands that can result in changes in the size and shape of the receptive fields, neuronal firing rates, temporal precision, and combination sensitivity in the brain (Moucha and Kilgard, 2006).
The type and magnitude of resulting plasticity is dependant on variables including the duration and nature of the experience and its behavioural and emotional significance, which are conveyed by the release of modulator neurotransmitters such dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Attention plays one key role in the regulation of plasticity of sensory experience. It has been repeatedly observed that meaningful, lasting plastic change is significantly facilitated when the individual attends to the process in some way.
Applying our knowledge of neuroplasticity to treat a number of brain dysfunctions including traumatic brain injury and childhood developmental disorders is now possible.
Traumatic Brain (Head) Injury
It was proposed two decades ago that guiding neural reorganization in a manner that facilitates recovery or development of stable rather than reversible synaptic plasticity resulting in normalization of functional activity is a primary goal of neurological rehabilitation and that cortical reorganization after injury is the neural substrate for recovery of function after brain damage (Jenkins and Merzenich, 1987).
There is no longer a doubt that reorganization after brain lesions is shaped by the sensory and motor experiences in the weeks to months following injury. Hence it is important to effectively manage plasticity after brain injury. Many of the factors that influence plasticity can be manipulated in clinical settings to enhance therapeutic outcomes (Beck, 2013a).
Childhood Developmental Disorders
Several hypotheses concerning the interaction of development with neuroplasticity have emerged. For example, a greater propensity for large-scale neuroplasticity in the paediatric age range has been hypothesized to be attributable to the over abundance of neuronal cells and synaptic connections that characterize early postnatal development, which then undergo pruning through a discrete period of experience-dependent competition. Other developmental events, such as maturation of inhibition, extracellular matrix and myelination, also account for the closure of developmental critical periods with their unique forms of plasticity. We can use our knowledge of these events to help redirect brain development to produce more productive brain patterns (Beck, 2013b).
The potential and possibilities of using neuroplasticity for treatment of a variety of brain disorders is currently under investigation by a growing number of investigators including the Institute of Functional Neuroscience.
Beck RW. Functional Neurology for Practitioners of Manual Therapy. Elsevier 2007.
Beck RW. Identifying and Treating Cortical Asymmetry with EEG and LORETA Imaging. Journal of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation. Vol1:1, 2013a
Beck RW. Direct Current Stimulation Guided by EEG and LORETTA Imaging and Post-scar epilepsy. Advances in Functional Medicine Vol.1:1 2013b
Cramer, S.C., Sur, M., Dobkin, B.H.. O’Brien, C., Sanger, T.D., Trojanowski, Rumsey, J.M., Hicks, R., Cameron, J., Chen, D., Chen, W., Cohen, L.G., deCharms, Duffy, C.J.,
EdeF., Fetz, E.E., Filart, R., Freund, M., Grant, S.J.,Haber, S., Kalivas, Kolb, B., Kramer,A.F., Lynch, M., Mayberg, H.S., McQuillen, P.S., Nitkin, R., Pascual-Leone, A., Reuter-Lorenz, P., Schiff, N., Sharma, A., Shekim, L., Stryker, M., Sullivan, E.V., Vinogradov, S. (2011) Harnessing Neuroplasticity for Clinical Applications .
Moucha, R and Kilgard, M; Cortical Plasticity and Rehabilitation in Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 157 Moller (Ed.) pp. 111-122. ISSN 0079-6123, 2006 Elsevier B.V.
Dr Randy Beck, BSc (Hons), DC, PhD, FAAFN
Dr. Randy Beck is an internationally renowned expert in the field of clinical neuroplasticity and neuroplastic restructuring techniques. His textbooks on the subject are considered the standards in education and clinical practice in the field of Functional Neurology.
Dr Beck currently guest lectures in the School of Medicine, University of Western Australia in the school of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience and has previously held positions as Professor in Clinical Neurology at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies in Florida, USA and Senior Lecturer in Neurology and Clinical Diagnosis at Murdoch University in Perth. Dr. Beck is the past President of the Australasian Academy of Functional Neurology.
Dr Beck graduated from The University of Western Ontario, London and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Canada. He has subsequently completed a PhD focusing on Psychoneuroimmunology. He has been involved with post-graduate and undergraduate education of chiropractors and medical students for over 15 years. Dr Beck holds fellowships in both the Australasian Academy of Functional Neurology and the American College of Functional Neurology. He is currently the chairman of the advisory committee of the Australasian Institute of Clinical Neuroscience.
Dr Beck has authored several textbooks, published by Elsevier. The first and second texts entitled Functional Neurology for Practitioners of Manual Therapy and Functional Neurology for Practitioners of Manual Medicine remain the pivotal foundational texts in the field. Dr Beck has also authored numerous textbook chapters, journal articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr Beck is the recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award from Murdoch University and the Neurologist of the year award of the International Association of Functional Neurology, Rehabilitation and Ergonomics.