Factors that influence concussion recovery and brain health: Is there an epidemic?

There are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating population brain health, and there is a relationship between speed of concussion recovery and baseline brain health at the population level.

As noted in several previous posts, exercise and keeping an active lifestyle are an important part of maintaining good brain health. And yet, many sports put you at risk for developing a concussion. We hear about football on the news all the time, but athletes in other sports - like soccer, basketball, volleyball, cycling, and even swimming (apparently quite


Going head-to-head with other cognitive scoring systems: case study

There are lots of brain assessment tools commonly used for concussion, but they fail to consistently detect alterations in brain health.

The Brain Gauge system was designed to be used for a wide spectrum of neurological disorders and other situations that benefit from assessing brain health. From the beginning, we set out to design a system in which pre-injury “baseline” measures would not be necessary. After all, many clinicians see patients only after that patient has sustained a potentially concussive impact.

Similarly, it's difficult to approximate a patient’s brain


Tracking Recovery from Chronic Pain with a Brain Gauge

Moving from peripheral to systemic pain
12 years ago, fresh into my first semester of college, I blew out a disc in my lower back. Long story short, I wasn’t one of the lucky >90% of people who feel better on their own within a week or two. My pain continued to progress to the point of turning into Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which included systemic symptoms such as headaches/migraines, brain fog, extreme fatigue and anxiety, in addition to the intense pain and


Are my supplements working?

And perhaps more importantly, am I taking the right amount of supplements?

I am fascinated by the number of supplements on the market that claim all kinds of brain health benefits - things like better memory, optimized brain performance, and even reversal of the aging process. While I am not disputing or supporting any of these claims, what really impresses me is how many people take supplements on the blind faith that they will improve or optimize their brain performance. How do we know that supplements are actually helping us?


Brain Games

Every day, millions of people around the world sign on to apps like Lumosity, Elevate, and a fleet of other programs that promise to increase a user’s focus, memory, and mental performance. Though most previous studies have found these apps’ brain enhancing claims to be dubious (at best), that hasn’t prevented them from garnering enormous and passionate followings. Lumosity has been downloaded over 35 million times from the Apple app store alone. The brain-training industry - which also includes Cogmed, Neuronation, and other cranialnyms - is now valued


Are we getting dumber?

Or just dumber at how we measure brain health?

There have been several articles lately describing the demise of contemporary brain health relative to how “smart” we were 100-150 years ago. Could our brains be decreasing in functional capacity? Has intelligence gone down over the past several decades? We’ll avoid any politically motivated discussions and think about whether there is any data that supports this. We won't discuss whether there is a degenerative process ongoing in the school systems, but rather focus on the data that has been collected


World Records

We’re getting stronger, taller and faster, but are we getting smarter?

Running a four minute mile was supposed to be impossible. Until 1954, most coaches, runners, scientists, and the even world’s top physiologists all declared that humans were physically incapable of a sub 4:00 performance, even given ideal training and race conditions. It was simply too fast.

In 1954 a young medical student named Roger Bannister proved them all wrong. On a windy day in Oxford, England, Bannister ran 1 mile in three minutes and 59.4



Many of the neurological conditions that we study here at Cortical Metrics are a result of a common underlying problem—neuroinflammation. Whether you’re dealing with an acute concussion or a full-blown case of Alzheimer’s Disease, you have neuroinflammation. Specifically with Alzheimer’s Disease, the inflammation is what ultimately leads to the development of the characteristic plaques in the brain, and while drug companies spend years and millions of dollars developing drugs that target the plaques, those drugs are entirely ineffective at decreasing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease


The greatest thing since slicing bread from my diet

Twenty years ago, I would have really benefited from having a Brain Gauge.

At a recent workshop, we were asked some important questions about the Brain Gauge scoring system:

"Can you really see a change with diet?"
"How fast do the changes appear?"

The speed at which your Brain Gauge scores change will depend on the type of lifestyle changes you are making. After beginning an elimination diet, it may be weeks or even months before the toxins have left your body and ceased impairing your


How does the sense of touch differ from all other senses?

Vision and audition do not have the affective influence that somatosensation does.

If you take a quick survey of the number of publications on different sensory systems, you’ll quickly notice that there are about 100 times as many papers published on vision as there are on somatosensation. Vision does, after all, take up about 30% of cerebral cortex and the somatosensory cortex, the region that deals with the sense of touch, only takes up about 8%. This is one reason that many people like to test brain health visually