Anna Tommerdahl

13 posts

Mold Exposure: A Step-by-Step Guide to Tracking Recovery with a Brain Gauge

You may think of mold as a relatively harmless part of cheese that’s been in your fridge a little too long, or maybe as the penicillin that you take when you get an infection. But for some with genetic susceptibility, exposure to mold/mycotoxins and other biotoxins (like Lyme disease) can have extreme negative effects on their health and can cause symptoms as diverse as brain fog, fatigue, chronic pain, and/or debilitating psychiatric disorders. The large range of usually nondescript symptoms can leave those afflicted confused and frustrated


Possible relationship between ADHD and early onset Parkinson’s

A car can be a very useful tool to get you from Point A to Point B, but if you don’t know how to drive a car, it doesn’t do you much good. Even the most powerful tool isn’t very useful if you don’t know how to use it. Since there’s not a comparable technology to the Brain Gauge on the market today, we understand when people aren’t sure of the best methods for using a Brain Gauge to track their brain health. That’


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


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



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


Problems with concussion testing in sports

Most currently available concussion tests rely on baseline scores. At the beginning of the season, athletes complete an assessment to establish their baseline cognitive health. When an athlete sustains a head injury or shows symptoms of a concussion, a trainer or coach administers the test again and compares the two sets of scores. If the post-injury scores are substantially lower than the baseline results, athletes are removed from play.

At first glance, this approach seems reasonable. Everyone's brain is different, so by comparing a potentially concussed individual to that individual's


Cause or Effect? Alcohol Consumption and Farming Practices

When considering the health effects of “conventional” vs. “organic” food, the debate is usually centered around the consumer: Are there more nutrients in one or the other? Are pesticide/herbicide levels on conventional food significant enough to cause problems? Sometimes the discussion will veer towards which is more costly to the environment, or which is more efficient for feeding a growing world population. However the discussion rarely ventures to the subject of the health of the farmer growing the food, and thus applying the fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. But a


The Speed Measure

Reaction time has been used since the mid-1800s to assess cognitive function, and it is still useful for that today.
The reaction time test has been used for a really long time to investigate nervous system function. Papers written as early as the mid 1800’s describe the reaction time test and since that time, most papers focused on differences in reaction time and other populations. In other words, most of these papers demonstrated comparisons that were made between healthy control populations and populations of individuals that had some condition


Effects of Alcohol on College-Age Brains

Results of our study demonstrate that 18-22 year olds that drink excessively have diminished plasticity.

We conducted a study on college-aged subjects (age 18-22) to assess the impact of their drinking behavior on cortical metrics scores. The study involved testing a large number of individuals in that age range and having them answering questionnaires about their drinking behavior. Interestingly (as an aside), the regulatory oversight committee did not want to approve the study at first because they claimed that the study was assuming that individuals under the age of 21


The Impact of Cough Syrup on Plasticity

Brain Gauge methods are sensitive enough to detect changes in plasticity with a small dose of cough syrup.
Ever take cough syrup and feel a bit strange? And then maybe wonder how it was impacting your brain? It probably did a good job suppressing your cough, but some medications do change the way you think.

One of the studies that we performed over a decade ago investigated the impact of cough syrup on plasticity. Cough syrup – and more specifically DXM (dextromethorphan) – is what is known as an NMDA receptor antagonist.