Stuttering

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  • 'Rod' wrote:


    I was hoping add to the conversation but you got everything set for now, I want to wish good luck and stay positive, we'll be here waiting to hear from you. image/icon_razz.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':-P' />




    Thank you Rod!
  • Hello everyone, just a quick update. Since my last post, I have had 2 visits with the neurofeedback folks. One was for shrink-like questions and the most recent was an actual session. I will expound upon this more after I have more sessions.

    In the meantime, Ive found this article and would love some feedback from you all:



    http://stutter-mind-body.blogspot.com/2011/03/neurofeedback-and-stuttering.html?m=1



    Thank you guys
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    Glad it's all going well for you mate! Love to hear about their techniques!

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • Hi J, been following along with your posts, read the article you linked but I can't come up with any specific feedback. I'm really interested to see what kind of progress you make with Neurofeedback training, especially since your last update.



    I'm also really curious to know what your NF sessions are like. Specifically, I'm wondering, how many electrodes do they use, are they all EEG channels or are they taking biometric data also, and what do they do while you're connected to the machine? Are you watching video playback and trying to manipulate it, are you looking at graphs or computer animations, is there music, etc?



    I've been interested in NF for years but don't have it available here as a therapy that you can go buy from someone else (in English, at least), and am now determined to buy some equipment for home use, so I'm really interested in first hand accounts and experience with NF training, especially what the "pros" are doing.



    It would be fascinating and beyond cool if NF can significantly help or even cure stuttering. Best of luck to you, I hope you see some positive movement soon, if you're not already.
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    It's been another week, mate. How are you tracking?

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • Hello everyone. Sorry it's taken me so long to update. I wanted to be sure I had a few sessions under my belt before I reviewed it. As of now, I have had 6 neurofeedback sessions, each lasting 1 hour. Later today I will have my 7th. I purchased a total of 21 sessions. To describe briefly, a session consists of me sitting in a chair and staring at a monitor. From there, 3 electrodes are adhered to my scalp, ear lobe using a gel-like substance. The one for my left earlobe is a ground. The second electrode has been placed directly above my right ear. I am unsure as to what that electrode if for. The third electrode is the one used to measure the brain wave activity. The first half of the session this electrode is placed on the very upper right of my forehead. The second half of the session, it is placed on the right side crown of my head. The neurotherapists are initially wanting to work the right brain as they believe anxiety has some influence on my stuttering, which to a degree it does, though not the cause. I also feel they have more experience working with anxiety issues than a speech impediment.

    The electrodes are then connected to a handheld amplifier which amplify the brain signals they detect. From there, the signals are sent to a computer and displayed on a software with a UI Im not too familiar with nor have they gone into much detail about. The software outputs images to another large display, which is the display I am staring at. This images are made to look like different video games. There are several with the same theory behind them, so I will describe the one Ive been choosing consistently. I am basically looking at a spaceship flying through a tunnel. There is a reward system in place here, where the reward is the spaceship speeding up as well as a lot of exhaust emanating from its tail end. My brain is able to produce more speed/exhaust by matching the wavelength the software is running on at that moment. It's the reward wavelength. When my brain has not matched the wavelength, the spaceship moves very slowly with little to no exhaust. This is all very passive and I have no conscious control over the outcome. If you need more of an explanation, ask away.

    Now the results so far. Well, after 7 sessions I have no discernible affects on my speech. But, I have had massive results with any anxiety I may have had. I have noticed several times where I am in environments where I would usually be keyed up (airport/concert/casino), I am completely at ease and relaxed. The sensation is as if I had taken a benzodiazepine, but without the mental fog. It's just a complete overall excellent sense of well being. I recall being in the Las Vegas airport last week, picking up my girlfriend, and I was thinking wow, Im insanely relaxed right now. And I in no way anticipated this result. Again, it's like being on a benzo but with mental clarity and focus. SO far Ive been pleasantly surprised with this. To be honest, I am not sure if this will "cure" my suttering in any way (we have not touched the left side brain yet), but my God if these effects are long term the quality of life improvement will be incredible.

    They anticipate I may need 40 - 60 sessions. It's insanely expensive. I purchased a package of 20 sessions which was $2K. That by far has been the only downside to this, and a big one at that.

    Ill continue to update as I move forward.
  • JR, excellent update, thanks for all the detail. I agree with you, it seems awfully expensive to be paying as much as it would take to purchase your own equipment, but at the same time, you're also paying for the experience of your therapists, and that really seems to be paying off in a hurry. The exciting thing about neurofeedback, from what I've been reading all over, is that lasting benefits are apparently routinely reaped from just a handful of sessions.



    I don't know where stuttering is said to originate from in the brain, but I hope you keep getting great results like this, and that before your paid sessions are finished with, you start seeing progress in the area you were hoping for. Just very cool all around. Thanks again for journaling your progress here.
  • This is great! My kid has some stuttering issues. Thanks for bringing it up, JReinhal.
  • Maybe slightly off topic. Mainly just some gee whiz information. For those interested in the possible areas of the brain involved in stuttering: 



    Part 1: http://stutter-mind-body.blogspot.com/2011/08/cerebral-cortex-and-stuttering-part-1.html?m=0

    Part 2: http://stutter-mind-body.blogspot.com/2011/08/cerebral-cortex-and-stuttering-part-2.html?m=0


  • I just read this, JR, how did it go?


  • Hello. Today I completed my 12th session. We are really trying to determine where to place the electrodes for treating my stuttering. So far we have settled for one on the left side temporal lobe and the other on the right side temporal lobe. This will hopefully create better left/right hemisphere communication as well as work the speech areas of the brain in the left side temporal lobe. 


    Emotionally I keep getting better and better. I never realized I had this general state of anxiety. Im so relaxed and at peace it's almost scary. 


    My speech is still the same, though. The more research I do, the more I realize just how complicated stuttering is. I suppose that is why the medical field has no answer for the cause or the cure. 


  • Hey JR!  My name is Andrew.  I just now came across this thread and want to ask how the remanning treatments went for you?  I hope well!  I'm very interested because I too live in Las Vegas and have had a stutter/stammer since an early age.  I've tried all sorts of homeopathic remedies, prescription medications, etc, but to no avail has anything seemed to have a lasting effect on my issue(s).  Please update us on your progress as I'm sure I'm not the only one eager to hear the results! 


  • GhastlyPrezGhastlyPrez Ghastly Prezence

    Not sure if you have considered trying some of the racetams for this or not, but in regards for better left and right hemisphere communication in the brain Piracetam is purportedly good for this. And another racetam that you might be able to find useful is aniracetam as it is reported to help with verbal fluidity and memory.


     


    Curious as to how the electrode treatments go for you though, never have I considered using electricity to fix something other than a flatline as I worry that the electricity might play tricks/foul up neural activity.


  • hzahza ✭✭

    Curious as to how the electrode treatments go for you though, never have I considered using electricity to fix something other than a flatline as I worry that the electricity might play tricks/foul up neural activity.


     


    IIRC this is passive electrodes for tradtional EEG neurofeedback, not tDCS or anything like that.


  • Hey dude, 


     


    I actually studdered myself (& still slightly have it). 


     


    What helped surprisingly was detoxing myself from metals which I'm currently doing (Also had a bad teeth grinding problem & fillings). The vaccines before 2002 contained mercury which not all of us can detox properly. For me it was a weird unexplainable anxiety especially when talking on the phone and to people I didn't know. 


     


    Look into Andy Cutler Chelation, that's what helped me. 


  • Aaron, thanks a bunch for your replies and interest.

    Stuttering is a fascinating, yet very frustrating disability. When I'm completely alone, I am 100% fluent. As soon as a listener is introduced, even an answering machine, saying my name becomes a challenge. There becomes an issue with timing between the speech portion of my brain.. and my mouth/tongue/vocal chords. Some studies say stutterers are actually speaking with the wrong portion of their brain.

    As I mentioned earlier, there is no cure and speech therapy has a very low long term success rate. Researchers are looking at dopamine antagonists (anti-psychotics) for stuttering treatment, but to be honest their lists of side effects scares men.

    I'm looking for other alternatives at the moment and nootropics are my next area of interest.

    Hypnotherapy is definitely something I could look into.


     


     


    If a listener cause the problem, can it be anxiety related? Have you tried propranolol before speaking in public?

  • GabrielGabriel
    edited April 2013

    They anticipate I may need 40 - 60 sessions. It's insanely expensive. I purchased a package of 20 sessions which was $2K. That by far has been the only downside to this, and a big one at that.

    Ill continue to update as I move forward.


     


    For that price maybe there is an affordable device you can buy. Is there anything special in that biofeedback equipment?


     


    Dave has devices here http://www.bulletproof.com/accessories/tech/


    There are also open EEG http://openeeg.sourceforge.net/doc/index.html


    There are also devices you plug into smartphone.


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