Neurobehavioral disorders and neurodegenerative disorders are out of control. Greater than 1/10 boys are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. Anxiety and depression are been seen in children as young as 4. Many people are having extreme problems with executive function, which includes learning, communication, cognition, memory and organization skills. Here is a list of 7 factors that can contribute to poor brain function.

1. Head trauma can and does cause many of the issues people deal with. Dr. Daniel Amen, a pioneer in brain rehabilitation, reported “Mild traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of psychiatric illness and many mental health professionals miss it in patients because they rarely look at the brains of their patients. Brain injuries are a major cause of drug and alcohol abuse, depression anxiety ADHD symptoms, suicide, and homelessness.”

2. Low or no exercise hurts our whole body, especially the brain. Exercise helps calm the brain. A recent Harvard report found exercise reduces insulin resistance, decreases inflammation and stimulates chemicals important for brain health.

3. Drugs, legal and illegal, often hurt our brain. Alcohol is included in this. Long term use of drugs often results in the alteration of the electrical output of the brain. We are seeing this more and more with moderate to heavy marijuana users.

4. Low Blood sugar or high blood sugar can cause many problems for our brain. Glucose is a major fuel source for the body. Glucose levels are especially important for the brain. Altered glucose levels can hurt cognition/understanding.

5. Insomnia hurts the brain. Our brain assimilates and resets when we sleep. Brain imaging has shown that the brains of people who do not sleep well resemble brains of those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Chronic high inflammation hurts the brain. Chronic inflammation can cause decreased function in the body. Inflammation often comes from putting the wrong this in our body. Sugar is a substance that is highly inflammatory. High refined sugar consumption is associated with many health issues, including ADHD and depression. A UCLA study found sugar changes memory and learning functions.

7. High stress levels over a long period of time creates problems. I have found that mental or emotional stress can hurt our body even great than physical stress. Chronic high stress can result in PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. High stress can include many different situations. The situations that seem to cause the most problems include the death of a loved one, divorce and major moves/changes of where you live.

Our brain is one of our greatest assets. Brain mapping, lab workups and neurological exams can help determine if there is a brain based reasons behind the symptoms you are dealing with. If we can help you in any way, feel free to contact us at The Martin Clinic at 770.237.3970 or