California Educator

February 2015

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Feature migraines, so they are not incapacitated by headaches lasting for days on end. "In nearly all of the clients, it helped alleviate PTSD symptoms and headaches, and improve the quality of sleep and emotional stability," he relates. "It decreased anxiety and also enhanced their ability to interact in public and comply with programs and services in a homeless shelter toward independent living. Many were able to have a reduction in terms of medication." One of his clients, a vet who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, used to swerve at every crack on the freeway thinking it was an IED (improvised explosive device), and woke up in the middle of the night with bad dreams. However, since neurofeedback, he is able to drive without swerving and is not experiencing night- mares on a regular basis. Another client, Brittney Cooper, 12, suffered from frequent seizures, but hasn't had a single one since beginning neurofeedback. Abara suspects her brain is learning to control abnormal activity. "I feel better after I have had a session," says Brittney, who enjoys making the dolphin jump through hoops. "I feel happier than before and calmer. I'm more relaxed." Her mother, Tiffiney Cooper, says the four months since beginning neurofeedback is the longest period her daughter has gone without a seizure. But the sessions have helped in other areas, too. "This is the best school year she's ever had. She was a C student, and now she's getting straight A's. Emotionally, she's able to handle situations better than before. Before neurofeedback, she would get really worked up, and some- times it would be the onset for one of her seizures. We are very grateful that Dr. Abara has opened his door to us." In the future, Abara envisions neurofeedback being used on a routine basis to help athletes perform better and students study better, and even for job training. T h e N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e s o f H e a l t h awarded CSU Northridge nearly $22 million over five years to help mentor and train minority students for careers in bio- medical research. The grant — the largest single grant the school ever received — will fund a pro- gram that aims to address racial disparities in the field of biomedicine. Abara is looking forward to attracting a more diverse student population in his program. "I'm very excited about the future of this program and what we are yet to discover," says Abara. "There is so much to learn about the human brain." "I'm very excited about the future of this program and what we are yet to discover," says Abara. It is a beautiful dance between the brain, the computer and the screen. JOSE ANTONIO PAULINO ABARA P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N 12

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