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Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Health

With concussion being a fairly new term, and brain injury only recently becoming a major health concern, there is so much to know about treatment, symptoms, and the right people to call.  To help you find the answers you need, we’ve created a list of brain health FAQ’s. See the tabs below to get more information.

What is a Health Psychologist?

A Health Psychologist (Behavioral Medicine) deals with social, psychological, behavioral and bio-medical factors related to physical and mental health as they apply to disease prevention, health promotion, etiology, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

What is a Neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the study of brain behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists have extensive training in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. They specialize in evaluating and treating people who are thought to have something wrong with the way in which their nervous system is functioning. From this training, the neuropsychologist can help determine your optimum level of brain fitness.

General Questions

What is the Cost and is This Covered by Insurance?

The Brain Fitness Training Service Program is an all-inclusive program. There is one fee for the first three-month training based on your specific goal. Payment can be made in three monthly installments. Each installment is to be paid in advance of the next month’s services. If you were to prepay the entire three months, you would be entitled to a $500 per month discount.

  • Specific services, such as the brain mapping or cognitive evaluation may possibly be covered through your health insurance policy with prior approval by PCP.
  • Nutritional supplements are not included in the fees. Nutritional products are chosen for each client’s unique body and there is a wide variation in price between the products.
  • Payment may be made by cash, credit card or check made payable to: Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., LLC.

What if I Can’t Make an Appointment?

Since you have pre-paid for your time, you can reschedule. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please give us at least 48 hours notice. If you give at least 48 hours notice, we have time for another client to take that appointment time and your fee for the cancelled appointment will be credited to you and applied to your next appointment. If you do not give us at least 48 hour’s notice, other clients will not have sufficient time to change their work schedules to take the now open appointment. Therefore, with less than 48 hours notice your fee would be non-refundable and cannot be used toward a replacement appointment for you.

How is my Privacy Protected?

For your protection, Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., LLC maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards in compliance with applicable laws and regulations to guard your personal information from authorized access, alteration or premature destruction.

To ensure your privacy and pursuant with HIPAA regulations, I have on file, HIPAA compliant contracts with the following business associates of Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D, LLC and (d/b/a) Dr. Diane®:

  • Office Manager
  • Accountant
  • Financial Planner
  • Billing Service
  • Answering Service
  • Referral Associate: example – Physical Therapist

Concussion and Brain Injury

I had a concussion 2 weeks ago in an auto accident. The MRI shows a hemorrhage on the left outer surface of my brain. No fluid built up yet. I was just released from the hospital, however, am having headaches and am extremely tired. Doctor has advised to take Tylenol for the headaches and to take it easy. Is there anything else I can do to speed up my recovery. I am having another MRI on Monday. I am 31 years old and am very athletic.

It is extremely important at this stage of your healing to rest. Think of a wounded animal who goes into their cave to heal. Initially that is when they rest, then they exercise. As part of my clinical practice I work with professional athletes and even they take time off.

Be prepared that in the next few weeks you may experience more symptoms. Remember all of these symptoms can be treated or compensated for and you can and will eventually resume an active life again. However, once an injury of this type happens to the brain, the next injury is exponential. You need to keep a record of this brain injury.

If you choose not to rest, the recovery is longer and you can possibly have more long term symptoms. Now rest doesn’t mean you have to stay in bed all day. It means common sense. Take a walk, not run and listen to your body. Walking in the water is also helpful, however if you feel fatigued pace yourself.

Eat a higher protein diet and eliminate all forms of sugar, except fruit. This means eliminate wheat, oats, rye, rice, and potatoes, pasta, and cereal. Increase legumes, nuts, soy products, eggs, (whites if high cholesterol), meats, fish and seafood. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.

I have been recently diagnosed with mTBI. I’ve been living with light-headedness, nightly sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, etc, etc, for the past 3 years. My question is: What are the effects of alcohol on a person with a brain injury and where can I find detailed information? I had a drinking episode before I was diagnosed and DO NOT REMEMBER a thing. I have never had this happen to me before. Could it be related to my illness? I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks.

Alcohol is not good for brain injury. Have you read my book? It is clearly stated. As for your symptoms these too are addressed in my book. To help with your symptoms, you have to eliminate all food that converts to sugar in the brain, that includes alcohol. The foods you need to eliminate are the following:

All wheat, rye, oat or rice products–flour, cereals, pasta, bread. Increase your proteins with nuts, eggs, meat, fish, legumes, soy products. Eat fruits and vegetables. If you are diabetic, then you may have to eat more fruits or vegetables. The higher protein diet, the better you’ll be. As for your irritability and moods, Beta Blockers are your best bet. You need to have your primary care physician or neurologist prescribe them for you. Try the diet for two weeks, if you don’t see a difference in your symptoms, go back to your present diet. Regardless, alcohol is definitely not good for a person with a brain injury.

As for your loss of memory, this is part of the diagnosis of brain injury. Otherwise you would have been diagnosed as just having a concussion.

Hello, my name is Trina and I am writing a school report. What is a Stroke? I was wondering if you could Answer this question. Is there ever going to be a treatment about strokes?

I’d be more than glad to help you. You did not say what age you are or the level of education. I will try and explain about stroke. A Stroke is often called a Brain Attack or Ischemic Stroke. Blood is supplied to the brain through veins and arteries. A stroke can be from 2 different causes. Either when the blood supply is blocked off because of a blood clot in the blood supply to the brain thus depriving the brain of blood. This is called an Embolic Stroke. Another cause is when there is a bleed called a hemorrhage in the brain. This is called a Thrombotic Stroke.

Once the brain has been injured this is called a brain injury. On my web site is a list of all the various symptoms from a brain injury regardless if it is from a Stroke or from an outside force. That is called a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI. A stroke is called an acquired brain injury since it is not caused from an outside force. Regardless of the cause the symptoms are all the same.

My book Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury does explain how to treat every single symptom of a brain injury, this includes a stroke. So to Answer your question, yes you can treat a stroke and often very effectively if given proper treatment. Depending where you live your local library should have a copy of my book. If not, you can always purchase it on my web site. I hope this has helped. Let me know how the report turned out and your grade. If I can be of any further help let me know.

How long does it usually take to get back to normal?

It depends on whether you’ve had other injuries to your brain.

Are there any lasting side effects from a concussion?

Maybe. Once you have a concussion, the symptoms from the next brain injury (concussion) will be more intense. Please take care of yourself.

If I were to have a bruise on the brain, can medication dissolve this, without surgery?

If you bruise your brain, rest, water, higher protein diet can help. Medication is used for specific symptoms.

How long should I expect to suffer headaches from the concussion?

Have you been diagnosed with a concussion? Have you seen a physician? If you have a concussion, in general the symptoms will go away in 6 weeks. If they continue, you are experiencing what is called Post Concussive Syndrome. My book goes into extensive detail about it.

What are some tips for recovery?

The brain heals slowly, given rest and time. But there are some things you can do to speed up the healing process: get plenty of rest; gradually resume your normal activities; avoid activities that could result in re-injury to the brain; ask your doctor for help in dealing with your injury; avoid alcohol and unnecessary drugs; talk with your employer about adjusting your work conditions; and if you have difficulty remembering things, write them down. Above all, be patient with yourself.

My family member has a brain injury. What do I do?

If you notice a family member or a friend has long-term symptoms of brain injury, talk to them and their doctor about getting help. Coping with Concussion Mild Traumatic Brain Injury  deals with the causes and effects of brain injury and offers practical suggestions for coping with the problem.

Is treatment available? Whom should I contact in my local area?

Treatment is available to help in dealing with the effects of brain injury. Brain injury can be life-changing and presents new physical and psychological challenges. Loss or change in former abilities brings fear and uncertainty. My book, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, can help you understand your injury and direct you to qualified health-care providers. Consult The Brain Injury Resource Network on this website for referrals, or contact the Brain Injury Association (BIA) national information center (1-800-444-6443).

Since my brain injury, I struggle each day just to do the ordinary things I used to do. I’m afraid and I don’t know what’s ahead. Will I get better?

Every brain injury is different. With time most people recover from their injuries. However, recovery depends on the severity of injury, the part of the brain injured, your age, and how healthy you were before injury. Medical and psychological help is available to help you cope with the challenges and uncertainties of living with brain injury.

What is Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS)?

Post concussion syndrome (PCS) a clustering of symptoms that may appear immediately after injury. Often these symptoms, get better with time, usually in 6 weeks following injury. However, they can continue. If they do and are causing problems in your daily living, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury can help you.

What are the symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Click here for a listing of possible symptoms of a brain injury.

What are some of the danger signs in children?

Your child should be taken to the hospital emergency department immediately if she has had a fall or blow to the head and won’t stop crying; can’t be comforted; won’t eat, or has any of the signs listed above. Vomiting once or twice is more common in children and may not be the danger sign that it is in an adult. Call your pediatrician if you notice: irritability; change in eating or sleeping patterns; lack of interest at play; loss of balance; change in performance at school; fatigue.

Hi! I am still reading your book. I know a little slowly, but I am trying to absorb all that I can. My husband has been leery about discontinuing your diet. He reads it every day, (sometimes 2 or 3 times). He feels desperate to get better. I do not want to discontinue everything. I think the vitamins, magnesium, etc., and no sugar he should stay with, as well as no ice cream. He also wants to keep carbs at a bare minimum, if any. Could you tell me about cereal and bread please? Thanks, Cindy

Grains, such as corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, rice all can be made into alcohol. All of these grains in the brain are converted to glucose. Thus, eating them, to the brain is like drinking a high concentration of glucose. Now the brain needs glucose and amino acids to function. But as you know if you eat too much sugar at first you feel great, but then you get fatigued and foggy. Like after a few drinks. This is the same when a person with a brain injury eats too much grains.

My suggestion, if your husband needs some carbohydrates to increase his quantity of legumes, such as black bean soup, lentils, soy products and soy cereal. He can have more fruits. You can balance his diet with legumes, nuts, fruits and various vegetables. I would never suggest that he not have a balanced diet.

Dear Dr. Diane®, I loved your book and it was most helpful. I’m living with most of the symptoms of brain injury, including fatigue, memory problems, headaches, light sensitivity, mood swings, depression, low energy. I saw in your book and on your website that certain foods and vitamins can significantly impact my recovery. I want to know is there anything that would help me feel better or improve my life. Could you please write back ASAP? Thanks ahead of time. Carol

Over the past 10 years, I have found that certain foods and vitamins can really make a significant difference in recovery. To obtain an optimum result for you, it is important to know your specific needs, such as do you have a cholesterol problem or are you diabetic, etc..

In general the following would be helpful:

  1. Eliminate all alcohol and wine.
  2. Eliminate all sugar and sugar substitutes, instead eat fruit with low sugar content.
  3. Eat lots and lots of protein
  4. Eat lots of vegetables
  5. Drink plenty of water

For a more in-depth and personalized recommendation of the types of foods, vitamins and their amount, you can set up a consultation with me. To see how my diet has helped other people, please read the letters to me on the Testimonials page.

Brain Fitness and Neurofeedback

What is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is one type of Behavioral Medicine using information gained by monitoring skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and other body conditions to promote control over the normally involuntary nervous system through conditioning and relaxation. There are three types of biofeedback: thermal, muscular (EMG), and neurological (EEG). All employ some type of computer or monitoring device, along with electronic sensors to give information about what is going on in the body. For more on Biofeedback, see the the Biofeedback page.

What is the difference between Biofeedback and Neurofeedback?

Biofeedback came out of research in the field of Behavioral Medicine, which is now called Health Psychology. As I mentioned, I am Board Certified in this area. A specialist in biofeedback is called a psychophysiologist.

Biofeedback uses information gained by monitoring skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and brain waves to promote control over the normally involuntary nervous system through conditioning and relaxation. There are three types of biofeedback: thermal, muscular (EMG) and neurological (EEG). We use both the thermal and EEG methods for Brain Fitness Training. All three employ some type of computer or monitoring device along with electronic sensors to give information about what is going on in the body. In thermal biofeedback, which includes methods such as Heart Math’s Emwave that monitors heart rate variability (HRV) and Journey to the Wild Divine, indicates physical changes like changes in pulse rate, body temperature and breathing.

EEG biofeedback, which is now called neurofeedback, shows changes in brain-wave activity. These changes are displayed, as visual graphs, sounds or colors on a feedback display. Using these devices is something like looking in a mirror, but a mirror that shows your inner responses instead of your outer appearance. The appropriate type of biofeedback depends on the nature and causes whether it is for rehabilitation or for fitness training. For more on Neurofeedback and Biofeedback, click here.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain Mapping (Quantitative Electroencephalography), which is often represented as either qEEG or QEEG, is a brain map using an International 10/20 system in an analysis of individual frequencies or frequency bandwidth that make up the raw EEG. By doing so, the Brain Map is used to assess how the brain is functioning. From this assessment, there are standardized methods for improving specific areas of the brain and is done through neurofeedback, which is a subdivision of biofeedback.

What is CranioSacral?

CranioSacral Therapy, developed by John Upledger, is the concept of dynamic activity and the relationship between the CranioSacral system. CranioSacral Therapy is a technique based on Cranial Osteopathy. Like Cranial Osteopathy, CranioSacral Therapy seeks to restore the natural rhythmic movement found between the bones of the skull. It does the same for the movements of the sacrum. The purpose of this is to aid the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system.

However, CranioSacral Therapists believe that the natural movements at the skull bones come from the membrane that lines our nervous system structures, namely the brain and spinal cord. By improving the natural rhythmic movement it helps improve brain functioning. Therefore, is an important part of Brain Fitness Training.

What is entailed in the Brain Fitness Training?

The Brain Fitness Training program is an all-inclusive program consisting of the following 5 parts:

  1. Consult with Dr. Diane®. A consult is usually 90 minutes in length. It consists of gaining background information using Dr. Diane®’s 5 Prong Approach, a unique individualized program and a determination of whether or not the fitness program is appropriate for you.At the time of booking, the amount of time needed for a consult is determined and all fees are paid at the time of booking your appointment. The cost of a 90-minute consult can be paid with a credit card and is reimbursable by many insurance companies.
  2. Intake Phase: Background and information is acquired by each of the various brain fitness health team members.
  3. Assessment & Evaluation: Using scientifically proven methods along with state-of-the-art cutting edge technology. This provides your baseline when starting the program. This includes Brain Mapping, Auditory Evaluation, Sound Evaluation, Cognitive, Reading and Memory Function, Body/Brain Function and Nutrition Response Testing and foods for brain/body function.
  4. Individualized Program: Based on your goals for brain fitness, such as better concentration, along with the results from the intake, assessment & evaluation, the team designs your specific brain fitness training. This part is similar to having a personalized trainer at your sports gym. You will be working with the brain fitness team to attain your specific goal, be it better concentration, focus or overall mental acuity.
  5. Re-Assessment: At the end of a 3 month period, you and the brain fitness team will evaluate your progress toward attaining your goal. This will include repeating the Brain Mapping, Auditory Evaluation, Sound Evaluation, Cognitive, Reading and Memory Function, Body/Brain Function, Nutrition Response Testing and Symptom Survey Form with regard to brain/body function.

What services are included in the all-inclusive Brain Fitness Training program?

The following services are included in this program:

  • Cognitive Evaluation
  • Reading Evaluation
  • Memory Evaluation
  • Brain Mapping (QEEG)
  • Biofeedback
  • Neurofeedback
  • Tomatis Listening®
  • iListenTM
  • Energy Psychology
  • Sport Psychology
  • Integrative Body Work
  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • Nutrition Education
  • Nutrition Response Testing
  • Elite Performance Training
  • Bach Flowers Essence
  • Aroma Therapy
  • Light Therapy
  • Hemoencephalography (HEG)
  • Audio/Visual Biofeedback Equipment
  • Cranial Electrostimulation Equipment
  • Neurofeedback Equipment
  • Home and/or Virtual Neurofeedback Training
  • Reflexology
  • Sport & DeepTissue Massage
  • NeuroMuscular Massage
  • Trigger Points
  • Raindrop Therapy

Who can benefit from Brain Fitness Training?

Anyone who wants to enhance their memory, increase focus, improve recall, obtain peak performance, reduce anticipatory anxiety, or reduce stress. The Brain Fitness Experts help with forgetfulness, memory lapse, memory loss, feeling foggy, confusion, problems focusing, senior moments, feeling lost, detached or “spacey”, special needs, concussion, chronic pain, MS, sports injury, PTSD, traumatic brain Injury, mild traumatic brain injury, stroke, aneurysm, migraine, stress, fibromyalgia, post concussive syndrome, chronic fatigue, brain tumor, second impact syndrome, contusion, ADD, and ADHD.

Support Resources for Special Needs Parents

Dr. Diane® is very thankful to Christy of, for sharing the resources below with us to help support special needs families during COVID-19.

“From the isolation, altered routines, parent job loss, and difficulties with virtual OT, I’m sure you’ll agree our communities have enough to worry about. And now with news that a pediatric vaccine may not be available until late 2021 early 2022, we need to support each other as much as possible. I found these additional resources that might lighten their load. I hope you’ll consider adding them.” – – Christy C., Wonder Moms

Tips for Coping with Covid Stress

Helping Kids Deal with Trauma

Making Special Education Work for Your Child During COVID

Simple Home Modifications for Kids with Special Needs

Guide to Special Needs Trusts

Finding Accessible Apartments

What to Look for in Accessible Apartments

Consult Dr. Diane®

Are you ready to live your life, free from the stress caused by your brain injury? Consult Dr. Diane® and get back to doing the things you want to do.

Schedule Now

Dr. Diane®’s Book

Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. Diane®'s book, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury sets out to cover every aspect of this often mystifying condition.

Buy Now

Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
7 Hodges Street
N. Andover, MA 01845
Phone: (800) 500-9971
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Dr. Diane is a catalyst for change

Image Credit Elaine Boucher

Within each person shines an inner light that illuminates our path and is the source of hope. Illness, trauma, suffering and grief can diminish the light and shroud hope. I am a catalyst for hope and change, offering a way to rekindle this inner light.

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