The course “Brain Health: Mood, Metabolism and Cognition” provides an overview of key factors that can improve mental health, as well as to ensure cognitive health. This course includes a discussion of: (1) the importance of stress management, (2) physical activity, (3) weight management, (4) early diagnosis and proper management of diabetes and pre-diabetes, (5) key dietary factors to “defend the castle”, including the concept of “nutritional psychiatry”, (6) ways to improve gut health so as to improve brain health, (7) proper sleep hygiene, (8) the importance of oral health, and, finally, (9) how to incorporate some of the characteristics of our ancestors’ lifestyle (i.e., address our modern “Paleo-Deficit disorder).
Health professionals who complete this course will gain a much fuller understanding of the factors that impact brain health, as well as a range of techniques to help themselves, and their patients/clients, improve/preserve cognitive function and ensure positive emotional and mental health.
Describes the brain structures and functions that are most vulnerable to trauma. Outlines the major steps in assessing patients with brain trauma and predicting disability. Discusses key clinical features of concussions, penetrating head injuries, and blast injuries. Describes the relationship between brain trauma and dementing illness such as Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Outlines the rehabilitation strategies most likely to improve outcomes in patients with brain trauma. Discusses the practical steps to prevent brain trauma from motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports. Describes how the information in this course can be utilized to improve patient care and patient outcomes. Describes for this course, the implications for nursing, dentistry, mental health, and other health professions.
Describes the chemical content of coffee and tea, and the pathways by which these chemicals affect the body. Identifies the latest findings on the positive and negative health effects of caffeine, and decaffeinated beverages. Discusses the potential for addiction in caffeine users. Advises patients about consumption of caffeine beverages.
Identiies the major components of cognitivebehavioral therapy and the causative relationship between environmental events, thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Lists the common types of flawed and irrational beliefs that create depression, anxiety, and stress. Describes the “ABC” process of converting irrational thinking into rational thinking. Describes cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies for depression and anxiety. Defines “allostasis” and “allostatic load” aspects of stress and describe the “Stress Inoculation Training” approach to stress management.
Explains the concept of emotional intelligence. Describes the relationship between emotions and the brain. Outlines how to use emotional intelligence to reduce negative moods. Explains the concept of social intelligence and its components. Identifies the neural circuitry underlying interpersonal behavior. Describes educational programs designed to heighten emotional and social intelligence.
Describes some of the effects of chronic pain on the brain. Lists the major chronic pain disorders and their treatments. Explains the differences between migraine and tension headaches. Identifies the major sources of back pain and their effective treatments. Describes the differences between trigger points and tender points. Lists methods and techniques of lowering the risk of chronic pain disorders. Discusses the concept of multidisciplinary pain management. Describes the applications of non-pharmacologic pain treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and meditation.
Describes the different definitions of humor. Identifies the various theories of humor. Discusses the physiology and therapeutic effects of laughter. Discusses the use of humor in health care settings and the role of humor for health care professionals. Defines the relationship between children and humor and the elderly and humor. Identifies some strategies for adding humor to health care practices.
Identifies clinical signs & symptoms of inflammation. Demonstrates the connections between inflammatory processes and chronic illness. Describes the role of inflammation in specific illnesses such as heart disease, COPD, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. Lists practical strategies to reduce levels of inflammation in clinical practice. Explains the rationale for good dental prophylaxis and skin care in patients with chronic illness. Describes how the information in this course can be utilized to improve patient care and patient outcomes. Describes, for this course, the implications for dentistry, mental health, and other health professions.