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Effect of Brain Gym® on Stress Levels and Academic Performance Extensive research in education, brain function, psychology, and neurological imaging, led.

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Presentation on theme: "Effect of Brain Gym® on Stress Levels and Academic Performance Extensive research in education, brain function, psychology, and neurological imaging, led."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effect of Brain Gym® on Stress Levels and Academic Performance Extensive research in education, brain function, psychology, and neurological imaging, led to the creation of Brain Gym  by Dr. Paul Dennison 1. It has been established through past studies that physical movements contribute to brain development in infants and young children; newborns often develop most of their neurocognitive skills through basic movements 2. Physiological factors can influence the body’s ability to develop cognitive and immunological functions, both of which are highly susceptible to the negative effects of stress and anxiety 3. Dr Dennison adapted similar movements and created 26 exercises focused on what he called the Three Dimensions 1 : Laterality, which develops the ability to co- ordinate one side of the brain with the other, Focus, which allows co- ordination between the anterior and posterior areas of the brain and Centering, which is involved in co-coordinating superior and inferior processes. These connections have been studied on their immediate results for reducing stress in the mind/body system but the studies have not been reported by peer-reviewed sources, rather relying on self-published journals to establish credibility 4. The human body’s immune system is built to deal with “stressors”, whether it is a viral infection or the exposure to mental stress. Secretory IgA (sIgA) is the dominant immunoglobulin in external antibody secretions and is found in the mucosal secretions of the upper respiratory system, gastrointestinal, and urogenital-systems 5. Due to the nature of most infections to enter at these points, sIgAs are considered the body’s first line of defense to incoming pathogens 5. A lowered immune system would then lead to higher susceptibility to numerous diseases and infections. Studies have shown that drops in the levels of secretory Immunoglobulin A are witnessed as far as seven days before and six days after an academic examination as proven by Deinzer et al. (2000). In these studies sIgA levels remained unrecovered for 14 days after an academic examination leading to the hypothesis that academic stress is negatively correlated to the immunological function 5. Using such a study format, Jemmot and Magloire (1988) assayed several dental students’ sIgA levels at varying stressful times of the first year of admission; once in September, when levels of stress were the least, three high stress periods (November, April and June) containing important examinations, and at a low stress period at the end of the semester (July). As was predicted, the levels of sIgA were much lower during the high-stress periods in comparison to low-stress periods. Many studies have shown that positive emotions can enhance immune response, while stress can suppress the immune system, mainly regarding levels of sIgA 3, 5. Previous studies have tested the effect of music and positive thinking on the levels of both stress and immune function in normal, healthy individuals which have been shown to positively effect the immune system and academic scores 5,6. In addition, the use of relaxation techniques and soft music elevate sIgA levels by 55% in controlled settings 5,6. Our study assessed the effect Brain Gym had on stress and academic performance. A controlled research group of college students were assessed on levels of stress during a two-month period via SCL- 90 and USQ questionnaires. Subjects were asked to either complete a regime of Brain Gym exercises or watch and summarize a news event, both requiring morning and night involvement. Stress levels as well as sIgA levels were evaluated before, after, and during the semester to assess the clinical use of Brain gym in the control of stress. Introduction Material and Methods ExperimentalControl Twice daily completion of 8 Brain Gym exercises assessed via journal and weekly meetings Twice daily completion of news program summaries assessed via journal and weekly meetings Testing procedures 1.USQ (Undergraduate Stress Questionnaire) -Simple test to assess levels of existing stress in the undergraduate population 2.SCL-90 (Symptom Checklist-90) -A 90-item self-report system inventory that gives a baseline of stress value 3.sIgA (Secretory IgA) Collection-Saliva was collected first and last day of testing, stored at -80 o C Plating-NOR-Partigen  plates utilized for immunodiffuse ring patterning Reading-Rings read in diameter to the nearest 0.1 mm Statistics-Assayed via standard curve (µg/ml) vs. diameter Table 1: Descriptive statistics for sIgA levels (  g/  l) from both the control and experimental groups. S tandard deviation 1 and sample size 2. Figure 1: Shown is the distribution of stress scores between Brain Gym (N=9) and control (N=8) as assess via USQ and SCL-90. Both stress tests were summed and plotted with the means marked. There was no significant difference between means (p>0.05) as determined by an unpaired t test. Standard deviation 1. Figure 2: Shown is the distribution of test scores between Brain Gym (N=9) and control (N=8) as assess via Organic Chemistry testing for both the baseline (semester one) and test one of semester two. Test scores plotted with the means marked. There was no significant difference between means (p>0.05) as determined by an unpaired t test. Standard deviation 1. o Due to the failure of our study, Brain Gym still lacks any scientific recognition for its use in undergraduate academic settings. o Positive stress relief methods and new study skills may be acquired with the induction of certain mental exercises. o These rewards are gained at no health risk to subjects and at no cost. o New experiments requiring a less diverse population and further controls may be usable for future studies. o This research can lead to new studies on other methods of neurological training and therapy. Discussion Acknowledgements I would like to thank Dr. Harrison, Mrs. Kline, Dr. Rehnberg, Dr. Kaltreider, Dr. Chang and Dr. Strassle. 1) Sifft, J.M. and Khalsa, G.C.K Effect of educational kinesiology upon simple response times and choice response times. Perceptual and Motor Skills 73: ) Hakamada S, Watanabe K, Hara K, Miyazaki S Development of the motor behavior during sleep in newborn infants. Brain Development 3(4): ) Ring, C., Drayson, M., Walkey, D. G., Dale, S., and Carrol, D Secretory Immunoglobulin A reactions to prolonged mental arithmetic stress: inter-session and intra-session reliability. Biological Psychology 59: ) Bratthall, D. and Widerstrom, L Ups and downs for salivary IgA. Scandinavian Journal of Dental Research 93: ) Deinzer, R., Kleineidam, C., Stiller-Winkler, R., Idel, H., and Bachg, D Prolonged reduction of salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) after a major academic exam. International Journal of Psychophysiology 37: ) McCraty, M.A., Atkinson, M., Rein, G., and Watkins, A.D Music enhances the effect of positive emotional states on salivary IgA. Stress Medicine 12: Literature Cited Results o No significance difference exists between stress scores as assessed by USQ and SCL-90 for both Brain Gym and control groups, as assessed via unpaired t tests (Figure 1). o Lack of significance exists for differences between academic performance (p>0.05) as assessed via Organic Chemistry examination for both Brain Gym and control groups utilizing unpaired t-tests (Figure 2). o Scores of sIgA for of Brain Gym and control are statistically insignificant for changes in both the preliminary (p=0.7956) and pre-exam (0.1690) readings as measured by an unpaired t-test (Table 1). o Preliminary and pre-exam readings of sIgA for Brain Gym showed statistically insignificant changes (p=0.7518) as measure by a paired t test where preliminary and pre-exam readings of sIgA for the control group exhibited statistically significant changes (p=0.0178) as measure by a paired t test (Table 1). James H. Lantry III Department of Biological Sciences, York College of Pennsylvania MeanMedianRangeS.D. 1 N2N2 Brain GymBefore After Difference News (control)Before After Difference


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