KUMAAR BAGRODIA has founded a company that improves your brainwaves to help the brain with, anxiety, depression, attention, sleep, obsessions and addictions, among other mental health problems and to also enhance brain functions like memory, attention or even deal with Migraine.
He speaks to PRITI AGRAWAL to describe how the brain can take charge and change itself. At most workplaces, we find that people are working under stress with targets to achieve, productivity demands, long working hours and heavy workloads. But mental stress is not addressed routinely as any kind of discussion related to mental illness is still taboo in India. A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 20% of the Indian population is likely to be affected by mental health issues by 2020. An ASSOCHAM survey of 1,250 corporate employees from 150 companies shows that 42.5% of corporate employees in India suffer from depression or anxiety.
Treatments usually focussed on taking medication that came with plenty of side-effects. NeuroLeap, a brain enhancement drug-free, non-invasive therapy founded by Kumaar Bagrodia offers easy ways to combat mental health issues safely.
NeuroLeap uses advanced brain-computer interface and feedback technologies to understand brain activity based on collaboration between the brain and a device that enables signals from the brain to be read by the computer.
“The NeuroLeap feedback technique is a safe workout for the brain which allows brainwaves to correct themselves. This safe and advanced technology does not pass any electric current, pulse or magnetic wave and is free from side-effects”, says Bagrodia.
The brain itself can change and improve and can become stronger and resilient from within. Bagrodia’s research showed that a dysregulated brain finds it difficult to pay attention or stay calm. Neither can it overcome addiction or depression with yoga and meditation alone
Earlier the belief was that the brain was fixed and unchangeable once it reached adulthood, till science proved otherwise. It has now been proven that the human brain learns and grows even as you age. The brain produces and loses neurons every day. But whether you produce more neurons or you lose some, depends on your lifestyle. “Like the rest of our body, the brain, too, requires regular exercise. This naturally adaptive and organic change is known as neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Through technology, we allow the brain to rework its own neural pathways so that the mind leverages its hardware better,” adds Bagrodia. To understand mental illness, first we must understand that the brain and mind are different. Bagrodia clarifies, “The brain is an organ, but the mind is a manifestation, consciousness. All the emotions, perceptions, imagination and thought processes take place with brain activity. Along with serious mental illness such as ADHD, ADD, migraine, anxiety and depression, NeuroLeap focuses on daily stress, smoking and substance abuse with brain enhancement. It uses advanced brain- computer interface-based technology to understand brain activity. Then we use customised feedback programmes for brain enhancement using technology.”
Brainwave Feedback is a non-pharmacological alternative for mental health and brain enhancement. It originated in USA and was pioneered by NASA, as a way of training astronauts’ brains. Brainwave Feedback or NeuroFeedback is a generic term and there are several types and levels. The Feedback Brain Computer Interface technology Kumaar uses is the most advanced in the world and is backed by DARPA, the US Army, Navy, Airforce and US National Institute of Health.
On an average, the human brain has 100 billion neurons, which weigh 2% of the body weight, connected with other neurons. Every emotion, thought and movement fires billions of neurons in fractions of a second. These neurons ca n be trained constructively. Adds Bagrodia, “By putting sensors on your scalp, brainwaves are read, then analysed to tell your attention, memory, anxiety and mood network and reveal addiction, obsessiveness and compulsiveness patterns. It tracks your ability to learn, to act and think analytically. These are all revealed through your brainwaves. This is the wonder of technology.
“The second part focuses on enhancement. After the assessment, there is a feedback programme made especially for the client for brain enhancement using neuroplasticity. We acquire your brainwaves in real time and give the brain feedback about itself. That feedback is in audiovisual form which the brain watches and improves. It is not a mental activity, which you do consciously. The colour or frequency of the audiovisual has no role to play. The technique works at the subconscious level, and your brain becomes stronger, day by day.” Mental health can be summed up as — ‘my mind is me, but my mind is not my brain’. A healthier mind is reflected through happiness, peace, calm, and the ability to be content, to be able to concentrate and to take action.
Kumaar Bagrodia, founder and CEO of NeuroLeap, Oxford University alumnus, Brain Computer Interface expert.
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