Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

The Smell of Success

Monday, November 18th, 2013 by admin

Leaving summer behind moves families into the joy of comfort foods and holiday baking! We experience new scents, like pumpkin, cinnamon and other wonderful spices that warm us for the colder temperatures.  The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago reminds us that the scent of lemons provides a truly effective boost for our brains! The aroma of lemons stimulates the cerebral cortex, which is the decision-making and problem-solving region of the brain. The extra boost helps us feel more focused very quickly – in as little as 2 minutes, according to recent studies.

Think about adding lemon zest to pancakes or muffins; slicing a lemon to accompany hot tea or a glass of water; or even using lotion with lemon essential oils to provide that extra energy for your sleepy child in the mornings.

Another way to boost the effectiveness of the cerebral cortex is to Brainjog 5-7 minutes, twice a day! Camp Academia and the engaging instructors keep their students’ brains stimulated and growing! Stop by today if you are interested in learning more!

Human skin cells transformed into functional brain cells

Thursday, August 4th, 2011 by admin
Researcher successfully transforms adult human skin cells into functional brain cells, providing further evidence that it is possible to generate new neurons.

There is still more evidence of the ability to create new brain cells: Dr. Sheng Ding, of the Gladstone Institute, has discovered an efficient way to transform adult human skills cells into neurons.  The neurons created by Dr. Ding actually exchanged the electrical implulses that brain cells use to communicate thoughts and emotions.  Ding’s research has enormous significance for regenerative medicine for individuals suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  Ding’s transformation of adult human skin cells into neurons is one of the first documented experiments of its kind.

Dr. Lennart Mucke, Director of Neurological Research at Gladstone, elaborated, “Dr. Ding’s latest research offers new hope for the process of developing medications for these diseases, as well as for the possibility of cell-replacement therapy to reduce the trauma of millions of people affected by these devastating and irreversible conditions.”

Ding’s research builds upon that of another Gladstone Institute scientist, Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD.  Dr. Yamanaka discovered a mechanism by which one could turn adult skin cells into cells that behaved like embryonic stem cells.  Embryonic cells can develop into any type of cell in the human body and possess vast potential for regenerative medicine.  Dr. Ding’s specific extension of Dr. Yamanaka’s findings explicitly shows the ability to create functioning brain cells from adult human skin cells. As embryonic stem cells remain controversial, human skin cells’ ability to be transformed into functional neurons is promising.

Dr. Ding created the functional neurons from two genes and a microRNA from a 55-year-old woman.  His successful manipulation of microRNA circumvents the issue of genome modification, which is not as safe or effective as using microRNA.

Ding explained, “This will help us avoid any genome modifications. These cells are not ready yet for transplantation. But this work removes some of the major technical hurdles to using reprogrammed cells to create transplant-ready cells for a host of diseases.”

Diet and Brainjogging will manage and minimize ADHD symptoms

Monday, June 27th, 2011 by admin

Children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often characterized as being

hyperactive, fidgety, impulsive, distracted and anxious.  These individuals, particularly children, can be considered difficult to handle.  Approximately ten percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.  Traditionally, these children are treated with medication, but a new study in The Lancet suggests that a restrictive diet may yield a significant decrease in the manifestation of symptoms.

Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, the study’s lead author, suggests that many ADHD diagnoses result from external factors, which can be treated by changing the environment in which the affected individual exists (NPR).

Pelsser suggests that there needs to be a shift in the way in which ADHD is treated.  ADHD needs to be approached as a collection of symptoms rather than a disease.  Pelsser goes so far as to draw a comparison between ADHD and eczema, saying, “The skin is affected, but a lot of people get eczema because of a latex allergy or because they are eating a pineapple or strawberries.”

Pelsser’s research indicates that approximately 64 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food. By starting children on very elaborate diets and then restricting that diet over a period of five weeks, researchers were able to minimize symptoms of individuals with ADHD.  Over this five-week period, researchers are able to study which foods cause problems with different children.

Astonishingly, teachers and doctors who worked with study participants reported observable changes in behavior.  The children were more attentive and less reactive.

Despite Pelsser’s research team’s promising results, a restrictive diet is not the answer for all children with ADHD.  As with medication, a diet program should be modified or abandoned in the event that it does not translate directly into results for the child being treated.  Regardless, beginning treatment with a diet, rather than medication, may lead to successful management of symptoms without resorting to medication.

Additionally, Camp Academia, Inc.’s patented cognitive processing software, Brainjogging, successfully manages ADHD and its traditional symptoms.  Brainjogging can be used in conjunction with a diet that treats ADHD.

Listen to this story on NPR here.

Kindergarten readiness and cognitive abilities – know where your child stands

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 by admin

Kindergarten.  Perhaps this is your child’s first year in a formal school environment. Perhaps he or she attended a church preschool or a local playground. Maybe he or she was even a pre-kindergarten student.  Kindergarten is, nonetheless, a vital cornerstone of your child’s education. Camp Academia, Inc. can help prepare your child and your family for kindergarten. First and foremost, Camp Academia, Inc., is an institution of learning.  It is also an educational firm that specializes in enhancing cognitive processing speed.  Processing speed is the most reliable indicator of a child’s reading ability.  A cognitive evaluation for your child will inform your family about his or her cognitive abilities.

A cognitive evaluation investigates your child’s strengths and weaknesses in areas most relevant to reading.  A recent study, conducted by Annmarie Urso, investigated the correlation between slow processing speeds and poor reading skills.  Urso administered the following Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities:  Verbal Comprehension, Visual-Auditory Learning, Sound Blending, Visual Matching, Numbers Reversed, Decision Speed, Rapid Picture Naming and Pair Cancellation and Cross-out.  Camp Academia, Inc. completes the same tests in its cognitive evaluations.  These tests yield a measurement of your child’s processing speed, which correlates directly with reading ability during his or her academic journey.

Call 706-884-4492 today to schedule your child’s cognitive evaluation.

It is important to know where your child stands cognitively.  A cognitive evaluation predicts your child’s learning capabilities before he or she enters school.  If there is an issue, you will be able to identify it and pursue a solution before your child even begins his or her education.

Early intervention is the key to identifying, addressing and treating learning disabilities. It is also essential for understanding your child’s cognitive foundations before he or she enters kindergarten.  Camp Academia, Inc.’s cognitive processing software, Brainjogging, can enhance cognitive processing speed for students whose processing speeds are slower than desirable.  Brainjogging sessions provide additional support for students in need of cognitive enhancement.

Feel good about where your child stands cognitively; a cognitive evaluation will illustrate the nuances of your child’s cognitive framework even before he or she begins school and problems can be identified by a teacher.

Urso, Annmarie. Processing speed as a predictor of poor reading. Diss. University of Arizona, 2008. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2008. Print.

Boost language proficiency by treating your child as a conversation partner

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by admin

Some topics are not appropriate for children, particularly those between the ages of three and six.  Children at this age do, however, need to be treated as conversational partners in order to increase their capacity for and understanding of academic language.  Academic language is not independent of a child’s natural language; academic language is the language that teachers and other professionals in the field of education use to communicate with children – and usually expect students to employ. Academic language typically includes abstract concepts and words, difficult words and elevated sentence structures (Science Daily).  It also contains clauses and conjunctions.  Simple sentences are not typical of academic language, but compound, complex and compound-complex sentences are. Many instructions are conveyed using academic language, both in the home and in educational environments.  Verbal instructions are very often conveyed in academic language.

Lotte Henrichs, a Dutch researcher, investigated the extent to which 150 children, ranging in age from three years to six years, were exposed to academic language in the home and in a nursery school and then early education environment.  Henrichs followed the students for three years.  She found that even in nursery school, teachers use academic language with students.  At home, reliance upon language varies. The children of parents who approached them as conversation partners, by encouraging turn-taking in conversations and the discussion of interesting subjects, were more likely to be receptive to, understanding of and comfortable with using academic language.  Allowing children to participate in conversations often enables them to become fluent in academic language without tremendous direct effort to address the need to develop familiarity with academic language.

Some children, however, do not become fluent in academic language, even if their parents and siblings treat them as conversational equals. That’s where Camp Academia, Inc.’s Brainjogging can be of assistance.

Children with learning disabilities, particularly language processing disorders, are in particular need of assistance with learning to use and understand academic language.  Camp Academia, Inc. tutors students in the tools they need to understand and employ academic language.  Brainjogging, Camp Academia, Inc.’s cognitive processing software, primes students’ brains to be receptive to language and abstract concepts.  Tutoring-like sessions complement Brainjogging, which is used twice daily in the home environment and once during Camp Academia, Inc.’s Brainjogging sessions with a cognitive therapist.

Virtual conversation simulator beneficial for adults with autism

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 by admin

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. recently published a study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking that investigated the effectiveness of a virtual conversation simulator in enhancing the conversational integrity of adults with autism.

A hallmark of autism is a degree of difficulty in communicating with other individuals, particularly in social interactions that require insight into and awareness of non-verbal conversational clues.  Many individuals with autism have normal intelligence levels but struggle with social situations.  Doctors from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and SIMmersion LLC in Columbia, Maryland, engaged adults with autism in a virtual conversation simulation program.  The prototypical program was designed to assess the value of such a program for individuals, specifically adults, with autism (ScienceDaily).

The study’s participants included 12 adolescents and adults with autism.  These individuals engaged in a virtual conversation simulator with an onscreen partner designed to replication realistic feedback triggered by the participant’s conversation responses (Trapgnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., & Bell, C.A., 2011).  After two weeks, the participants were asked to use a Likert-type scale to rate the degree to which they found the simulator beneficial.  Study participants rated the simulator as highly beneficial.

One of the particular deficits associated with autism is the ability to understand and utilize pragmatic language, specifically elements of pragmatic language that often arise during conversations.  The researchers’ prototype rated individuals on their ability to manipulate, maintain and pleasantly conclude conversations on various topics, not just the participant’s preferred topics (Trapgnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., & Bell, C.A., 2011).  This initial prototype for a virtual conversation simulator program supports the development of a more sophisticated program to investigate the degree to which virtual conversation simulators actually improve upon the pragmatic language skills of individuals with ASD.

Camp Academia, Inc. offers tutoring services for students with learning disabilities, and is particularly successful with individuals with ASD.  Camp Academia, Inc. has offices in Columbus and LaGrange, Georgia, and utilizes BrainJogging, its patented cognitive processing software.

Trepagnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., and Bell, C.A. (2011). Virtual conversation partner for adults with autism [Abstract]. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(7).

Katie Cyphers named to the board of directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by admin

Camp Academia, Inc.'s Katie Cyphers has been named to the board of directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America.


Katie Cyphers of LaGrange, Georgia was recently named to the board of directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) for the 2011-2014 term.  Cyphers 26, the youngest person ever to be named to the prestigious board, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and holds  Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Special Education.

“LDA is the premier organization in the U.S. for individuals concerned about learning disabilities,” said Cyphers.  “I love that LDA has followed me throughout my career; it isn’t just for teachers or parents. As a student, I found opportunities to connect with wonderful mentors across the nation, including the authors of my textbooks. When I became a new teacher, I found myself connecting with others who taught me valuable teaching strategies. Now as a young professional, LDA has given me the opportunity to advocate on a national level for students with learning disabilities and has provided me with the latest research. At the most recent conference, I was able to meet Dr. Janet Lerner and Dr. Larry Silver, two of the most well-known professionals in the field.”

Cyphers, who works as the Director of School Systems and Special Projects for Camp Academia Inc., Home of Brain Jogging, at 1507 Vernon Road, LaGrange, Georgia, is responsible for implementing the ground-breaking, patented computer software, known as Brainjogging for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, language processing disorders, attention deficit disorder,  autism,  and developmental delays.  Cyphers  implemented Brainjogging in a Senior Adult Pilot Program in local retirement communities to improve short-term memory, processing speed, and retrieval.  Camp Academia also has an office in Columbus at 6501 Veterans’ Parkway.

Cyphers is passionate about her cause, “LDA is more than just an organization; it is a family that will support me for the rest of my career. Together, we will create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities and seek to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations.”

You can join Cyphers in her fight to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations by visiting or visit the LDA website at

Contact: Katie Cyphers, 706-884-4492

Camp Academia, 1507 Vernon Road, LaGrange, GA 30240

Brain flexibility can predict one’s ability to learn

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 by admin

This week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) will contain a study in which researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Brain Imaging Center recently developed a mechanism to determine how much a person is able to learn (Science Daily).

Researchers had study participants perform a motor task in which they pushed a series of buttons as quickly as possible.  While participants performed this task, researchers conducted functional MRI images of their brains.  Each fMRI image was divided into 112 regions and analyzed to discern how many different regions connected while the participants performed their motor task.  The researchers paid close attention to the interaction of multilayer networks, which show segments of different brain regions at one time, rather than individually.  Each segment is capable of containing a large amount of data, which is not yet quantifiable.  However, viewing connections between different regions simultaneously illustrated networks of communication of different brain layers, or multilayer networks.

The researchers were investigating brain flexibility, which they considered to be how various areas of the brain connect to each other in differentiated patterns.  Their findings suggest that a person’s brain flexibility can predict how well they will learn.

First author Danielle S. Bassett stated, “Parts of the brain communicate with one another very strongly, so they form a sort of module of intercommunicating regions of the brain.  In this way, brain activity can segregate into multiple functional modules.  What we wanted to measure is how fluid those modules are.”

Fluidity between each module in the brain may indicate increased flexibility of the brain.  Most significant is the fact that brain regions flexibility, and allegiances with other brain regions, can change over time.

Bassett explains, “That flexibility seems to be the factor that predicts learning.”

Brainjogging trains the brain, taking full advantage of its plasticity, or flexibility.  Plasticity is the characteristic that allows brains to change.  This is the reason for Brainjogging’s successes with students: students’ brains actually change when using Brainjogging, becoming more and more flexible and receptive learning.

Work it out: train your brain

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by admin

Research from the Salk Institute suggests that using a muscle can cue neuromuscular synapses to form around that muscle, making that muscle more efficient.  The brain is a muscle – exercising it as one would any other muscle strengthens the brain’s ability.  All messages in the body rely on synapses, small junctions that “coordinate communication between nerves and the muscles they control” (Salk).  Synapses are not finite; individuals can cultivate development of synapses even when synapse growth seems to be independently stagnant.  Salk Institute researchers, including Kuo-Fen Lee, the senior author of the study, hoped to discern whether or not initiation of synapse development is nerve-independent.  Essentially, they hoped to understand if cues from muscles could stimulate synapse development.Researchers studied growing mouse embryos, specifically the clustering of neurotransmitter receptors, which are considered “an acceptable indicator of synapse formation” (Salk).   In 14-day old embryos, neurotransmitter receptor clusters were “not apposed by nerves,” which indicated that initiation of synapse formation was not nerve-dependent. The scientists genetically altered the embryos so that they would not grow a phrenic nerve, “which normally innervates the diaphragm muscle that is essential in controlling breathing” (Salk).  Despite the absence of a phrenic nerve, the mice had normal receptor clustering in the diaphragm muscle.  The clustering occurred around the midband of the muscle, where contractions occur in the fully-formed diaphragm muscle.  It appears that “by beginning to form synapses along the midband, the muscle attracts nerve cells to the appropriate location to form connections” (Salk).

The significance of this study cannot be overstated – individuals can use specific muscles to attract more clusters of neurotransmitter receptors and stimulate the development of synapses.  Stroke victims can regain function of their limbs by slowly exercising muscles and facilitating synapse formation; so, too, can paraplegics.  Individuals with learning disabilities can also gain more control over their body.  These individuals may not have enough synapses; by using Brainjogging, they stimulate synapse development, thereby increasing their brain’s efficiency.  Increased synapses allow communication to occur more quickly in the brain.  This increased communication leads to greater processing speed.  Individuals with learning disabilities can increase their overall ability to process information by working their brain using Brainjogging.  Brainjogging actually trains the brain to be more efficient by stimulating synapse creation.

ADHD, depression and suicidal thoughts

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by admin

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalentdisorder, affecting approximately 4.4 million children in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  ADHD is often characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  A study from the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh suggests these traits may make children with ADHD more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts as young adults. This study was also reported by CNN.A long-term study published in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that children diagnosed with ADHD between ages 4 and 6 “are more likely to suffer from depression as adolescents than those who did not have ADHD at that age” (Science Daily).  The inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity so commonly identified in children with ADHD may “cause poor performance in school, difficulties in social situations and a loss of confidence and self esteem.”

The study followed 123 children diagnosed with ADHD at age 4 to 6 for up to 14 years, until they reached ages 18 to 20.  It compared them with 119 children from similar neighborhoods and schools, matched for age, sex and ethnicity.  The children were assessed annually in study years 1 through 4, 6 through 9 and 12 through 14. (Science Daily)

Eighteen percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD at a young age suffered depression as adolescents.  This figure is approximately 10 times the rate of that found in adolescents without ADHD.  Kids with ADHD were also five times more likely to have considered suicide at least one time, and twice as likely to have made an attempt (Science Daily).

Benjamin Lahey, Ph.D., a professor of health sciences and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, cautioned, “Suicide attempts were relatively rare, even in the study group.  Parents should keep in mind that more than 80 percent of the children with ADHD did not attempt suicide and not one in this study committed suicide.”

Nonetheless, the study indicates that parents of children that are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age should be keenly aware of their child’s emotional state.  Additionally, “children with inattention or combined subtype were at greater risk for depression.  Those with combined type or hyperactivity were at greater risk for suicidal thoughts.” Children with more complicated ADHD were more likely to be depressed and/or have suicidal thoughts than were children with less complicated ADHD.  Complication refers to the extensiveness of ADHD’s prevalence, whether or not children suffered from anxiety, displayed oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Although more boys than girls have ADHD, “being female increased the risk for depression.”  So, too, did having a mother who had suffered from depression.

Unfortunately, Brainjogging has witnessed the tolls of ADHD and depression on some of its own students.  Brainjogging, however, counteracts depression and enhances impulse control in individuals with ADHD.  Brainjogging is a viable solution to ADHD and related depression.