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                 May 2012 CTA Newsletter
Physical Activity and the Brain
Dr. Perry to Conduct Speaking Tour of Australia in August








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   We are pleased to announce the launch of our new online Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics Clinical Practice Tools. This multi-purpose "App" will provide a fully- automated online application and enrollment process for the NMT Certification Programs and will also provide online access to all of the Certification Program materials.  We are so excited to be able to offer this convenience to our participants; the App will drastically reduce the number of emails that our participants have to keep track of while providing them with a single, organized location for program-related recording links and documents.  
     By Fall, participants in our NMT Case-based Training Series will also be able to take advantages of the convenience offered by our new application.  We will be able to post recording links of each session on a single web-page, accessible to participants only.
     We want to thank our "App architects," Rob Smith and Mark Scott for all of their work in creating this amazing tool.  It will dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of service that the CTA is able to offer.
Physical Activity and the Brain

   The human brain is the organ that mediates our thinking, feeling and behaving. Therefore one of the primary principles in the work of The ChildTrauma Academy is to use an understanding the neurosciences to inform our work with children, youth and adults impacted by a range of brain-mediated problems following maltreatment and trauma. This Translational Neuroscience focus has led to the development of our Neurosequential Model for use in clinical (NMT), educational (NME) and caregiving (NMC) settings.

   One of the most fascinating and compelling bodies of "evidence" in neuroscience is the work examining the effects of exercise and physical activity on brain functioning. Both in animals and in humans there is a well-documented positive impact of physical activity on memory and learning functions (see this article for example). The mechanisms underlying this appear to involve several areas of the brain - and multiple molecular processes that are activated by physical activity (including neurogenesis, differentiation of precursor neurons and epigenetic changes in existing neurons in key areas of the brain, for example).

   Multiple studies have shown that aerobic exercise leads to neurogenesis (new neurons) in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain involved in learning and memory. But just having physical activity and making new neurons is not the full story; it appears that pairing enriched environments (with opportunities for exposure to novelty) with the physical activity leads to the most enduring and meaningful changes in the brain. Therefore, exercise paired with new social and cognitive experiences would plausibly lead to better "learning" outcomes.

    This is very relevant for our current public school challenges. The body of evidence in neuroscience would tell us that the integration of physical activity and exercise into the daily matrix of the school day would have more positive effects than getting rid of recess and expecting children to get their exercise on their own or in some structured activity after school. While those other options are likely to have other positive benefits, the studies would suggest that a more integrated, frequent and repetitive set of exercise activities throughout the day would be more beneficial. Ironically this is just the opposite of what we are doing in most public school settings - and in countries that have acted on this information such as Finland, their public school outcomes have improved and surpassed those in the U.S.

   The Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) Work Group is looking at a host of related neuroscience-informed elements to integrate into the educational setting to create a more developmentally informed and effective learning environment. We will share some of the progress of that group in future CTA Newsletters.


Kempermann G, Fabel K, Ehninger D, Babu H, Leal-Galicia P, Garthe A and Wolf SA (2010) Why and how physi­cal activity promotes experience-induced brain plasticity. Front. Neurosci. 4:189. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2010.00189




Berry Street to Host Dr. Perry for Australasian Speaking Tour: Aug 6 - 24.  REGISTER NOW! 


Berry Street is very excited to announce that Dr. Bruce D. Perry will return to Australia and New Zealand for a three week speaking tour from 6th to 24th August 2012. Berry Street's continued association with Dr. Perry and The ChildTrauma Academy (CTA) means this will be the third time that they have brought Dr. Perry to Australia. This visit will see Dr. Perry present a number of workshops and seminars over the three week period.  Locations include Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and New Zealand.  For further information on each workshop and to register, please go to the Registration Website.

CTA Survey Shows that Presenters Find Case-based Staffings Beneficial 


   In an ongoing effort to improve the quality and range of training experiences, the CTA conducted a survey of all individuals who have presented a case in the context of our NMT Case-based Training Series or our NMT Training Certification Programs over the past few years.  The results were overwhelmingly positive.  To the statement "I feel that I benefited from presenting my client's case, discussing the case with Dr. Perry, and listening to his insight and feedback during the staffing," 55 out of 58 respondents marked that they AGREE or that they STRONGLY AGREE.  Similarly, when asked to rate their response to the statement "My personal understanding of my client's primary issues was enhanced as a direct result of this experience," 54 out of 58 responded that they AGREE or STRONGLY AGREED.   


   More important than this encouraging response was the critical and constructive feedback about how to improve the NMT Case-based Training experience.  We value this input and will work to continue improving our training activities. In the future, for example, we will be offering an web-based, school-focused Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) series for educators - and will likely to the same with the training focused on foster, adoptive and other caregivers (Neurosequential Model of Caregiving).  The process is likely to be similar - web-based with a focus on an actual child - but the actual language and problem-solving process will be specific to the various participant group.  


   We are heartened by these results in that they strongly suggest that our Case-based Training approach to teaching and sharing the principles of the Neurosequential Model is helpful - we are moving in the right direction. If you plan to participate in a future NMT Case-based Training Series, we recommend that you consider presenting a case as you will most likely find, as our survey suggests, that you and your client will benefit greatly from the experience.

Registration is already open for our Fall 2012 NMT Case-based Training Series. Sign up today!

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Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
The ChildTrauma Academy