Neurofeedback Therapy Effective for ADHD
> 8/24/2007 11:40:14 AM

New research leads to signs of potential progress in the often frustrating fight against ADHD, a behavioral condition affecting 3-7% of children worldwide.

Neurofeedback therapy (NFT) is the primary component of a just-released Swedish study in which respective groups of children who'd been diagnosed with ADHD underwent several weeks of either NF exercises or more traditional group therapy in the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or "coaching" model, wherein children are taught very directly how to revise their behavioral patterns. NFT involves literally allowing patients to observe the functions of their own brains via sensors attached to the scalp and their resulting images transmitted onto a computer screen. The treatment regimen may also include electronic exercises essentially disguised as video games that require children to pay very close attention to the task at hand and offer rewards for the successful moderation of related neurological activity. Using this method, even younger children who are less aware of what they are actually doing can subconsciously learn to use these regulatory techniques.

Some of the children who received neurofeedback therapy demonstrated extremely positive results based on parental follow-up surveys. They were reportedly better able to focus and control their impulsive response mechanisms. Still, only 8 of the 17 children in the neurofeedback group qualified as "good performers," and the group as a whole saw very little overall reduction of the cognitive problems defining ADHD. Parental involvement seemed to be an important predictor of later success, as the children of parents who participated in the at-home exercises and encouraged them to practice saw better results.

The use of NFT as an ADHD treatment is not an entirely new concept, having been touted as a valid method for treating ADHD in addition to varied independent conditions such as epilepsy and recurring migrane. Previous group studies produced even more encouraging results than the most recent experiments, with 50% to 80% of children able to reduce or eliminate their ADHD medications under neurotherapy. Researchers also found that, after discontinuation, the gains made during the NFT process remained in place far longer than the strictly chemical influence of ADHD meds. Unfortunately, the NFT process is involved, long-term, and very rarely covered by insurance plans. Most children began to respond only after 40 or more individual sessions. Of course, the children who experienced the greatest success did so while working with a multi-faceted program including behavioral therapy, medication, and parental counseling courses designed to better prepare caregivers for participation in an active therapy program.

All researchers have been adamant in their insistence that neurofeedback not be labeled an alternative to medication. It is a method, not a universal cure; a disinterested child will find little to take from the training sessions. But for those who do not respond well or have averse reactions to medication, NFT could make for a truly exciting alternative.


I'd like to hear negative feedback regarding neuro feedback. It has been recommended for my 8 year old son. Everything I've researched on the internet seems very positive. I'd like to "see" the other side. Thanks, KM.
Posted by: KM 11/16/2007 5:59:14 AM

My daughter has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. She has been on many different medications for over 8 years and she still is not well. We tried neurofeedback therapy and it worked wonders for her. The problem is the expense. Can someone provide me with the name, description of neurofeedback equipment I can use for her at home. I checked out the Brainmaster website and it looks like a puzzle to me. I would appreciate any help thats offered. Sincerely, Judy
Posted by: Judy Sites 2/26/2008 5:07:49 AM

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