WHAT DOES IT SAY?
We have watches that count each step we take, phone applications that tally each calorie swallowed and burned, "smartshirts" that measure our heart rate and respiration. We are living in an era of personal data tracking — yet many experts say we're missing a huge opportunity to use our body's data to change our physiological activity for the better.
Researchers are beginning to develop new forms of neurofeedback, which could help people learn to alter patterns of brain activity associated with any number of maladaptive cognitions and behaviors. Early studies indicate that feedback with real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) could help in treating clinical disorders including depression, schizophrenia, addiction and chronic pain.
CONDITIONS WE WORK WITH
We have seen marked improvement in many conditions through the use of Neurofeedback.
ADHD & ADD
Treatment of ADHD, in recent years, has primarily been prescribed stimulant medications. In addition, we are all aware of the concerns with side effects of long term use of stimulants used in pharmaceutical approaches. Neurofeedback therapy as an alternative has been proven to be effective in a number of scientific studies. In the case of traditional pharmaceutical treatment, improvements have not been reported in areas of social and academic skills. Some studies do show varied results on effectiveness, but Neurofeedback has been described as improved attention, decreased hyperactivity, and increased academic and social skills.
Anxiety and related disorders have successfully been treated with Neurofeedback. Studies reviewing anxiety and depression show symptoms can be significantly decreased using Neurofeedback. Based on self-reports, those suffering from anxiety in phobia-related disorders reported decreased levels of anxiety using Neurofeedback. Those suffering from PTSD also showed improvements, reporting decreased anxiety utilizing Neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback being a natural way to retrain neural pathways, it is proven effective without the risk of potentially dangerous side effects using prescription medication.
Study after study has shown the effectiveness of Neurofeedback on symptoms of depression. Research has found that there is a biological link to disorders like depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Despite the biological link, prescribed medication is only mildly more effective than placebo in the treatment of these problems. Studies, including individuals with varying disorders including depression, prove Neurofeedback has significant effects in patience with major depressive disorder.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
PTSD is a widespread mental health concern with dangerous long-term consequences. Neurofeedback has shown promise alleviating overall PTSD symptoms, including underlying neurobiological consequences. Studies also prove Neurofeedback treatment to be effective on those who have not responded to other treatment modalities. Even studies from the Department of Defense condone Neurofeedback treatment for PTSD, saying "We determined the feasibility of the standalone EEG-only neurofeedback training protocol based on in combat-related PTSD."
Migraines effect 4 million people monthly according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Neurofeedback is shown to reduce migraine headache frequency by at least 50% (Stokes). Formal interviews were conducted as well as patient self-reporting to determine the effectiveness. Neurofeedback is a proven treatment for migraines based on another study showing a complete cessation in more than half of the participants, while the remaining participants reported at least a 50% reduction in migraine frequency.
Neurofeedback is an operant conditioning procedure, by which the subject learns to control his or her EEG activity. One study describes 4 out of 5 children designated Learning Disabled showed changes compatible with maturational improvement, based on types of brain wave changes. They go on to say that 4 out of 5 children, treatment showed improvement both behaviorally as well as electroencephalographically. Industry standard tests including TOVA and WISC were utilized to collect this information. Read the full research study below for further details.
Recent studies have suggested that an impairment of information processes due to the presence of cortical hyperarousal might interfere with normal sleep onset and/or consolidation. As such, a treatment modality focusing on CNS arousal, and thus influencing information processing, might be of interest. Using Neurofeedback, one study looking at pre and post measures in insomnia patients shows overall improvements in total sleep time. Among the test groups, only the Neurofeedback training resulted in the increase of total sleep time.
Poor self-regulation of arousal is central to the behavioral difficulties experienced by children with traumatic caretaker attachment histories. EEG biofeedback teaches children to self-regulate brain rhythmicity, which may in turn affect global improvements in the areas of attention, aggression, impulse control, and trust formation. Research literature reports successful use of neurofeedback for children with ADHD, autism, asthma, stroke, and migraine. This study extends current research by investigating the effectiveness of neurofeedback in reducing behavioral problems commonly observed in abused/neglected children.