Studies Confirm Effectiveness of Neurofeedback for ADHD

Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback in which a patient is connected to an EEG machine through the placement of sensors on the surface of the scalp. It is a completely non-invasive process because a gel is used to hold the sensors in place. The EEG machine “reads” the electrical impulses that come from the brain and reproduces them on a computer screen.

Since there are certain brain frequency patterns that are associated with inattentiveness and hyperactivity, while other patterns are more desirable, individuals learn through repetition to train their brains to produce frequencies that are more beneficial for focused attention.

This process has been compared to weight training for building muscles. Proponents of this technique often state that the brain acts like a muscle and can “grow” and become more able to focus through training.

Although there have been several studies on neurofeedback and most of them have had positive outcomes, this technique has not been endorsed by mainstream medicine for a variety of reasons, including the lack of double-blind studies.

One study that was conducted at the Family Psychology Institute in Endicott, New York, followed 100 children and teens over a period of one year. All of them had been diagnosed with ADHD and were taking Ritalin; however, only half the children also received weekly sessions of neurofeedback.

After one year all of the children were doing better, but only those who had received neurofeedback continued to show improvements after they stopped taking Ritalin. In addition, children in the neurofeedback group showed a greater degree of improvement.

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