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New Study Supports Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD

Neurofeedback – also known as EEG Biofeedback – is an approach for treating ADHD in which individuals are provided real-time feedback on their brainwave patterns and taught to alter their typical EEG pattern to one that is consistent with a focused, attentive state. This is typically done by collecting EEG data from individuals as they focus on stimuli presented on a computer screen. Their ability to control the stimuli, for example, keeping the smile on a smiley face, is contingent on maintaining the particular EEG state being trained. According to neurofeedback proponents, learning how to do this during training generalizes to real world situations and this results in improved attention and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behavior.

Neurofeedback treatment for ADHD has been controversial in the field for many years and remains so today. Although a number of published studies have reported positive results many prominent ADHD researchers believe that problems with the design of these studies preclude concluding that neurofeedback is an effective treatment. These limitations have included the absence of random assignment, the lack of appropriate control groups, raters who are not ‘blind’ to children’s treatment status, and small samples. For additional background, you can find a recent review I wrote on existing research support for neurofeedback treatment of ADHD – along with links to extensive reviews of several recently published studies -: How Strong is the Research Support for Neurofeedback in Attention Deficits?

– Results from a New Study of Neurofeedback –

Recently, a study of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD was published that addresses several limitations that have undermined prior research [Gevensleben, et al., (2009). Is neurofeedback an efficacious treatment for ADHD? A randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.]

The study was conducted in Germany and began with 102 children aged 8 to 12. All had been carefully diagnosed with ADHD and approximately over 90% had never received medication treatment. About 80% were boys. Children were randomly assigned to Read the rest of this entry »

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