Below you’ll find abstracts from published papers on the efficacy of neurofeedback for performance enhancement and treating a variety of medical conditions. This content is for informational purposes only.
The scientific principles examined in this research were considered during the design of Versus. However, Versus is not a registered neurofeedback device and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or disorder. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider on any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
This review article summarizes some recent developments in psychiatry such as personalized medicine, employing biomarkers and endophenotypes, and developments collectively referred to as neuromodulation with a focus on ADHD. Several neurophysiological subtypes in ADHD and their relation to treatment outcome are reviewed. In older research the existence of an “abnormal EEG” or “paroxysmal EEG” was often reported, most likely explained by the high occurrence of this EEG subtype in autism, as the diagnosis of autism was not coined until 1980. This subgroup might respond best to anticonvulsant treatments, which requires more specific research. A second subgroup is a beta-excess or beta-spindling subgroup. This group responds well to stimulant medication, albeit several studies suggesting that neurophysiologically this might represent a different subgroup. The third subgroup consists of the “impaired vigilance” subgroup with the often-reported excess frontal theta or excess frontal alpha. This subgroup responds well to stimulant medication. Finally, it is proposed that a slow individual alpha peak frequency is an endophenotype related to treatment resistance in ADHD. Future studies should incorporate this endophenotype in clinical trials to further investigate new treatments for this substantial subgroup of patients, such as NIRS-biofeedback, transcranial Doppler sonography biofeedback, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or medications such as nicotine and piracetam.
Until recently, treatment has been limited to management through the use of powerful stimulant drugs, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), and behavior modification. Medication has significant side effects, and even the most elaborate behavior modification programs do not generalize to nontrained behaviors or carry over to the school environment (Gaddes & Edgell, 1994). Cessation of either treatment results in the rapid return of pretreatment symptoms and dysfunction. In contrast to symptom management approaches, neurotherapy (brainwave biofeedback) provides a rehabilitative approach, but may take as many as 40 to 80 sessions. In this chapter, we introduce a new hypnotic-attentional instruction procedure to facilitate normalization of EEG and to accelerate neurotherapy retraining by reducing the number of sessions required by half. We also review the most recent diagnostic considerations, prevalence issues, and traditional treatments.
The sleep EEGs of eight medically refractory epileptic patients were examined as part of a double-blind, ABA crossover study designed to determine the effectiveness of EEG biofeedback for the control of seizures. The patients were initially reinforced for one of three EEG criteria recorded from electrodes placed over sensorimotor cortex: (a) suppression of 3- to 7-Hz activity, (b) enhancement of 12- to 15-Hz activity, or (c) simultaneous suppression of 3- to 7-Hz and enhancement of 11- to 19-Hz activity. Reinforcement contingencies were reversed during the second or B phase, and then reinstated in their original form during the final A′ phase. All-night polysomnographic recordings were obtained at the end of each conditioning phase and were subjected to both visual and computer-based power spectral analyses. Four of the patients showed changes in their nocturnal paroxysmal activity that were either partially or totally consistent with the ABA′ contingencies of the study. The spectral data proved difficult to interpret, though two trends emerged from the analyses. Decreases in nocturnal 4- to 7-Hz activity were correlated with decreases in seizure activity, and increases in 8- to 11-Hz activity were correlated with decreases in seizure activity. These findings were shown to strengthen the hypothesis that EEG biofeedback may produce changes in the sleep EEG that are related to seizure incidence.
Previous observations suggested that chronic anger may be associated with persistent excessive high-frequency beta activity in one or more cortical areas and that poor anger control may be associated with excessive slowing of the EEG. We hypothesized that downtraining of elevated high-frequency beta activity would reduce anger and that downtraining of excessive cortical slow wave activity would improve anger control. Forty-six individuals underwent neurofeedback training to downtrain excess beta and slow wave activity. This protocol resulted in significantly improved anger control and a reduction in the frequency of outbursts.
Background. This article is a case study review of the neurofeedback treatment of two female subjects with Type I diabetes mellitus. Both women had received regular medical treatment including the use of a restricted diet and short-term insulin treatment using an insulin pump. The study sought to discover the effects of neurofeedback treatment on the individuals’ perceptions of their quality of life and, any effects on measured glucose blood levels.
Method. Both the subjects received 20 sessions of neurofeedback training. These sessions took place three times a week, each session lasting approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The treatment consisted of training at C3, C4, and interhemispheric (C3-C4). The women were given symptom report checklists following each session and were interviewed prior to beginning of the treatment, at the conclusion of the 20 sessions, and 16 days after their final session. The interviews focused on self-reported changes in symptoms and the effect of these changes on their quality of life. Both the women also recorded their daily glucose levels and insulin dosage throughout the study.
Results. The subjects reported improvement in their perception of their quality of life (QOL). Additionally, both reported improvement in glucose levels as well as fluctuations and reduced dosages of insulin required on a daily basis.
Discussion. The existing research on the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for a broad variety of physical and emotional problems lead us to wonder if it might be helpful for either the physical or emotional aspects of Type I diabetes mellitus. Given the higher incidence of this condition, the significance of this research was considered to be important. The results of the study provide preliminary evidence that neurofeedback can be an important and valuable treatment for both the physical and emotional symptoms associated with Type I diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, research with larger numbers and stricter controls in the field is warranted.
The Flexyx Neurotherapy System (FNS), a novel variant of EEG biofeedback, was adapted for intervention with seven treatment-refractory Afghanistan/Iraq war veterans, and brought about significant decreases in bothersome neurobehavioral and posttraumatic stress symptoms. FNS may help ameliorate mixed trauma spectrum syndromes.
Study Objectives: To test whether instrumental conditioning of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR; 12–15 Hz) has an impact on sleep parameters as well as declarative memory performance in humans.
Design: Randomized, parallel group design
Setting: 10 instrumental conditioning sessions, pre- and posttreatment investigation including sleep evaluations
Participants: 27 healthy subjects (13 male)
Interventions: SMR-conditioning (experimental group) or randomized-frequency conditioning (control group); declarative memory task before and after a 90-min nap</p>
Measurement and Results: The experimental group was trained to enhance the amplitude of their SMR-frequency range, whereas the control group participated in a randomized-frequency conditioning program (i.e., every session a different 3-Hz frequency bin between 7 and 20 Hz). During pre- and posttreatment the subjects had to attend the sleep laboratory to take a 90-min nap (2:00–3:30 pm) and to perform a declarative memory task before and after sleep. The experimental design was successful in conditioning an increase in relative 12–15 Hz amplitude within 10 sessions (d = 0.7). Increased SMR activity was also expressed during subsequent sleep by eliciting positive changes in different sleep parameters (sleep spindle number [d = 0.6], sleep onset latency [d = 0.7]); additionally, this increased 12–15 Hz amplitude was associated with enhancement in retrieval score computed at immediate cued recall (d = 0.9).
Conclusion: Relative SMR amplitude increased over 10 instrumental conditioning sessions (in the experimental group only) and this “shaping of one’s own brain activity” improved subsequent declarative learning and facilitated the expression of 12–15 Hz spindle oscillations during sleep. Most interestingly, these electrophysiological changes were accompanied by a shortened sleep onset latency.
This study was conducted in an attempt to determine the efficacy of neurofeedback (NFB) in the treatment of patients suffering from vertigo or tinnitus. Results indicated that after NFB, power for delta and theta bands was reduced; however, an increase of power was noted for the alpha bands. Furthermore, normalization was observed for the vestibular evoked potentials (VestEP). After NFB, a normalization of the VestEP was also demonstrated in a patient suffering from a bilateral tinnitus. A follow-up study (12 months after NFB) demonstrated that the VestEP were normal.
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