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What is neurofeedback?Edit
Neurofeedback (also called EEG Biofeedback or Neurotherapy) is a non-invasive treatment using equipment based on hospital technology to monitor brainwaves (electroencephalography or EEG) using sensors placed on the scalp and earlobes. Then feedback on the brainwaves is provided to the person via a computer running specialized software. Neurofeedback was developed over two decades ago and is becoming increasingly available due to advances in affordable computer technology and feedback equipment.
How neurofeedback worksEdit
The feedback is tailored to selectively reinforce the brain for producing brainwaves we want to increase and to not-reinforce the brain for producing brainwaves that we want the brain to make less of. Through the challenge of the feedback the brain learns/changes away from disregulated, underactive or hyperactive patterns of activity in the direction of brainwave patterns that are associated with normal and stable brain activity. This results in symptom reduction as we train the specific regions of the brain implicated by the persons symptoms or by an EEG brain map.
Neurofeedback was initially used in the treatment of seizures, but since has been shown in research to be an effective treatment for ADHD, addictions, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep disorders. There are clinical case reports substantiating the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of autism, attachment disorder, autoimmune dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, cognitive decline in the elderly, conduct disorder, eating disorder, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette's, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson's disease. As with any therapy or medical procedure results can never be guaranteed, each person is unique and there are a minority of persons who will not benefit from training.
Course of TreatmentEdit
Most persons experience a change in their symptoms within 10 sessions at a recommended frequency of 2-3 sessions per week. A normal course of treatment involves a minimum 20 sessions to over-train the brain such that the gains are enduring, with the length extending beyond 20 depending on the complexity and severity of the symptoms. For example, mild inattentive ADHD would usually require only 20 sessions, whereas severe ADHD with hyperactivity could continue to benefit from 40 or more sessions. Research indicates that the treatment effect persists for as long as experimenters have measured after treatment, and in some cases improvements have continued past the treatment period. If circumstances lead to any symptom relapse usually only a few 'booster' sessions are needed to re-consolidate gains.