Neuroconcepts

Applied Neuroscience website of
Behavioural Neurotherapy Clinic

NEUROTHERAPY

It is widely accepted in Neuroscience research that psychiatric disorders are asociated with abnormal brain electrical activity related to underlying neurophysiological dysfunctions. This literature has been widely reported with over 15,000 papers in the literature concerned with Quantitative EEG and various aspects of brain function. . If these dysfunctions can be rectified then patients with psychiatric disorders may be able to process information normally.



Yucha-Gilbert 2008 AAPB position on Neurofeeback

2006 Beauregard (2006) fMRI Imaging of Neurofeedback on ADHD.pdf

Comprehensive Neurofeedback Bibliography

Comparison of ritalin to supplements in ADHD

Duff (2003). Keynote address DEET nutritional supplementation and neurotherapy in ADHD

Fuchs (2003). Neurofeedback compared with ritalin

Fox (2005). ADHD and neurotherapy

Hirshberg (2005). Emerging interventions



Which conditions respond to Neurotherapy?

Neurotherapy has been found to be effective in the treatment of a range of disorders: Click here for a comprehensive Neurofeedback Bibliography in the treatment of a wide range of disorders.

What is Neurotherapy?

"Neurotherapy is also called Neurofeedback or brainwave (EEG) biofeedback. During typical training, one or two sensors are placed on the scalp and one on each ear lobe. Then, high-tech electronic equipment provides real-time (instantaneous) audio and visual feedback about brainwave activity. The sensors measure the electrical patterns coming from the brain, much like a physician listens to someone's heart from the surface of the chest. No electrical current is put into the brain. The brainwave patterns are relayed to the computer and recorded.

Ordinarily, we cannot influence our brainwave patterns because we lack awareness of them. However, when you can see your brainwaves on a computer screen a few thousandths of a second after they occur, it gives you the ability to influence and change them. The mechanism of action is called operant conditioning. We are literally reconditioning and retraining the brain. At first, the changes are short-lived, but the changes gradually become more enduring. With continuing feedback, coaching, and practice, we can usually retrain healthier brainwave patterns in most people. It is a little like exercising or doing physical therapy with the brain, enhancing cognitive flexibility and control.

Thus, whether the problem stems from ADD/ADHD, Autism, a learning disability, a stroke, head injury, deficits following neurosurgery, uncontrolled epilepsy, cognitive dysfunction associated with aging, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other brain-related conditions, Neurotherapy training offers additional opportunities for rehabilitation through directly retraining the brain.

The exciting thing is that even when a problem is biological in nature, we now have another treatment alternative than just medication. Neurotherapy is also being used increasingly to facilitate peak performance in “normal” individuals and athletes."

Extract from an article by Professor Corydon Hammond. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. University of Utah School of Medicine

Frank H. Duffy, M.D., a Professor and Pediatric Neurologist at Harvard Medical School, stated in an editorial in the January 2000 issue of the Journal of Clinical Electroencephalography that scholarly literature now suggests that Neurotherapy “should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used” (p. v). “It is a field to be taken seriously by all” (p. vii).

Efectiveness of Neurotherapy

Neuroscientists have known since the mid 1970s that the EEG (brainwaves) of children and adults with ADHD contain an excess of slow (theta) waves and relatively less of the fast (beta) waves. Hence they have a high theta/beta ratio. Neurotherapy is a technique to enable children and adults with ADHD to retrain their brainwaves and produce more normal theta/beta ratios.

There are now numerous research papers in the scientific literature attesting to the effectiveness of Neurotherapy (EEG biofeedback) in redressing symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety. These papers, have been published in peer reviewed journals, some of these are reviewed here. There is evidence that Neurotherapy effects are very specific and that brain function is altered as a result of Neurotherapy training. A recent study by Egner and Gruzelier from the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Behaviour, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London demonstrated these brain changes.

Neurotherapy treatment involves patients viewing a computer screen that displays their brainwave activity obtained via EEG sensors on their scalp. Using the visual and auditory feedback provided by the computer, patients learn to reduce slow (theta) waves and increase fast (beta) waves. The process by which this happens is called operant conditioning, and is the mechanism by which we learn most activities in life. After about 20 sessions, the theta/beta ratios start to reduce, and in around 80% of children normalise after 30 to 50 sessions, depending on the severity of symptoms.

As the theta/beta ratios reduce and normalise, hyperactivity and impulsivity reduce or disappear, attention span and concentration increase, IQ increases, as do measures of cognitive skills. Many if not most of the undesirable behaviours associated with ADHD also reduce or disappear.

The brain learns to produce certain brainwaves, and consequently acquires the ability to process information more normally. Once acquired, this ability is used in everyday life, and hence constantly reinforced. It's like learning to walk or ride a bike; once learned the skill is retained. There are no negative side effects to Neurotherapy and following training the gains can be expected to be as permanent as any other learned skill.


Neuroconcepts: 2/314 Manningham Rd. Doncaster VIC 3108

Email: neuroconcepts@adhd.com.au  Tel: 03 9848 9100  Fax: 03 9848 9300

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