ADHD and Neurofeedback Training
Here I will give an overview of neurofeedback training, and will discuss how neurofeedback works, and some links to published articles supporting the effectiveness of Neurofeedback in helping people with ADHD
What is Neurofeedback? Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback-based training used to enhance cognitive performance, by giving real time feedback to the brain, so it has the information it requires to improve. It uses real-life brain activity feedback acquired through a real time EEG to help individuals improve mental performance, by re balancing their central nervous system, which alleviates many symptoms the individual maybe suffering with. Neurofeedback users receive thousands of pieces of information during each session in an audio form, that helps them create new neuronal connections and reduce symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity.
How does Neurofeedback Work?
The activity of the human brain is reflected in various frequency bands of brain waves resulting from underlying electrical impulses. These brain waves are split into 5 major categories - gamma, beta, alpha, delta, and theta - although each frequency band can have its own sub-categories (such as high or low beta).
Depending on the type of activity we perform, our brain will generate a predominant brain wave activity - for example, presenting a speech in front of a group of people generates high mental activity in the form of high beta frequencies. Sleep is often associated with a preponderance of alpha, delta and theta brain waves, which are the lowest in frequency.
During a NeurOptimal neurofeedback session, sensors are attached with paste to the individual’s scalp. Then all the individual has to do is sit back put ear phones in and listen to music. The music carries the real time neurofeedback in the form of tiny interruptions in the music. People often read or watch relaxing shapes on a screen, for the 33 minutes of a session.
Who is Neurofeedback For?
Neurofeedback can be used by anyone who wants to improve their cognitive performance or to manage an existing mental health condition.
This type of biofeedback therapy is highly suitable for young children and adults with brain-based problems such as autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, personality disorders, anxiety, substance use disorder.
Brain Activity in ADHD
What causes the constant hyperactivity specific to individuals with ADHD? People with this condition show low levels of arousals in frontal brain areas and an excess of theta waves. Neurofeedback-based interventions that aim to support people with ADHD stimulate their frontal brain activity to increase arousal and reduce theta waves. With regular practice of focused attention, patterns of hyperactivity are gradually diminished as patients exercise their ability to ignore distractions and focus for longer periods of time.
Are There any Side Effects of Neurofeedback Training?
Neurofeedback is a nonintrusive method, scientific studies have demonstrated its safety on most categories of people. Some people might only experience mild fatigue following sessions of intense concentration. Individuals with a history of head trauma can also encounter some light sensitivity, nausea, and dizziness.
How can Neurofeedback Help with ADHD?
Over the past 25 years, numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of neurofeedback based interventions for mental health conditions such as ADHD. The journal “Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America” has stated that EEG/ Neurofeedback-based therapy meets the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) criteria for clinical guidelines for ADHD treatment. You can read about it here
Research studies have also shown that neurofeedback can be a viable intervention method that can help reduce and manage symptoms of attention deficit and impulsivity in ADHD. Find out more at this link. Results show promising results in this direction, as neurofeedback treatment can serve as a great adjuvant besides medication and psychological interventions, without significant side-effects.
How to Book
If you are interested in finding out more details about neurofeedback or for more specialist advice and information. Please get in touch with Solihull Well Being Clinic and I, as one of the certified trainers will be happy to help.
Neurofeedback training is a novel intervention that has shown efficiency in the treatment and management of ADHD symptoms. Since it is a non-invasive, safe, and personalised technique, it works well with the patient’s unique brain activity patterns to minimise symptoms of mental disturbance and improve cognitive skills. Based on the latest technological advancements of EEG and biofeedback, this training type can also work as an excellent adjuvant besides medications and other psychotherapy interventions.
Fiona Curran is a graduate of Environmental Science, and has trained in Neurofeedback. She has raised children with neurological problems, and seen first hand how difficult it is to get the right treatment, especially in certain parts of the UK. This led her to change career, and she has been helping adults and children ever since, with great effectiveness. Fiona is registered to work at Solihull Well Being Clinic, and would be happy to see you.