Is Neurofeedback Effective for ADHD and other Learning Impairments?

ADHD and NeurofeedbackWhether a lack of attention or struggling to read fluently, when a child struggles with a learning disorder, a parent is eager to help that child operate at his or her full potential. Unfortunately, most available help usually consists of therapy and/or medication, and these drugs often have negative side effects.

Instead, more people are looking into alternatives such as neurofeedback, which is a non-invasive, drug-free, cutting edge technology. Neurofeedback uses information about the brain’s electrical energy, or brain waves, measured by a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG). A qEEG brain map enables professionals to see the unique pattern of mental strengths and weaknesses, areas of the brain where there is too little or too much activity, and areas that are not coordinating their activity as well they should. Many children with learning disabilities are simply stuck, so to speak, in the wrong brainwave patterns. Through neurofeedback, their brains might be able to be taught to operate on an entirely new level.

Research in this field is promising. A randomized controlled clinical trial conducted by Gevensleben H., Holl B., Heinrich H., et al., tested the effectiveness of neurofeedback therapy for children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One-hundred and two children with ADHD, ages 8 through 12, participated in this study. Pre-training, intermediate and post-training assessment encompassed several behavior rating scales completed by the child’s parents and teachers. After the neurofeedback training, there was a significant decrease in ADHD symptomatology based on the parents and teachers behavior ratings. In his conclusion, Gevensleben stated that although more studies are needed, “Our results indicate that neurofeedback may be considered as a clinically effective module in the treatment of children with ADHD.”


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