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Neurofeedback Blog – Page 2 – Synergy Neurofeedback
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Neurofeedback Blog

Neurofeedback Research from November 2018

Neurofeedback versus psychostimulants in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD

Neurofeedback for ADD and ADHDA recent systematic review that included eight randomized controlled trials that compared neurofeedback treatment to treatment with medications. Outcome measures included behavioral assessments by parents and teachers, self-reports, neurocognitive measures, and EEG measurements. The results were favorable, showing improvement in objective and subjective measures of ADHD. Neurofeedback was also able to decrease medication dosages.

Neurofeedback News and Research October 2018

Neurofeedback is Now a Viable Treatment for Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease (HD), also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in the death of brain cells. It eventually leads to severe physical disability (patients lose the ability to walk and talk) and eventually death. Though it is a rare disease (worldwide prevalence of HD is 5–10 cases per 100,000 persons), it’s effects are debilitating and any new therapies to aid in the treatment of it are welcome, as it is considered very difficult to treat.

Researchers at University College London have shown that neurofeedback can increase connectivity in the brains of Huntington’s patients. Their study, “Stimulating neural plasticity with real-time fMRI neurofeedback in Huntington’s disease: A proof of concept study,” appeared in the journal Human Brain Mapping. 

Neurofeedback News and Research September 2018

Neurofeedback is Shown to Have Sustained Effects on ADHD

neurofeedback and ADHDMany people are now aware that neurofeedback is effective in treating ADHD. In the world of neurofeedback research, there has up until this point been insufficient data concerning the duration of the benefits from neurofeedback therapy.

In a recent meta- analysis, which looked at 10 different studies involving 500 children ages 8-12, neurofeedback demonstrated sustained effect in the treatment of ADHD. This study looked at previous studies that were randomized, controlled, and also conducted follow-up for at least six months following the cessation of treatment.

Treating OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback for OCDObsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by repetitive thoughts and behavior. In OCD, distressing ideas, images, or impulses enter a person’s mind repeatedly and against their will, causing anxiety and distress. A person with OCD may be unable to resist engaging in compulsive acts or behaviours that are not enjoyable that are repeated over and over.

These obsessions or compulsions occur frequently enough to become a problem in the person’s life, especially if they are acted upon. OCD usually comes on in childhood or adolescence, and continues throughout a lifetime.

The mental health diagnostic manual (DSM V) describes OCD based on the following criteria:

Using Neurofeedback to Treat Neuropathy

neurofeedback for neuropathyNerve pathology, or neuropathy, is a condition in which a nerve functions improperly due to injury or disease, causing numbness, tingling or pain from mild to severe, or other health issues depending on the nerves affected.

There are many different types of neuropathy. Neuropathy can be in the peripheral nervous system, affecting the extremities, or it can be focused on any of the cranial nerves, for example optical dysfunction could be caused by a neuropathy of the optic nerve. There is also neuropathy of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system, where nerves that control the heart and circulation, digestion, bowel and bladder function.

Neuropathy has a variety of causes including diseases, injuries, infections, and even vitamin deficiency. It is commonly caused by diabetes, but can also be caused by autoimmune disease, tumors/cancer, infections like Lyme’s disease, alcoholism, an inherited genetic disorder, toxic exposure, and even drugs and medication.

Conventional medical treatments vary by the nerves affected and their associated symptoms.  Common classes of drugs used include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and of course opioid and opioid- like drugs. To increase the effectiveness of these medications, as well as to reduce their common side effects, many neuropathy patients are turning to alternative medicine.

Neurofeedback News and Research June 2018

Neurofeedback to Help Smokers Kick the Habit

Experts in toxicology, pulmonary medicine, neuroscience, and behavioral therapy have recently come together to help smokers quit. Preliminary results show that the neuro-feedback intervention protocol can cause lasting changes in the brain cortex as people try to stop smoking. Researchers have designed a specific neuro-feedback intervention protocol to combat addiction.

“Smoking is the largest avoidable cause of lung diseases, morbidity and premature mortality worldwide,” says project coordinator Panagiotis Bamidis. “The purpose of our project is to deliver new knowledge regarding the cost-effectiveness of innovative smoking cessation interventions. This approach should improve the efficiency of public policy strategies aiming to reduce smoker numbers and therefore help to prevent lung diseases.”

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Neurofeedback Training for Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy Study Receives Award

Neurofeedback News and Research May 2018

Cal State San Bernardino publishes a study on Neurofeedback and PTSD with very positive results

One in five veterans returning from active combat has symptoms of PTSD. PTSD symptoms can include agitation, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, severe anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is notoriously hard to treat- the most promising therapy up until now in the world of conventional medicine has been CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

In this recently published study, veterans with PTSD experienced significant improvements in well-being. Initially 80 percent of the veterans were experiencing severe to moderate levels of distress. Following neurofeedback treatment, 78 percent of them reported positive levels of well-being.

“Overall the findings support artifact-corrected neurofeedback as a clinically-effective intervention that helps improve some of the impairments associated with PTSD and that specific improvements in auditory attention and processing speed can contribute to greater well-being.” -Cal State San Bernadino

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Time course of clinical change following neurofeedback

A recent study, by combining data from two ongoing neurofeedback studies, has found that the symptoms treated with neurofeedback during these studies continue to improve for weeks after the treatment. Most neurofeedback studies stop measuring the therapeutic response after the treatment is over, which could result in skewed results, showing less therapeutic effect.

Recent Developments in Neurofeedback

Meta-analysis Confirms Sustained Effects of Neurofeedback for ADHD

March 6, 2018- In this study with over 500 children, researchers compiled data comparing the results of neurofeedback for ADHD. An international group of researchers carried out the study, which used different control groups to disambiguate their findings, including one for medication, and another for non-activity. Research from 10 other randomized studies was compiled, and 6 month follow ups were made to assess the long term effectiveness of the treatments.

“Given treatment with medication in ADHD is effective in short-term symptom management, and clinical benefit is likely to diminish after sustained use for more than 2 years, there is a need for treatments that result in better long-term benefits.” -Sustained effects of neurofeedback in ADHD: A systematic review and meta-analysis

The study found that neurofeedback was an effective treatment for ADHD  and produces durable effects over a 6-month period following treatment, positioning neurofeedback as a “promising treatment with long-term benefit.”

The Treatment of Insomnia with Neurofeedback

Insomnia- An Epidemic in the Modern World

In the modern world, there are all manner of influences that might be disruptive to a normal sleep cycle. We over consume stimulants like caffeine and sugar. Our biological system is constantly under assault from electromagnetic frequencies from wifi networks and cell phone radiation. We are exposed to pollution to varying degrees. The stress level in general is high.

As a result, many of us fail to get adequate sleep at night. Insomnia has currently reached epidemic status in the developed world. Recent estimates of the prevalence of insomnia according to data analysis studies show us that almost 1/3 of the US population suffers from some form of sleep disturbance.

Modern medicine falls short of adequately helping insomniacs. All it can offer is sedatives or hypnotics, two classes of drugs that can create as many problems as they seek to alleviate. This is where alternative medicine can step in to take up the slack.

Keeping your Brain Young- Neurofeedback for Longevity

With the rising prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases in the modern era, health conscious individuals are researching and applying novel methods to slow the process of cognitive decline and other age-related neurological problems.

Neurofeedback has become one of the go-to therapies being studied and used to slow the natural aging process. Cognitive health in old age goes hand-in-hand with physical health!

Some Brain Games May Grow the Size of Your Brain: Study

As we get older and have perhaps been sustaining years of poor “brain hygiene”, allowing mental habits like stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia to continue unabated, parts of the brain (like the hippocampus,  which works to consolidate information from short-term memory to long-term memory) can actually atrophy, often causing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which puts older people at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.