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dementia Tag

The Latest Advances in the Field of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback, an alternative therapy that involves measuring and then stimulating brain waves until they reach a specific frequency, is a rapidly evolving field. Every month new developments are coming to light, as neurofeedback moves closer to the mainstream. Through research studies and clinical reviews, we are seeing more scientific proof that neurofeedback is effective in treating many different brain- based disorders.

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

qEEG brain scanNeurofeedback starts with a brain map. Using a qEEG, a  neuroimaging technique also known as quantitative electroencephalogram, a neurofeedback specialist compares the frequencies of different areas of a patient’s brain with the known normal ranges. Then a treatment protocol is created designed to raise or lower the aberrant frequencies to within normal ranges.

Treatment is then administered, in the specialist’s office or at home. This involves an electronic interface consisting of a qEEG headband to measure the trained frequencies in real time, and a feedback device, usually a tablet. The patient plays a special type of video game, controlled only by brain activity!

Neurofeedback for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

cognitive impairment and dementia Cognitive decline and dementia are some of the more serious problems facing an aging population today. Symptoms of cognitive impairment can include loss of focus, low motivation, memory loss, slowed thinking, and problems with organization.

Dementia increases in prevalence with age, with a doubling of prevalence every 5 years 1. It is a progressive disease process affecting families, carers, health and social care providers. Cognitive impairment is an important part of the diagnostic criteria for dementia.

The most commonly used screening instrument for cognitive impairment is the MiniMental State Examination (MMSE) 2. If signs of cognitive impairment are present, a patient may be evaluated for dementia by a neuropsychologist,  a specialist trained in mental health and brain conditions. Labratory tests can be performed to determine if a thyroid disorder or vitamin B-12 deficiency is underlying to rule such causes out. Imaging technology may be used to rule out other causes like brain tumors or strokes.

As scientists continue to isolate the brain structures and processes involved with cognitive decline and dementia, neurofeedback specialists have developed protocols to assist with these disorders. Neurofeedback functions to change EEG brain waves over time, reducing the likelihood that cognitive impairment will become a concern later in life.