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mood disorders Tag

Neurofeedback News and Research November 2019

Neurofeedback shown to be effective for Major Depressive Disorder

Neurofeedback for Major Depressive DisorderA recent study has shown neurofeedback to be effective in changing the “brain signature” associated with depression and thus alleviating certain recurring thought patterns that are known to trigger a relapse of the disease.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a disorder caused by a set of social, psychological and biological factors, characterized by the continuous loss of interest or pleasure in daily life and the prevalence of negative feelings such as deep sadness, guilt and low self-esteem. MDD effects a large swath of the population of the industrialized world. In the US, the lifetime prevalence of MDD is around 20%- a whopping 1 in 5 people will be affected by this disease sometime in their lives.

Neurofeedback shows great promise as non-invasive, side-effect free treatment for depression. Now it is being investigated as a possible preventative measure as well.

Recently, a group of scientists performed a study in which paricipants were able to modify the “brain signature” for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) as measured by fMRI. Patients who had recovered from the symptoms of depression were found to still have this fMRI brain signature. Researchers posited that by training this area of the brain with neurofeedback the chances of remission of the disease could be lessened.

“The brain signature of excessive self-blame was discovered in patients with Major Depressive Disorder whose symptoms had remitted, suggesting it could precede the symptoms of depression, making people more vulnerable to the disorder,” -the study’s first author, Dr. Roland Zahn at King’s College London.

Neurofeedback News and Research August 2019

Study: Neurofeedback shown to Reduce Anxiety

anxiety and neurofeedbackAnxiety disorders, including panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder, are the most prevalent mental disorders. Anxiety disorders follow a chronic course; however, there is a natural decrease in prevalence rates with older age. Anxiety disorders are highly comorbid with other anxiety disorders and other mental disorders.

The way Western medicine has treated anxiety in the past has been somewhat problematic- the class of drug most often used is tranquilizers which are a temporary solution at best, and can actually cause anxiety as they wear off. It is also well known that these drugs can also cause dependency, making them controlled substances that come with a no driving or operating heavy machinery warning.

It’s clear we need a new treatment model moving forward if we hope to gain any ground with a disease that affects so many people in the modern world.

Understanding EEG Brain Mapping

What is an EEG Brain Map?

qEEG to determine psychiatric medicationsNeurofeedback is a process that involves feedback, hence the name.

The feedback comes in real-time, as the patient receives visual and possibly auditory information allowing them to adjust their internal state to optimize their brainwaves and “win” at the game they are playing. Feedback is also attained over longer periods of time, using something called an EEG brain map.

EEG brain mapping is the most easily accessible, cutting edge technology to assess what is happening in your most important organ, your brain.  Historically psychiatry has been a subjective field, with an assessment or diagnosis made by a doctor and based entirely on verbal input from the patient. This process is inexact at best, and can even lead to misdiagnosis and prescription of the wrong medications and treatments.

Neurofeedback: News and Research Review May 2017

Neurofeedback: News and Research Review May 2017 Here are some recent developments in neurofeedback we would like to keep you informed of. It's been an exciting month in this fast- developing field. Can neurofeedback help you think your way out of depression? Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School...

NEW BOOK: Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child’s Learning, Behavior or Attention

Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child's Learning, Behavior or Attention Paperback – February 16, 2017 by Marijke Jones (Author), Robin E. McEvoy PhD (Author), Kim Gangwish (Author)Recently our own Dr. Steve Rondeau published a chapter in an exciting new book by primary authors Marijke Jones , Robin E. McEvoy PhD , and Kim Gangwish, entitled “Child Decoded: Unlocking Complex Issues in Your Child’s Learning, Behavior or Attention” and published in February of 2017.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon.com, or have a look at a few chapters before you decide with their “look inside” function”.

Here is the author’s introduction to the book:

 

Neurofeedback- An Evidence-Based Scientific Approach to Mental Health

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, evidence- based psychotherapy that allows patients to train their own brains to improve various functions. Evidence- based psychotherapy or medicine is defined by the NIH (National Institute of Health) as follows:

“Evidence based medicine (EBM) is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of modern, best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. EBM integrates clinical experience and patient values with the best available research information.” (1)

An EEG readout used for neurofeedback Neurofeedback uses qEEG technology (brain mapping) to measure a patient’s brain waves, and then engages them in dynamic brain training to normalize levels, correlating to improvements in function in that area. Research on wave signatures of individual neurological disorders such as ADD or traumatic brain injury (TBI) has helped specialists identify with great accuracy patterns of brain dysfunction, and researchers have used this much larger pool of data to develop specific neurofeedback protocols to benefit or reverse each individual neurological condition.

During a neurofeedback session, patients play simple games in which they are rewarded for changes in their own brain wave patterns through visual feedback. Adjusting brain wave patterns to optimal levels is a skill the patient learns intuitively, and success allows for progress in the game. Eventually patients develop much greater internal control of their psycho-emotional or behavioral issues, and neurological disorders can be corrected or at least greatly improved.

Why You NEED a qEEG if Considering Psychiatric Medications

Dr. Steven Rondeau, BCIA-EEG

Are you or someone you know currently taking or even thinking about taking psychiatric medications? If so then you definitely need to read this!

qEEG to determine psychiatric medicationsDid you know that currently there are no good lab tests that your doctor can use to know what psychiatric medications may work for you? Occasionally, there may be a questionnaire to fill out that may help narrow your diagnosis, however it doesn’t tell us anything about what your unique brain patterns would look like and how you might respond to treatment. For one person what may look like ADHD on paper may present like anxiety to someone else. You then take your anxiety medication and guess what… your symptoms worsen!

This can be even more complex when one person has multiple diagnoses. Statistically speaking, the more providers you see the more likely you are to end up with more than one label. For example, depression is often accompanied by anxiety. However in a qEEG, or brain map, they look completely opposite. Which means even if a medication helps one set of symptoms, its likely going to aggravate the other.

Neurofeedback Training at Home

Neurofeedback can be a long process that involves travel to a practitioner’s office a few times a week to get your treatment. You may not be convenient to our location in Fort Collins- in certain cases you may not need to leave the comfort of your own space. Did you know brain training can be done at home using your computer?

EEG headset and Iphone app- Neurofeedback Training at HomeAt Synergy Neurofeedback, we use a cutting edge neurofeedback system that allows you to do your brain training at home with your own computer or tablet and a special set of EEG headphones, designed to both receive biofeedback and provide stimulus for the patient.

At- home neurofeedback training can help with the symptoms of many disorders, including ADD, depression, anxiety, or just used to improve the overall performance of your brain.

Neurofeedback and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

neurofeedback and chronic fatigue syndrome

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trinity/159078562

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include:

  • weakness
  • muscle pain
  • impaired memory and/or mental concentration
  • depression
  • insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities [1]

In Western medicine, there is no known cure. Symptoms are treated with medications like antidepressants and tranquilizers depending on the individual patient’s unique symptom presentation. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve muscle and joint aches that often accompany CFS. Fibromyalgia syndrome and CFS are often overlapping conditions.

Neurofeedback- a Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders

neurofeedback for autism

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57570482@N06/

On March 27, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. This surveillance study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

From the National Institute for Mental Health (NIHM):

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

  • Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
  • Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities
  • Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
  • Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled.[1]

Traditional therapies are limited to medication and behavioral therapy, both of which can provide some assistance with the wide range of challenges someone on the spectrum of autism might encounter. Neurofeedback has shown great promise as a tool to help patients on the spectrum with various symptoms, including speech, motor and sensory integration issues, and sociability.