ADD/ADHD Non-Med Treatment: Neurofeedback

Personal Note: Thanks for the Changes
March 25, 2007
Mold Madness: Neurotoxins Overlooked 1
April 4, 2007

ADD/ADHD: So what do you do if you don't want to use meds?

Yes, the meds work fast, and often well, if you work them correctly. Nervecells_2

I have discussed ADD: The Media, The Meds, and The Madness at CorePsychPodcast with four episodes on diagnosis, meds, wrong meds and metabolic challenges that often go overlooked. Also posted a variety of blog notes, – just go down to the Google Blog Search box on the left here, and type in ADD. Much info there.

Now so many non-medical possibilities are available for treatment. Specific treatment depends on the specific cause of the ADD, remembering that symptoms of ADD can arise from brain injury, from metabolic problems, from iodine deficiency, and can be significantly aggravated by hormone dysregulation. The comorbid condition will mitigate against a standard treatment for everyone. More later on these issues.

For the moment let's start with some accepted interventions I have regularly used successfully in my DC office and our team in Va Beach. And a quick note: I did not personally deliver these treatments for ADD as they do require different levels of training.

-And one “philosophic” point to place on the table:

At CorePsych we see considerable progress with mixing medication and non-med treatments on the front end, until progress with the client's practice takes place sufficiently to reduce the meds. These interventions are not mutually exclusive, but we do go with the parent, clients wishes.

Treatment choice is theirs, so we discuss options. Some simply don't want to deal with the meds and controlled substances as they are available today. As I predicted in a recent post: fear of meds will soon change with the rapid development of new, safer medications. Having consulted with many patients with foreign residence, I further predict a softening of the global view of these meds as well as medical delivery systems change.

With that groundwork, let's start with Neurofeedback [NFB]: The literature is rich on the topic of neurofeedback, though at this moment in time it, as is SPECT Brain Imaging, is not considered acceptable by many:

The most common and well-documented use of neurofeedback is in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: multiple studies have shown neurofeedback to be useful in the treatment of ADHD [1] (Butnik 2005) (Masterpasqual et al 2003). QEEG has shown that ADHD is often characterized by an abundance of slow brainwaves and a diminished quantity of fast wave activity (Butnik 2005); neurofeedback treatment seeks to teach individuals to produce more normalized EEG patterns that optimize their functioning.

Further:

Other areas where neurofeedback has been researched include treatment of substance abuse, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, OCD, learning disabilities, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorders, anger and rage, cognitive impairment, migraines, headaches, chronic pain, Autism spectrum disorders, sleep dysregulation, PTSD and MTBI.
-Wikipedia [note that in the citation “neutrality is disputed”]

The jury is out in academia. The verdict has been rendered in the office: It works. But it doesn't work for everyone at the same rate.

First visit for neurofeedback is an assessment, and then the client is hooked up [no needles] to an EEG machine that converts brain waves to computer images. Some feel that specific qEEG brain mapping is essential before beginning.

Just look at the screen and change your brain by changing the visual events on the screen. Very cool. Computer kids love it. You can actually see the power of the brain in action. Take a look at these two excellent sites for more information.

  1. EEG Spectrum and
  2. EEG Info

A book to read on NFB treatment:  ADD: The 20 Hr Solution

More soon on interactive metronome, and hemoencephalography, a functional near-infrared imaging (fNIR) for ADD and other brain conditions.

5 Comments

  1. […] a deep course correction. We need improvements in navigational markers, improvements in mapping attitude, and serious improvements in conversations with those in the wheelhouses of direct office […]

  2. Karen-
    Thanks for your comments, just over to your site

    http://neurofeedback.blogharbor.com/blog,

    and appreciate the variety of topics you cover on things Neurofeedback. Yes, will get on HEG soon, as NFB is surprisingly unappreciated down here in the USA.

    I did a training teleclass with EEG Spectrum, Mike Cohen on SPECT imaging info with NFB following [about 2 years ago] and had the best feedback from Canadians who use NFB more frequently than we do.

    Thanks for your interest!
    Chuck

  3. Dr. Karen says:

    I’m glad to see that you plan to blog on hemoencephalography (HEG) as well. I find that if someone’s primary complaint is related to attention/concentration +/- impulsivity, I turn first to HEG.

    For issues related to primarily to frontal lobe functioning, I find HEG more predictable in its effect and quicker to produce noticeable outcomes.

    Much of my work is actually with people with migraines, for whom HEG is amazingly effective, but they often note the pleasant “side-effects” of increased clarity of thought, better attention and concentration, better follow-through, etc., etc. — all the effects of enhanced frontal lobe functions.

    Looking forward to more! …

    Karen

  4. Lyle-
    To those unfamiliar with NFB your comment may seem like anecdotal remarks, “only and n of 1.”

    But we hear positive comments like yours from many who have used NFB.

    One of the problems with the new science of NFB: The jury is out on the specifics of the interface between meds and NFB, and how to use them together.

    Hope to soon have a guest blog on this issue with one of my experienced NFB consultants.
    Thanks
    Chuck

  5. I did a 8 month course of Neurofeedback for FMS pain.

    It worked for me!

    The Qeeg showed distinct shifts and improvements. Even after the treatment stopped my Qeeg improved over time.

    My NF was combined with biofeedback to ‘teach’ me how to manage and modulate alpha waves. Worked too!

    8 months seems like a loooong time. But, man it was worth it.

    Lyle

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