Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ADHD/ADD is among the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and often carries into adulthood. In 2012, the CDC found that among children in the U.S. from the ages of 3 to 17, 9.5% had ADHD which is around 5.9 million children. The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) accounts for 3 types of ADHD; inattentive type, hyperactivity and impulsivity type, as well as mixed/combined type. Symptoms of each vary with mixed consisting of symptoms from both categories.


Recent Neurofeedback Research Findings:

A study conducted by Druic, Abmus, & Elgen (2014) assessed neurofeedback’s potential in children with ADHD as reported by the children receiving the neurofeedback (self-report). 73 children under 18 years of age finished the study completely. These children were divided into three groups. The first group consisted of children only taking medication (methylphenidate). The second group had children undergo neurofeedback along with the medication methylphenidate, while the third group only underwent neurofeedback. All of the groups saw improvement in ADHD symptoms such as less hyperactivity and improved attention. They did not differ in their efficacy, but only the neurofeedback group (without medication) saw improvements in school performance as measured by a self-report questionnaire. This study suggests that neurofeedback is more effective than medication in reducing symptoms of ADHD and may provide help for those with ADHD who do not respond well to their medications

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Neurofeedback has been validated in its ability to increase medication (methylphenidate) efficacy in a study conducted by Li, Yang, Zhuo, & Wang (2013). Their study included 40 children and adolescents between the ages of seven and 16 with ADHD. Participants were assigned to two different groups. One group had combined neurofeedback and medication intervention while the other had medication and non-feedback attention training. To assess progress in treatment, participants were evaluated at the very beginning before treatment, after 20 sessions, after 40 sessions, and then finally 6-months post treatment. The result of this study showed that the combination of medication and neurofeedback significantly reduced symptoms of ADHD such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and even improved reports conducted by the participants' teachers. Another important discovery was that the combination of medication and neurofeedback resulted in the medication being reduced over time. This was not found in the medication and non-feedback attention training group. This suggests that neurofeedback may be an option for children that do not respond well to high doses of medication and who suffer from side-effects.

To help you better understand the process, and what Neurofeedback allows us to see we have placed a couple images to show you what is looked for, and found in most cases when studying the brain, and how the different regions of the brain are stimulated at different times.

(Inattentive Examples)
Excess beta / high beta over motor/pre-motor areas of the brain
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(Hyperactivity and Impulsivity Examples)
Excess slowing in frontal areas of the brain
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•Easily Distracted and Forgetful
•Trouble focusing on tasks as well as listening when being directly talked to
•Trouble organizing activities and keep track of belongings
•Fidgeting, Tapping and Squirming
•Trouble waiting for their turn/ interrupts others
•Talks excessively and blurts out answers before hand is raised