Neurofeedback and Age-Related Cognitive Decline

According to the Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention, an estimated 5 million individuals have some form of age-related dementia in America.

age-related

Symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the type. Different types of dementia include; Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, mixed dementia, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Huntington’s disease, and finally, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 70% of dementia in the elderly. The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) expresses age-related cognitive decline in the form of “major and mild neurocognitive disorder” (NDC). Those with major neurocognitive disorder exhibit cognitive deficits that interfere with their independence, while minor neurocognitive disorder includes those who are still able to live on their own and function independently.

Symptoms of Dementia

  • Memory problems
  • Communication and language problems
  • Trouble focusing and paying attention
  • Reasoning and judgment problems
  • Visual perception problems
  • "Taken from Alzheimer's Association, Alz.org"

dementia

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Research on Neurofeedback and Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Neurofeedback (treatment based on an individual’s brain maps) is effective in reducing cognitive deficits brought on by both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s as measured by the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE). The average MMSE score increased by 6 points (Surmeli et al., 2015) after neurofeedback training. Another study conducted by Angelakis et al., (2006) found cognitive enhancement in the elderly by using alpha peak frequency (PAF) neurofeedback.

Participants in this study had increases in both processing speed (e.g. ability to automatically and fluently perform tasks) and executive function (e.g. planning, pay attention, manage time) after around 30 sessions. Finally, Berman et al., (2009) found that after 30-40 neurofeedback sessions, participants experienced improvements in verbal and visual memory, as well as executive function.

Neurofeedback may be able to help lessen symptoms of dementia and age-related cognitive decline.

Please contact the Brain Enrichment Center at 440-232-9100 to schedule an individual consultation to see if neurofeedback may be a good choice for your specific situation. Or email us at info@brainenrichmentcenter.com.

Click for references:

Angelakis, E., Stathopoulou, S., Frymiare, J. L., Green, D. L., Lubar, J. F., & Kounios, J. (2007). EEG neurofeedback: a brief overview and an example of peak alpha frequency training for cognitive enhancement in the elderly.The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 21(1), 110-129.
Berman, M. H., & Frederick, J. A. (2009). Efficacy of neurofeedback for executive and memory function in dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 5(4), e8.
Surmeli, T., Eralp, E., Mustafazade, I., Kos, H., Özer, G. E., & Surmeli, O. H. (2015). Quantitative EEG Neurometric Analysis–Guided Neurofeedback Treatment in Dementia 20 Cases. How Neurometric Analysis Is Important for the Treatment of Dementia and as a Biomarker?. Clinical EEG and neuroscience, 1550059415590750.