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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Drug-Free Treatment Options for ADHD: The Efficacy of Neurofeedback

"...if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used."

A recent special issue of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America was devoted to emerging interventions that affect brain function.

Neurofeedback was featured in seven of the ten chapters in the volume. The volume editors provided an overview and clinical perspective on all the approaches presented.

About neurofeedback they concluded:

"EEG biofeedback meets the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry criteria for clinical guidelines (CG) for treatment of ADHD, seizure disorders, anxiety (OCD, GAD, PTSD, phobias), depression, reading disabilities and addictive disorders. This suggests that EEG biofeedback should always be considered as an intervention for these disorders."

Other persuasive evidence of the efficacy of neurofeedback:

Neurologist and Harvard Medical School Professor Frank Duffy, M.D., head of the neuroimaging department and of neuroimaging research at Children’s Hospital Boston, conducted an independent review of the literature on neurofeedback for Clinical Electroencephalography and Neuroscience. He summarized his findings as follows:

“The literature, which lacks any negative study of substance, suggests that EEG biofeedback therapy should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used."

In a recent paper update on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder published in Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Katie Campbell Daley reviewed the research and practice standards on treatment of ADHD. Dr. Campbell serves on the staff of the Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and of the Department of Pediatrics of the Harvard Medical School. She concluded:

"Overall, these findings support the use of multi-modal treatment, including medication, parent/school counseling, and EEG biofeedback, in the long term management of ADHD, with EEG biofeedback in particular providing a sustained effect even without stimulant treatment. Parents interested in non-psychopharmacologic treatment can pursue the use of complementary and alternative therapy.

The therapy most promising by recent clinical trials appears to be EEG biofeedback..."

Local Neurofeedback Practitioners

Dr. Laurence Hirshberg, Cambridge, MA and Providence, R.I.

Drs. Judith Lytell and Leslie Sternberg, Acton, MA

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