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Using Neurofeedback to Treat ADHD

   

Using Neurofeedback to Treat ADHD

Using Neurofeedback to Treat ADHD

December 23, 2021 abbey No Comments

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition commonly diagnosed in children. Its most common symptoms include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

One of the most common treatment methods for ADHD is medication, but this is not always the best option, especially for children. ADHD medication requires consistent dosing, which is at odds with the nature of some people with ADHD who tend to be forgetful. In addition, some people may find that medication doesn’t work for them or produces unfavorable side effects.

For these individuals, or anyone looking for a treatment for ADHD, neurofeedback is an advantageous option.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a treatment method focused on retraining the brain. Because of this, it provides long-term results that are observed even after sessions have ended. With medication, the benefits are only observed so long as the drug continues to be taken. This is where problems can arise if someone forgets to take their medicine. However, with neurofeedback and its ability to retrain the brain, individuals can continue experiencing benefits even when sessions are finished.

Neurofeedback operates on the knowledge that the brain emits certain waves depending on the state we are in. For example, those who are focused give off different waves than those who are daydreaming. Neurofeedback helps individuals with ADHD learn to produce the brain-wave patterns associated with focus. This helps to reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD, including impulsivity, distractibility, and acting out.

What to Expect

Neurofeedback begins with a detailed history of the individual and a map of their brain. To obtain this map, the individual wears a hat that is covered in electrodes and sits with their eyes closed for several minutes. This allows the practitioner to get a baseline reading. They then ask the individual to do specific cognitive tasks, such as reading aloud. The computer screen with the map of the brain then lights up in different areas based on where there is too little or too much brain-wave activity. This provides a visual guide on the sources of the ADHD symptoms.

When comparing the individual’s map with other maps in the database, the practitioner can create a treatment plan based on the areas that light up too much or too little.

During treatment, the individual will wear the same electrode cap. In some cases, they work with an audio signal, while in others, they use a visual indication by utilizing a video game. To get the character in the video game to move (or to produce an auditory beep), focusing is required, and the game stops when focus is lost. These actions help the individual exercise the portions of their brain responsible for focusing, helping them improve it.Similar to how you go to the gym to work out your muscles, neurofeedback does the same with the brain.

The First Step

Before beginning neurofeedback, it is first important to complete a neuropsychological assessment. Through this test, a neuropsychologist can diagnose ADHD and determine where the strengths and weaknesses of your child lie. This can be an especially useful tool for ensuring that neurofeedback is effective and helps your child in the specific way they need.

If you are interested in learning more about neurofeedback or scheduling a neuropsychological assessment, call Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic for more information.

Sources

[1]https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adhd.html

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538574/

[3] https://www.eeginfo.com/what-is-neurofeedback.jsp

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