Nijmegen, July 16th 2009 – Neurofeedback – also called EEG Biofeedback – is a method used to train brain activity in order to normalize Brain function and treat psychiatric disorders. This treatment method has gained interest over the last 10 years, however the question whether this treatment should be regarded as an Evidence-Based treatment was unanswered until now. Tomorrow a study will be published in the scientific journal ‘EEG and Clinical Neuroscience’ demonstrating that Neurofeedback can indeed be regarded as an evidence-based treatment for Attention Deficit- / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Neurofeedback is a treatment where real-time feedback is provided for specific brain activity (most often EEG) in order to learn the brain to suppress or produce specific brain activity. This method was initially discovered for the treatment of Epilepsy and from 1976 investigated further for the treatment of ADHD. This technique has become more popular by clinicians worldwide, and is currently provided for the treatment of several disorders. Critics have often questioned the efficacy of Neurofeedback and whether it can be considered an Evidence Based treatment or not.
In collaboration with researchers from Tübingen University (Germany), Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), Brainclinics and EEG Resource Institute a so-called meta-analysis was conducted on all published research about Neurofeedback treatment in ADHD. This meta-analysis included 15 studies and 1194 ADHD patients. Based on this study – which will be published in the July issue of EEG and Clinical Neuroscience – it could be concluded that Neurofeedback can indeed be considered an Evidence-Based treatment for ADHD. The results show that neurofeedback treatment has large and clinically significant effects on Impulsivity and Inattention and a modest improvement of Hyperactivity.
These findings apply to Neurofeedback treatment for ADHD, but do not automatically imply that Neurofeedback can be considered evidence based for any disorder. The efficacy of Neurofeedback has to be assessed separately for each disorder. For example, a meta-analysis of EEG biofeedback in Epilepsy is published in the same issue of EEG and Clinical Neuroscience demonstrating clinical efficacy in the treatment of epilepsy.
Interested clients are advised to make an informed choice regarding Neurofeedback therapists, since there is a large heterogeneity in neurofeedback treatment approaches and clinicians. It is advised to look for psychologists or physicians who are at least a member of a professional organization such as the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR: www.isnr.org) or other professional organizations and who use investigated methods.
Literature Arns, M., de Ridder, S., Strehl, U., Breteler, M. & Coenen, A. Efficacy of Neurofeedback Treatment in ADHD: The effects on Inattention, Impulsivity and Hyperactivity: a Meta-Analysis. EEG and Clinical Neuroscience; 40(3), 180-189.