Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects about 7% of children, with a two out of three chance of persisting into adulthood. This neurodevelopmental disorder is characterized by concentration difficulties, increased distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Today, ADHD is treated with pharmaceutical drugs that may have unwanted side effects. This is why scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, explored a new technique called ‘neurofeedback’, which enables ADHD patients to train their attention, based on instant feedback from the level of their brain activity.
The team of neuroscientists found that not only did the training have a positive effect on patients’ concentration abilities, but also that the attention improvement was closely linked to an enhanced response from the brain- the P3 wave — which is known to reflect the integration of information in the brain.
Neurofeedback is a type of neurocognitive intervention based on the training of “real-time” brain signals. Using an electroencephalogram (EEG) with 64 sensors, the scientists capture the electrical activity of cortical neurons and focus their analysis on the spontaneous Alpha rhythm (with frequency around 10 Hertz), coupling its amplitude fluctuation to a video game that the patients can control with the power of their attention. “The aim of neurofeedback is to make the patients aware of the moments when they are no longer attentive. With practice, brain networks then “learn” to reduce attentional lapses through neuroplasticity,”
Studying how EEG Therapy Effects ADHD
Electrophysiological correlates of improved executive function following EEG neurofeedback in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Clinical Neurophysiology). From the Abstract:
Methods: We recorded high-density EEG in 25 adult ADHD patients and 22 neurotypical controls during a Go/NoGo task, before and after a 30-minute NFB session designed to down-regulate the alpha (8–12 Hz) rhythm.
Results: At baseline, ADHD patients demonstrated impaired Go/NoGo performance compared to controls, while Go-P3 amplitude inversely correlated with ADHD-associated symptomatology in childhood. Post-NFB, task performance improved in both groups, significantly enhancing stimulus detectability (d‑prime) and reducing reaction time variability, while increasing N1 and P3 ERP component amplitudes. Specifically for ADHD patients, the pre-to-post enhancement in Go-P3 amplitude correlated with measures of improved executive function, i.e., enhanced d‑prime, reduced omission errors, and reduced reaction time variability.
Conclusions drawn from the study included a single-session of alpha down-regulation NFB was able to reverse the abnormal neurocognitive signatures of adult ADHD during a Go/NoGo task.
Significance: The study demonstrates for the first time the beneficial neurobehavioral effect of a single NFB session in adult ADHD, and reinforces the notion that ERPs could serve as useful diagnostic/prognostic markers of executive dysfunction.
Neurofeedback Therapy at NHA
Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback may be helpful for training your mind, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. This easy, noninvasive therapy can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth Associates today and find out how we can help you.
Original Article Published by SharpBrainsTags: add, adhd, attention deficit, brain health, brain mapping, clinical research, EEG Biofeedback, neurofeedback