Answers to the most important questions about Neurofeedback,Neurofeedback could be an alternative to Ritalin for many children with ADHD or ADD. How it works, what it costs, who offers it - compact answers to the essential questions.
Neurofeedback could be an alternative to medication for many children with attention deficit disorder. The training is designed to help affected children steer their brain activity and focus their thoughts. During exercise, the brain waves are measured and connected to a computer. There they are visualized on the screen. By means of concentration, the children deliberately turn icons up and down - and receive feedback if successful: a feedback. Incidentally, the method also works for adults.
In children suffering from ADHD, brain activity is characteristically altered. The behavioral deviations can be visualized in the so-called electroencephalogram (EEG): "Children with ADHD produce too few beta waves and too many theta waves," explains therapists. Beta waves are created especially when a person deliberately concentrates. Theta waves mark a dreamy wakefulness.In neurofeedback, the children learn to influence their brain activity and thus these waves independently. In computer training, they control the symbol (e.g., airplane) on the screen only when the child is increasingly producing beta waves, thus deliberately concentrating. The plane can make it ascend by letting its thoughts drift again. This is how the children learn what thoughts help them to control. They train themselves to be able to concentrate when they need it - so to control their behavior. They are mostly individual strategies that they often cannot put into words, but they work.If it does, the child will be rewarded with a feedback, such as a flashing star, gradually training to produce exactly the frequencies that are in demand. Over time, the patient then learns to retrieve this behavior in other situations. The child is sitting in front of a computer. His brain waves are derived via measuring electrodes and control what can be seen on the screen. With the power of thought, for example, balls can be loaded into the virtual gate, planes kept on course, small beetles guided through labyrinths or films kept running. For each well-solved task, the child receives a reward - for example, a success symbol on the monitor.
Neurofeedback is suitable for all children with ADHD. It works from preschool to adulthood. The prerequisite is that the child or the patient wants to participate. In these cases, the symptoms would reduce in about 80 percent of those affected, about half could then refrain from medication.
The training usually consists of 20 to 30 sessions, which are divided into several blocks. Initially, at least three 60-minute sessions per week are recommended, and one to two weekly sessions may be sufficient later. Between the blocks should be a break of several weeks, in which the learned can be trained in everyday life. And: As with any learning, repetition is important to get a lasting effect. The "learned" must therefore be internalized, as learning vocabulary.
Neurofeedback treatment can be helpful in a variety of disorders. These include, among others:
Especially in children, neurofeedback can also have a beneficial effect on various sleep-related disorders
It is believed that many disorders are based on deregulation of brain function. The goal of neurofeedback treatment is to train the brain to improve its function. By repeatedly repeating this neurofeedback training, the brain function is to change permanently and symptoms of the disorders to be treated can be diminished or completely disappeared. For example, former migraine patients report that they did not get migraine for years after the (typically) 15 sessions. However, these people will retain a predisposition to migraine. Scientific studies have shown that neurofeedback treatment for attention deficit disorders (ADD / ADHD) can produce comparable results to methylphenidate medication.In recent years, much has been researched in the use of neurofeedback in the entire spectrum of mental disorders, sometimes with amazing results (see also literature).
Patients who take medication for specific disorders may require a reduction in drug dose or discontinuation of medication through neurofeedback treatment. By no means, however, is neurofeedback seen as a panacea and cannot always replace medication.In addition to the more medical application Neurofeedback is also used for deep relaxation and meditation.People who are already very good in their field often want to get even better (musicians, top athletes, managers). These are increasingly meeting with neurofeedback for peak performance training.In aging people, good brain function can ideally be supported by regular neurofeedback training. Almost every brain, regardless of its initial state, can be trained to function better.
From 2005 to 2007, a total of 102 children with an attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between the ages of eight and twelve participated in a study Munich. The children completed either neurofeedback training or conventional computer-aided attention training.
In neurofeedback training, the child sits in front of a computer screen. Its brainwaves are derived via glued-on measuring electrodes and control a computer program. Depending on the degree of concentration, for example, the child can use his or her power of thought to hold a penalty shot during a virtual football game or to see the picture clearly and clearly in a film. The training programs included 18 double-hour appointments, divided into two blocks of four weeks each. Both in parent and teacher assessment the Neurofeedback training was much better than the comparison training. In the problem areas "inattention" and "hyperactivity-impulsivity", neurofeedback training reduced the symptoms by an average of 25-30 percent. "With this computer-assisted procedure children with ADHD can develop their own strategies in order to concentrate better and to control their behavior," However, a neurofeedback therapy is only expected to replace the usual drug treatment in ADHD in isolated cases. However, the study shows that neurofeedback can be regarded as a further clinically effective therapy component for the treatment of children with ADHD in addition to medication and other behavioral therapy approaches. "It is important that the children actively participate in the therapy and that their parents support them in the transfer of learned self-regulation strategies into everyday life,"
Children diagnosed with ADHD,ADD are increasingly being treated with medication. These medicines are well studied and are considered safe. However, many parents are worried that the long-term consequences and potential harm of drug treatment of children with the active ingredient methylphenidate, known under the brand name Ritalin®, is still not certain. Therefore, they would like to give up the administration of medication. As an alternative to medication with psych stimulants, neurofeedback therapy has proven itself in studies and in practice:Neurofeedback is a treatment and training method that works without medication.
Neurofeedback (EEG feedback) is a scientifically recognized method by which autonomous control of brain activity can be learned. The therapy is based on the knowledge that humans are capable of controlling and influencing excitation and relaxation states of their brain. How does neurofeedback therapy work in ADHD? Successful learning through reward that motivates
In persons with ADHD, the electroencephalogram (EEG) shows special patterns of brain activity. This is visualized in computer-assisted neurofeedback via a monitor for patients and therapists. The measurement of the EEG takes place via completely painless sensors. Through the immediate feedback of the current state of brain activity, the patients learn in individually coordinated exercises to influence them and to change them in the desired way. Once this has been learned, those affected usually manage to regulate their attention performance independently in everyday life and concentrate. The Benefits of Neurofeedback Therapy in ADHD Neurofeedback is a training method that works without medication.Neurofeedback is completely painless. Side effects are unknown. Those affected are actively involved in neurofeedback training.Neurofeedback can improve the symptoms of ADHD so well that medication can be reduced. In the ideal case, a medication can be completely dispensed with. Neurofeedback helps in the long run: The self-regulatory ability remains long-term after completing the training.
The neurofeedback therapy we conduct in our practice is based on studies conducted at the University of Tübingen. Scientists at the Institute of Medical Psychology have shown that neurofeedback in ADHD leads to positive and lasting changes:
ADHD in childhood and adulthood Neurofeedback is suitable for children from school entry, for adolescents and adults. For a long time it was assumed that ADHD would "grow out" on its own with age. But the disorder often persists into adulthood. Adults with ADHD are often characterized by creativity, liveliness and spontaneity. Typical symptoms of ADHD in adulthood are: problems with concentration, impulsivity, mood swings, inattentiveness, disorganization, distractibility, inner restlessness. Accompanying can also be anxiety and depression. Course of Neurofeedback Therapy in ADHD If no diagnosis has yet been made, we will examine in two sessions whether you or your child actually has an attention problem. Diagnosis and therapy are carried out by specially trained therapists in our practice.A training consists of about 25 sessions and takes about 60 minutes with all preparations. Treatment should take place once or twice a week.