Since the first reports of neurofeedback treatment in ADHD in 1976 many studies have been carried out investigating the effects of neurofeedback on different symptoms of ADHD such as inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. This technique is also used by many practitioners, but the question as to the evidence-based level of this treatment is still unclear.
In this study selected research on neurofeedback treatment for ADHD was collected and a meta-analysis was performed. Both prospective controlled studies and studies employing a pre- and post-design found large effect sizes (ES) for neurofeedback on impulsivity and inattention and a medium ES for hyperactivity. Randomised studies demonstrated a lower ES for hyperactivity suggesting that hyperactivity is probably most sensitive to non-specific treatment factors.
Due to the inclusion of some very recent and sound methodological studies in this meta-analysis potential confounding factors such as small studies, lack of randomisation in previous studies and a lack of adequate control groups have been addressed and the clinical effects of neurofeedback in the treatment of ADHD can be regarded as clinically meaningful.
Three randomised studies have employed a semi-active control group, which can be regarded as a credible sham control providing an equal level of cognitive training and client-therapist interaction. Therefore, in line with the AAPB and ISNR guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, we conclude that neurofeedback treatment for ADHD can be considered ‘Efficacious and Specific’ (Level 5) with a large ES for inattention and impulsivity and a medium ES for hyperactivity.
In the 1990s Prof. Yuri Kropotov started his research in the field of quantitative EEG and evoked potentials in normal subjects, in ADHD population and in neurological patients to whom intracranial electrodes were implanted for diagnosis and therapy.
Phenotype evaluation of the EEG was proposed in a paper in 2005 published in Clinical Electroencephalography and Neurophysiology. The retrospective analysis of many decades of experience has since been actively evaluated, from published works focusing on basic neuroscience (J. Pop-Jordanov), and the work from Holland on medication response prediction (M. Arns).
Professor Yuri Kropotov demonstrates that by knowing which brain dysfunction is associated with symptoms of ADHD a clinician can suggest the individualised treatment, whether it be medication, neurofeedback, tDCS or GABA agonists.
This paper is an exploration of the theoretical grounds of resilience and hope. In our previous work with women who mother children with ADHD or ASD we found that many women are themselves disabled by their child's disability; they are isolateresild, marginalised and silenced (Carpenter & emerald 2009; Carpenter & Austin 2007). Yet, these women persevere in the face of the ongoing challenges of mothering a child with a disability. We now ask: is this resilience they show, or hope or is it something else again?
There has been an abundance of ADHD neurofeedback (NF) studies in the past decade in an effort to show NF’s efficacy on reducing the cardinal symptoms of ADHD. A recent meta-analysis concluded that NF was an efficacious treatment of ADHD, with a large effect size for inattention and impulsivity and a medium effect size for hyperactivity. Most studies, including the ones in the meta-analysis, have used a wait-list or active control as comparison groups. More recently, there have been a few NF studies using a blinded placebo-controlled design. These studies have shown equivocal results, indicating NF and placebo NF produced similar outcomes.
This research is the first to demonstrate that Neurotherapy resulted in the dynamic neuromodulation of the dopamine-mediated frontal and norepinephrine-mediated parietal components of the attentional system, as proposed by Tucker and Williamson’s (1984) model of the attentional system. It provides further support to the recent controlled studies and meta-analysis that suggest that Neurotherapy is an effective and efficacious treatment for ADHD.