Neurofeedback ADHD Research

There has been a great deal of excellent research for Neurofeedback ADHD, ADD and learning disorders and hundreds of case studies from thousands of neurofeedback centres all around the world over the last 40 years demonstrating not only the effectiveness but also the long term benefits for:

  • ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) &
  • Learning disabilities


Research for Neurofeedback ADHD

Tansey (1991). A study with 24 ADHD children with learning disabilities resulted in 22 of the 24 increasing full scale IQ scores on the WISC-R of at least 15 points with the other 2 obtaining an increase of 13 and 14 points.

Tansey et al. (1993) reported a case study of 10 year-old boy with concurrent diagnoses of ADHD and developmental reading disorder. After treatment with neurotherapy, there was cessation of hyperactivity and, additionally, normal social and academic function.

Ten years after successful treatment his ongoing normal functioning is noted in his EEG. Medication was suspended one week prior to initiation of treatment, and was never returned to.

Rossiter & LaVaque (1995) – Compared 20 sessions of neurofeedback with psychostimulants, for example, Ritalin– Results suggest that neurofeedback is an effective alternative to stimulant medication.

Lubar, Swartwood & O’Donenell (1995) – Three separate studies were conducted with 42 ADHD children and adolescents from 8 to 19 years. In the first experiment with 19 subjects, a significant improvement in the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) was obtained by those who decreased their Theta brainwave levels.

In the second experiment with 13 subjects, there was significant improvement in parent evaluations on the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES).

In the third experiment with 10 subjects, significant improvement was obtained with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R). Together the experiments indicate the effectiveness of neurotraining in increasing cognitive skills and decreasing attention deficits of ADHD children and adolescents.

Lubar (1995) -10 year follow-up on cases and found that in about 80% of patients Neurofeedback can substantially improve the symptoms of ADD and ADHD, and these changes are maintained. This is especially positive considering drug followup is usually around 3 months with the longest being 14 months.

Linden, Habib & Radojevic (1996) – The neurofeedback group in a controlled study with 18 ADHD children from 5 to 15 years demonstrated increases in the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test and reduced inattentive behaviours on the Behaviour Rating Scale, compared to controls who received no neurotraining.
Fenger (1998) – Subjects showed enhanced academic achievement, attention and cognition.

Ramos (1998) – Case studies of 3 participants, ages were 7, 12, and 28. All three showed significant improvement in symptoms.

Wadhwani, Radvanski & Carmody (1998) – Subjects showed improvement in all ADHD symptoms.

Thompson & Thompson (1999) – Initially 30% of children were taking medication, this dropped to 6% at the conclusion of therapy. There was significant improvement in ADD symptoms, intelligence scales and academic performance.

Kaiser & Othmer (2000) – In a multi-site research program 726 children and adolescents aged from 5 to 16 years and 363 adults aged from 17 to 67 years, who undertook an average of 20 neurotraining sessions 85% showed improvement in their TOVA scores.

Approximately two thirds of the subjects were male, 186 had been formally diagnosed with ADHD, the others presented with obvious behavioural problems with moderate to severe problems with attentiveness and impulse control measured by the Test of Variables of Attention TOVA.

Some had also been diagnosed with disorders commonly seen with ADHD––oppositional-defiant disorder, conduct disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, minor traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and depression.

These results are significant as the subjects had failed with traditional medication and many of the adults were symptomatic their whole lives.

Monastra et al. (2002)- In a one year follow-up, control group study found that Neurofeedback produced superior improvements to Ritalin, without needing to remain on drugs

Fuchs et al. (2003) -demonstrated that Neurofeedback produced comparable improvements to Ritalin.

References

Fenger, T. N. (1998). Visual-motor integration and its relation to EEG neurofeedback brain wave patterns, reading, spelling, and arithmetic achievement in attention deficit disordered and learning disabled students. Journal of Neurotherapy, 3, 9-18.

Kaiser, D., & Othmer, S. (2000). Effect of neuro-feedback on variables of attention in a large multi-center trial Journal of Neurotherapy, 4(1)

Linden, M., Habib, T., and Radojevic, V. (1996). A controlled study of the effects of EEG biofeedback on cognition and behaviour of children with attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities. Biofeedback and Self Regulation, 21(1), 35-49

Lubar, J. 0. & Lubar, J. F. (1984). Electroencephalographic biofeedback of SMR and beta for treatment of attention deficit disorders in a clinical setting. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 9, 1-25.

Lubar, J. F., Swartwood, M. O., Swartwood, J. N., & O’Donnell, P. H. (1995). Evaluation of the effectiveness of EEG neurofeedback training for ADHD in a clinical setting as measured by changes in T.O.V.A. scores, behavioural ratings, and WISC-R performance. Biofeedback and Self Regulation. 20(1), 83-99.

Ramos, F. (1998). Frequency band interaction in ADD/ADHD neurotherapy. Journal of Neurotherapy, 3, 26-41.

Rossiter, T. R. & LaVaque, T. J. (1995). A comparison of EEG biofeedback and psychostimulants in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Journal of Neurotherapy, 1, 48-59.

Tansey, M. A. (1991) Wechsler (WISC-R) changes following treatment of learning disabilities via EEG biofeedback training in a private practice setting. Australian Journal of Psychology, 43(3), 147-153.

Tansey, M. A. (1993). Ten year stability of EEG biofeedback results for a hyperactive boy who failed fourth grade perceptually impaired class. Biofeedback and Self Regulation, 18(1), 33-44.

Thompson, L. & Thompson, M. (1999). Neurofeedback combined with training metacognitive strategies. Journal of Neurotherapy, 3.