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New Research in Using Neurofeedback Assessment to Determine ADHD Type and to Individualize Training

Posted on August 28 2012

Recent research published in the Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback journal (September 2012 Vol 37, No 3) shows the benefit of individualized neurofeedback training based on the assessment provided.  The article titled “The Effects of QEEG-Informed Neurofeedback in ADHD: An Open-Label Pilot Study” reported four types of ADHD assessment results:

1. Theta/Beta dysregulation.  This type of dysregulation indicates excessive under-focused brain wave activity and lack of beta (focused).
2. Alpha dysregulation.  Alpha is a type of day dreaming brain wave activity.  Excessive amounts lead to lack of focus due to day dreaming.
3. High Beta dysregulation.  High beta is over-focused activity - leading to distraction, anxiousness, and obsessiveness. 
4. SMR dysregulation (or Low Voltage).  Lack of SMR leads to distraction and inability to sustain effort.

The article reviewed research on which groups above typically respond to stimulant medication (#1 and #4) and which do not (#2 and #3). 

Depending on the dysregulation type (#1 through #4) and specific protocol can be developed to address the issue.  This leads to higher success rates using neurofeedback. This research article reported a 76% success rate (defined as a 50% or more reduction in symptoms post training - in this case about 30 sessions total).  At Ready To Focus, we have been following this type of protocol and have developed specific training screens for each issue.  Our office and home based participants are individually assessed by a Doctoral or Master’s level psychologist and assigned to a specific protocol or protocols to increase success rates. 

Ready To Focus presents in Istanbul, Turkey

Posted on August 23 2012

By Brad Oostindie

This August I had the unique experience of traveling to Istanbul, Turkey to present our neurofeedback program to missionary and aid workers in the European and Turkic-Arabic regions.  Our connection to this group is via Global Partners, the outreach and mission agency of the Wesleyan Church.  The workers in this region are involved in a number of different projects including partnerships with relief and humanitarian agencies, outreach activities, community building, and mentoring.  All of the individuals and families in this program have raised support from family and friends back home to be on the field and have committed to a long-term stay in the area in which they serve.

The Ready To Focus program and in particular our home based neurofeedback program has been able to provide substantial help to many of these individuals and families.  For both the adults and their children on the field we are able to provide help in dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, focus/concentration issues, learning issues, and issues related to chronic pain/migraines.  Since our home based program allows for remote use of the equipment no matter where a person or family is located, the use of the program overseas has not proved to be overly problematic in terms of logistical issues. 

Ready To Focus has committed to a another year of providing services to this area via two home based units.  This is a very good resource to the individuals and families, who otherwise would either not have access to it or would not be able to place the costs for it within their budgets.  This is our second year of participating with Global Partners, and we look forward to developing a strategy with them to provide even more services as we move forward.  Both this year and last year we provided over 50 assessments and will provide home based neurofeedback to nearly 16 families.  We also provided 3 presentations on how neurofeedback works and how it can benefit the participant.  All of these services were provided at no cost to the participants.

For all of you who have participated in the Ready To Focus program we thank you for your involvement as all of our activities in the U.S.A. help fund this type of outreach and service.  In a way you get to be part of helping out for the greater good as well! 

Who responds well to neurofeedback?

Posted on January 16 2012

By Dr. Brad Oostindie

I have had the opportunity to practice neurofeedback as a specialty since 2004, and since that time I have been able to assess and treat well over a thousand of participants using this “next generation of behavioral healthcare” treatment.  A common question I receive from a potential participant at his or her assessment session is “Will neurofeedback really benefit me?”  While it is impossible to predict the future,  it is my opinion there are a few factors to consider in attempting to answer this question:

- Number of sessions completed:  Those who complete 30-50 sessions tend increase their odds of better improvement.  Less than that can work, but reduces the odds. 
- Protocol followed: An experienced neurofeedback provider will be able to “prescribe” the best protocol for you.  “One size” does not fit all.
- Medications:  Depending on the type of medication you are taking that may play a role in how effective the training is for you.
- Condition: Some conditions are more difficult to address than others and may take more time to see results.  For example, those with autism can take more time to respond than ADHD.
- Equipment Used:  There is a wide variety of EEG equipment available for providers to use.  Some equipment provides poor quality EEG connection and this can be a negative.

Overall, I tell our Ready To Focus participants the following based on my experience:  Approximately a third of all participants may see very good results.  By this I mean that neurofeedback will address the majority of issues you wanted it to.  Another third of participants may see very solid results, but areas that could still use development and gain.  By this I mean that neurofeedback will address many of the issues (but not all) and it is possible that occasional follow-up appointments every once and a while will be needed to keep you on track.  The last third will struggle somewhat with neurofeedback and may require either additional therapies to reach their goal or longer term commitment to neurofeedback if the goal is to use it as a primary treatment.  These statements coincide with neurofeedback literature and research that supports a 60% success rate with the treatment depending on the condition being treated (Gunkleman, 2005) 

5 Main Areas Neurofeedback Addresses for those with ADHD

Posted on September 10 2011

Nice summary of how NF addresses ADHD issues
5 Main Areas Neurofeedback Addresses

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