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.