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Neurofeedback is a viable option for those who want to treat ADHD naturally. However, not all insurance policies cover it. Additionally, it can take dozens of appointments that can really rack up the cost whether you’re insured or paying out of pocket. Because of this, you may be wondering “Can I do neurofeedback at home for ADHD?”
Because of at-home neurofeedback systems for ADHD, the answer is yes. One such product is Excellent Brain’s ADHD Home Kit (aff.) It includes a “personalized training program enabling you to make use of advanced Neurofeedback technology to improve your concentration and cope with ADHD”.
What Is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, is a form of brain training that helps the mind operate more efficiently. Using EEG (electroencephalogram) technology, the user receives feedback on her own brain performance, then the brain is rewarded as its function improves. This gradual treatment based on electrical brain activity can be used for a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression. It’s also used in patients with autism, seizures, headaches and migraines, and even PMS.
How Does Neurofeedback At Home Work?
The kit includes a headset that connects with your computer or tablet that enables users to visualize brain activity associated with various mental tasks. Users complete 30 20-minute sessions, after which time they receive a grade for their performance. Through repetition, users are able to determine how to best optimize their concentration.
As explained by Excellent Brain:
“Neurofeedback training with Excellent Brain consists of short activities in which the trainee uses their attention and concentration While playing computer games Each activity lasts 2 minutes, each training session performs 10 different activities.”
“Throughout the activity the trainee accumulates points each time his brain is in the “correct” state. At the end of each activity a concentration graph will appear showing the level of concentration the trainee exhibited during the activity.”
Neurofeedback can be combined with other forms of treatment including therapy and medication. The distinction, explains Excellent Brain, is that “neurofeedback allows ADHD patients to detect the origin of their symptoms and aim for long-lasting improvements, and they will be able to use them in real life. It is a harmless technique that promotes self-control and awareness.”
Does Neurofeedback Really Help ADHD?
While several studies back the effectiveness of neurofeedback for ADHD, CHADD maintains that further research is needed. ADDitude magazine’s medical panel considers the technology as “a promising therapy for ADHD” as a complement to therapy and/or medication. Neurofeedback also is a recognized ADHD intervention by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which states.
“Though most studies are not fully blind, the body of research cited above suggests that neurofeedback is a promising therapy for ADHD, but it should be considered a complement to medication and/or behavior therapy rather than a standalone treatment,” reports ADDitude magazine.
Benefits of Neurofeedback
There are several reasons one may consider neurofeedback for ADHD. Here are a few:
- Non-prescription solution – Because neurofeedback doesn’t require you to take medication, it can be a benefit to those who are trying to treat ADHD naturally. This is a benefit for those who either don’t want to take stimulant medication or who cannot for medical reasons.
- Works alone or with other interventions – Neurofeedback complements nicely with other ADHD interventions, or it can be used as a stand-alone intervention. This is a good option for people who are already doing things such as medications and therapy and want to boost their results. It’s also good for those who can’t explore options such as medication or therapy, perhaps for financial reasons, transportation issues, convenient access to medical professionals, and more.
- Multiple benefits – While treating ADHD, you can also treat other disorders concurrently, such as anxiety and depression. Because ADHD overlaps with these conditions and a multitude of other symptoms, it’s possible to alleviate multiple issues with neurofeedback.
- Minimal side effects – Neurofeedback is believed to be generally safe, the most common side effect being mental fatigue. As opposed to interventions such as stimulant medication, this can be a desirable option for those who would like to avoid any side effects they may experience from prescriptions.
Neurofeedback Resources & Research
To learn more about neurofeedback for ADHD, check out these resources:
- International Society for Neurofeedback & Research – ISNR supports education and excellence in the field of neurofeedback training and neurotherapy and seeks the validation and acceptance of this discipline by a broad spectrum of society.
- Meta-Analysis: Can Neurofeedback Effectively Treat ADHD? – ADDitude’s official stance on neurofeedback for ADHD, which it considers “a promising complementary therapy.”
- Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) – CHADD’s breakdown on the research to date on neurofeedback and ADHD
- Effects of Smart-Tablet-Based Neurofeedback Training on Cognitive Function in Children with Attention Problems – A look at how smart-tablet-based neurofeedback could improve executive function-including attention, working memory, and self-regulation-in children with attention problems.
- Closed-loop brain training: the science of neurofeedback – An examination of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback, which have started to be uncovered.
- Neurofeedback versus psychostimulants in the treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review – An evaluation of the efficacy of neurofeedback (NF) compared to stimulant medication in treating children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- A Brain-Computer Interface Based Attention Training Program for Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – An investigation of a BCI-based attention training game system on 20 unmedicated ADHD children.
- Comparison of Medical and Consumer Wireless EEG Systems for Use in Clinical Trials – A comparison of quantitative EEG signal and test-retest reliability of medical grade and consumer EEG systems.
- A comparative study on the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying effects of methylphenidate and neurofeedback on inhibitory control in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – A look at the underlying effects of methylphenidate and neurofeedback on ADHD executive function.
Due to modern advances in technology, it is possible to do neurofeedback at home. With kits such as Excellent Brain’s ADHD Home Kit (aff.), neurofeedback is more accessible to those who otherwise may not be able to try it.