Can Neurofeedback Help ADHD?


can neurofeedback help adhd

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Can Neurofeedback Help ADHD?

Content provided in association with Excellent Brain. Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay 

If you’re looking for a natural therapy for your ADHD, you may have come across the treatment known as neurofeedback. Can neurofeedback help ADHD? Let’s take a look at what exactly neurofeedback is and if it’s worth giving it a shot.

While I haven’t tried neurofeedback myself, I have used other non-traditional therapies over the years such as hypnotherapy and EMDR. Because of the positive results I’ve seen in both, I have an open mind about neurofeedback. My advice? If you do your research and feel like it could only help and not hurt, I say it’s worth a shot. 

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.

“Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain dysregulation,” explains EEG Info. “In the case of organic brain disorders, it can only be a matter of getting the brain to function better rather than of curing the condition. When it comes to problems of dysregulation, we would say that there is not a disease to be cured. Where dysregulation is the problem, self-regulation may very well be the remedy.”

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.

For a more in-depth look at the research behind neurofeedback for ADHD, CHADD includes a detailed breakdown of each of the studies done so far, which include:

Does Insurance Cover Neurofeedback?

While neurofeedback is covered by some insurance companies, your mileage may vary. Explains Dr. Ronald Rosenthal of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback:

“In an ideal world, we would be able to generate a long list of insurance companies and managed care organizations that have consistently paid for biofeedback services. However, the world we live in is far from ideal and insurance reimbursement for biofeedback continues to be inconsistent and unpredictable.”

How Many Neurofeedback Sessions Are Needed for ADHD?

For those who go the traditional route with in-person sessions, the cost can reach thousands of dollars. According to ADDitude, 20 to 40 sessions are typically required to see results from neurofeedback.

“Over time, neurofeedback aims to help patients increase the ratio of high-frequency brain waves, leading to stronger attention and self-control,” explains doctors Davis Rabiner and Ed Hamlin of the magazine’s ADHD Medical Review Panel. “Many ADHD brains generate an abundance of low-frequency delta or theta brain waves, and a shortage of high-frequency beta brain waves.”

Neurofeedback Home Kits

Those interested in neurofeedback but are concerned about the cost may be curious about home kits for neurofeedback. Companies such as Excellent Brain provide these at-home neurofeedback kits (aff), which hook up to your computer. The user plays a series of games, then uses real-time feedback to improve concentration and attention.

Regularly priced at $799, the Excellent Brain kit provides 6 months of cloud-based brain training. Thirty 20-minute sessions are required for the full benefit, during which time users wear a headset and complete various brain exercises. Learn more about doing neurofeedback at home for ADHD.

More Neurofeedback Research

Here are a few of the top studies that tout the effectiveness of neurofeedback:

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