Neurofeedback: An effective treatment for children with ADHD
Dr Shelley Hyman
Neurofeedback is an area of research which is gaining increasing relevance in the treatment of children with ADHD. Neurofeedback involves teaching an individual to monitor their brain activity through continual positive reinforcement, often in the form of a simple video game where the individual is able to 'gain points' and progress to higher levels in the game through monitoring their brain activity.
Through positively reinforcing children for their brain activities, children are subconsciously being trained to have more control over the electrical impulses of their brains which will allow them to develop strategies for self-regulation and management.
In 2014 Dr. Micoulaud-Franchi and colleagues reviewed the existing research on the implementation of neurofeedback as a treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD.
Miccoulaud-Franchi investigated the effects of five contemporary studies encompassing a total of 263 children and found that across all studies the use of neurofeedback significantly decreased the ADHD total score,and decreased hyperactivity as measured by a parent assessment scale, moderate effect sizes indicating improvement.
Behaviours relating to inattention were also shown to significantly decrease following neurofeedback as rated by both a parent assessment scale and a teacher assessment scale.
The evidence for the effectiveness of neurofeedback on managing and decreasing the overall symptoms associated with ADHD in children, with parents reporting significant improvements across each of the studies reviewed.
- Micoulaud-Franchi, J., Geoffrey, A. G., Fond, G., Lopez, R., Bioulac, S. & Philip, P. (2014). EEG neurofeedback treatments in children with ADHD: an updated meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 1-7Chynna Foster