Blog Post New Study Shows Neurofeedback Just as Effective as Medication

New Study Shows Neurofeedback Just as Effective as Medication
Apr

8

2015

New Study Shows Neurofeedback Just as Effective as Medication

Neurofeedback is a system informed by the theory of operant conditioning. As neurofeedback provides contingent and simultaneous reinforcement to children based on their neurophysiological signs, previous research has indicated that neurofeedback assists children with ADHD in learning to manage and control the processes which underlie cognitive, emotional and behavioural regulation.
 In 2013 Dr. Meisel and colleagues implemented a study which utilised neurofeedback as a treatment for children with ADHD and compared the effects of this with children who had received standard pharmacological treatment. Children who were experiencing symptoms of ADHD participated in the study, and treatments were compared with one group of participants receiving 40 sessions of neurofeedback and a second group of children receiving a standard dose of methylphenidate, a common medication prescribed for individual’s diagnosed with ADHD . Results of the study indicated that neurofeedback was overall comparable to medication in terms of effectiveness, with both medication and neurofeedback significantly improving symptoms of ADHD. Analyses of the data revealed that both pharmacological intervention and neurofeedback significantly improved inattention and hyperactivity as measured by both parent and teacher reports, indicating that both pharmacological treatment and neurofeedback produced positive improvement that was transferable across contexts. 
The effect of neurofeedback when compared with traditional pharmacological based treatments for ADHD should be investigated further on a larger sample of participants, however the existing literature on neurofeedback as a treatment for ADHD is exceptionally promising. The current research suggests that neurofeedback provides an alternative to medication, with similar effectiveness but without the potential side effects of pharmacological treatments.
References
Meisel, V., Servera, M., Garcia-Banda, G., Cardo, E., Moreno, I. (2013). Neurofeedback and standard pharmacological intervention in ADHD: A randomised controlled trial with six-month follow up. Biological Psychology, 94, 12-21
Chynna Foster