Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Effectiveness of Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback: A Brief Overview

Developed in the 1960s and '70s, neurofeedback has gained significant recognition in recent decades. Neurofeedback (NF) has emerged as a promising therapeutic approach for addressing neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). By providing real-time feedback of brain activity, NF enables individuals to learn self-regulation and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions.
Effectiveness of Neurofeedback for ADHD

A comprehensive literature review conducted in 2022 focused on neurofeedback for ADHD, with particular emphasis on randomized control trials (RCTs) to ensure unbiased results.

The review yielded important insights:

  • Medication and behavior therapy offer temporary relief but may not address the core symptoms comprehensively.

  • Neurofeedback demonstrates significant improvements in inattention and impulsivity, as indicated by large Effect Sizes.

  • To sustain the positive effects, it is recommended that patients undergo follow-up neurofeedback treatment within 6–12 months after completing the initial NF treatment.

Additive Effects of Neurofeedback and Medications for ADHD

Meta-analyses published in 2022 have examined the effectiveness of combining neurofeedback with medications for ADHD treatment. These analyses included five randomized control trials (RCTs) involving 305 participants, with a median follow-up of 12 weeks.

The findings revealed:

  • The combination of neurofeedback with medications showed additional benefits for individuals with ADHD.

  • Significant improvements were observed in global ADHD symptoms and symptoms of inattention when the two approaches were used together.

  • The all-cause discontinuation rate was lower for the combined treatment approach, indicating the potential for sustained positive outcomes.

Effectiveness of Neurofeedback for ASD

A systematic review published in 2020 focused on neurofeedback for ASD in children. The review conducted a comprehensive search across multiple databases, 20 references involving a total of 443 participants were included in the analysis.

The findings from the review are as follows:

  • 94% of non-randomized controlled and experimental trials reported positive results, suggesting the potential effectiveness of neurofeedback for ASD.

  • When considering randomized controlled studies, the evidence for the effectiveness of neurofeedback in treating ASD was even more robust.

  • Neurofeedback demonstrated effectiveness in improving symptoms of ASD, including long-term positive effects.

Challenges in Neurofeedback and AI Solutions

Despite the potential benefits of neurofeedback, challenges exist in terms of assessment and protocol development. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, such as machine learning algorithms, can aid in the analysis of EEG data and support clinicians in decision-making. AI holds promise in improving attention assessment, enabling early identification of attention-related issues in children. By amalgamating EEG data with subjective reports and employing AI algorithms, a more comprehensive understanding of attention levels can be achieved, facilitating targeted interventions and better parent-child interactions.

For example, a study published in 2019 proposed a Neurofeedback Technology (NFT) system:

The system integrated EEG signals data and Behavior Style Questionnaire for child temperament data. By applying the k-means algorithm, an unsupervised machine learning clustering analysis method, the study effectively observed children's attention levels.

Neurofeedback has shown promise as an effective therapeutic approach for addressing neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly ADHD and ASD. Its integration with medications has yielded additional benefits, demonstrating additive effects on symptom reduction. The ongoing development of optimal treatment protocols and the utilization of AI technologies present opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of neurofeedback, aiding clinicians in delivering targeted interventions for improved outcomes.
Made on