Brief summary of evidence supporting the efficacy of biofeedback for ADD

Kaiser and Othmer (2000) did a study, with 1,089 patients, which showed that neurofeedback training of sensorimotor and beta waves led to significant improvement in attentiveness and impulse control, and positive changes as measured on the test of variables of attention (TOVA). The patients had moderate pre-training deficits.

Monastra, et al (2002) worked with 100 children taking Ritalin as well as having concurrent parent counseling and academic support. Half also received EEG biofeedback. There were similar improvements on the TOVA and an ADD evaluation scale. Only those children who had EEG biofeedback were able to sustain their improvements without Ritalin.

Other studies using similar techniques showed increases in intelligence scores and academic performance if theta training was added and was successful. (Lubar et al 1995).

One small study of 16 children compared children trained with neurofeedback to those on a waiting list. They found increased intelligence scores and reduced inattentive behaviors as rated by parents (Linden et al 1996).

Two small studies have shown EEG biofeedback to be as effective as Ritalin on numerous measures (Rossiter & LaVaque 1995, Fuchs, Birbaumer, et al, 2003).

Another study found that 16 of 24 patients taking medication were able to lower their doses or discontinue medication totally after successful training (Alhambra et al 1995).

* Much of the information provided here is from Carolyn Yucha and Christopher Gilbert's 2004 book "Evidence Based Practice in Biofeedback & Neurofeedback" AAPB, Wheat Ridge, CO.

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