neurofeedback for ADHD


Did you know an estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions of childhood. And many adults with ADHD do not realize they have the disorder. It is likely you, a loved one or someone you know is affected with ADHD. So, you may wonder, is neurofeedback for ADHD an option?

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought). Many ADHD symptoms, such as high activity levels, difficulty remaining still for long periods of time and limited attention spans, are common to young children in general. But, the difference in children with ADHD is that their hyperactivity and inattention are greater than expected for their age and cause distress and/or problems functioning at home, at school or with friends.

Neurofeedback for ADHD in Adults

For adults with ADHD it may be challenging to focus, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. In addition, the inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.

Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress

Left untreated, adults with ADHD can experience reduced emotional and social functioning in areas such as:

  • Morning routine (getting ready for work and/or kids ready for school)
  • Driving safely to office
  • Finishing work accurately and on time
  • Helping kids with homework
  • Interacting with significant other/partner
  • Planning next day’s activities
  • Going to bed on time

Traditional Treatments vs. Neurofeedback Treatment

Treatment of ADHD usually consists of medication therapy, often combined with behavioral therapy. These treatments can also include parent and teacher management training and mediation.

Over the past years, the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD has provided ample ADHD research about stimulant medication and behavioral treatments. The studies prove that both stimulant medication and combined treatment had clinical benefit in the short term. Long-term, the benefits decreased after 24 months, as well as after 6 and 8 years. These findings have resulted in a growing interest into the development of non-drug treatments in ADHD such as Neurofeedback for ADHD.

Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD

During neurofeedback for ADHD, an EEG monitors patterns of brain activity. There is movement that is different in the ADHD brain than in the neurotypical brain. Traditional neurofeedback visualizes these brainwaves on a screen or game, and the subject tries to change their brainwaves to more typical patterns. In direct neurofeedback, low-intensity stimulation is applied in response to the brain’s existing electrical activity, seeking to disrupt atypical patterns.
Is neurofeedback effective for treating ADHD? Neurofeedback is a promising non-pharmacological treatment for ADHD symptoms. Neurofeedback ADHD research has shown that it effectively alters  patterns in the brain. The brain reacts to the stimulus, rewiring itself to lay down new patterns. In particular, neurofeedback strengthens brain systems that support self-control and reduce distracting or impulsive brain activity.
If you would like to explore neurofeedback for ADHD for you or a loved one with ADHD, The Los Angeles Neurofeedback Center offers Direct Neurofeedback therapy at the office and remote neurofeedback you can do at home. You can Schedule your first session with us today! 

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