, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 95-114

Electroencephalographic Biofeedback in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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Abstract

Historically, pharmacological treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been considered to be the only type of interventions effective for reducing the core symptoms of this condition. However, during the past three decades, a series of case and controlled group studies examining the effects of EEG biofeedback have reported improved attention and behavioral control, increased cortical activation on quantitative electroencephalographic examination, and gains on tests of intelligence and academic achievement in response to this type of treatment. This review paper critically examines the empirical evidence, applying the efficacy guidelines jointly established by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) and the International Society for Neuronal Regulation (ISNR). On the basis of these scientific principles, EEG biofeedback was determined to be “probably efficacious” for the treatment of ADHD. Although significant clinical improvement was reported in approximately 75% of the patients in each of the published research studies, additional randomized, controlled group studies are needed in order to provide a better estimate of the percentage of patients with ADHD who will demonstrate such gains in clinical practice.