, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 536-542

Current Status of Neurofeedback for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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Abstract

As conventional treatments offer incomplete benefit for over 33 % of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and many refuse to try them, additional treatments are needed. One of the most promising is neurofeedback (NF, EEG biofeedback), which trains the brain with real-time video/audio information about its electrical activity measured from scalp electrodes. Since 2010, data from 8 randomized controlled studies of NF have been published with overall mean effect sizes of: 0.40 (all measures), 0.42 (ADHD measures), 0.56 (inattention), and 0.54 (hyperactivity/ impulsivity). Unfortunately, the benefit reported from randomized studies has not been observed in the few small blinded studies conducted. Main study strengths include randomization, evidence-based diagnostic assessments, multi-domain treatment outcomes, use of some type of blinding, and sham control conditions. Main study limitations include lack of large samples, abnormal EEG participant selection, double-blinding, and testing of blind validity and sham inertness. Most recently, a collaborative NF research group has been planning a definitive double-blind well-controlled trial.