Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 536–542 | Cite as

Current Status of Neurofeedback for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Nicholas LofthouseEmail author
  • L. Eugene Arnold
  • Elizabeth Hurt
Attention-Deficit Disorder (R Bussing, Section Editor)


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.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD Neurofeedback NF Neurotherapy EEG biofeedback Review 



N Lofthouse: none; LE Arnold: advisory board for Biomarin (one time), Noven, Seaside Therapeutics (one time), AstraZeneca (one time), and Shire; payment for lectures, including service on speakers bureau, from Shire; travel/accommodations/meeting expenses reimbursed from Shire; and grants from Shire, CureMark, and Lilly; E. Hurt: none.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Lofthouse
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Eugene Arnold
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Hurt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Nisonger CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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