Brain Mapping and Neurotherapy – Conditions

 

The Neuro-Map Report Allows Us To Visualize Inside The Brain

Electroencephalographic Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
By: Vincent J. Monastra, Steven Lynn, Michael Linden, Joel F. Lubar, John Gruzelier, and Theodore J. LaVaque
Without effective treatment, children and adolescents with ADHD are at greater risk to develop academic, behavioral, mood, and anxiety disorders (Biederman et al., 1996), incur accidental injury (Hartsough & Lambert, 1985; Lahey et al., 1998), and struggle with substance abuse disorders (Claude & Firestone, 1995; Mannuzza et al., 1991). Similarly, when not systematically treated, adults with a childhood history of ADHD have academic histories marked by lower average marks, more expulsions, a higher rate of retention in a grade, and fewer completed grades (Weiss & echtman, 1993; Mannuzza et al., 1993, 1998). These patients are more likely to have a higher incidence of substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and criminal behavior, and have an employment history of more jobs, more frequent “layoffs” and an overall job status that was lower than that of peers of similar intelligence without ADHD (Weiss & Hechtman, 1993; Murphy & Barkley, 1996). For more information, please click the following link: Neurofeedback and ADHD.

New Study Supports Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD

By: Dr. David Rabiner

Neurofeedback also known as EEG Biofeed­back is an approach for treating ADHD in which individuals are provided realtime feed­back on their brainwave patterns and taught to alter their typical EEG pattern to one that is consistent with a focused, attentive state. This is typically done by collecting EEG data from individuals as they focus on stimuli presented on a computer screen. Their ability to control the stimuli, for example, keeping the smile on a smiley face, is contingent on maintaining the particular EEG state being trained. According to neurofeedback proponents, learning how to do this during training generalizes to real world situations and this results in improved attention and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behavior. For more information, please click the following link: http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2009/03/11/new-study-supports-neurofeedback-treatment-for-adhd/

Addiction

Electroencephalographic Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
By: Vincent J. Monastra, Steven Lynn, Michael Linden, Joel F. Lubar, John Gruzelier, and Theodore J. LaVaque
Without effective treatment, children and adolescents with ADHD are at greater risk to develop academic, behavioral, mood, and anxiety disorders (Biederman et al., 1996), incur accidental injury (Hartsough & Lambert, 1985; Lahey et al., 1998), and struggle with substance abuse disorders (Claude & Firestone, 1995; Mannuzza et al., 1991). Similarly, when not systematically treated, adults with a childhood history of ADHD have academic histories marked by lower average marks, more expulsions, a higher rate of retention in a grade, and fewer completed grades (Weiss & echtman, 1993; Mannuzza et al., 1993, 1998). These patients are more likely to have a higher incidence of substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and criminal behavior, and have an employment history of more jobs, more frequent “layoffs” and an overall job status that was lower than that of peers of similar intelligence without ADHD (Weiss & Hechtman, 1993; Murphy & Barkley, 1996). For more information, please click the following link: Neurofeedback and ADHD.

Applicability of Brain Wave Biofeedback to Substance Use Disorder in Adolescents

By: David L. Trudeau, MD

Attempting a review paper on the use of neurofeedback in adolescent addictions is difficult. There is practically no literature on the use of neurofeedback in adolescent addictions, and the only information available comes from studies published on adult addiction treatment. Brain wave biofeedback (sometimes called neurofeedback or neurotherapy) has been studied as a method for treatment of addictive disorders in adults over the past 15 years or so, with a slowly accumulating body of evidence supporting its use in different circumstances. Several recent reviews [1,2] have detailed the literature regarding its use and development of neurotherapy for addictive disorders and are not repeated here, except in a general way to introduce the reader to the technique and specifically discuss its applicability to child and adolescent psychiatry. Although neurofeedback is an attractive technique for treating addictive disorders because it is medication free and compatible with other therapies, it also appeals to persons interested in alternative treatments. It has applicability in difficult-to-treat groups, such as stimulant abusers [3–5], incarcerated felons [6], and chronic treatment-resistant alcoholics [7,8]. Neurotherapy for addictions has several disadvantages in that it is labor intensive (20 to 30 half-hour sessions), requires special equipment ($2,000–$5,000 cost) and training, and lacks large randomized clinical trials for validation. Most authors describe enduring effects, and in the case of addictions treatment, long-term follow-ups have been done. For more information, please click the following link: Neurofeedback and Addiction.

Anxiety

How Can Neurofeedback Help with Anxiety?

By: Dr. Richard Soutar

Individuals with anxiety have a chronically hyperaroused central nervous system. In a majority of cases dsiposition towards anxious behavior is genetic in origin. Any powerful truama to the central nervous system or prolonged stress can result in chronic anxiety and/or panic attacks. Anxiety reduces immune system function, impairs working memory, creates attentional problems and generates a wide variety of physical symptoms that vary from person to person. As many as 60% of doctor visits may have their basis in the effects of prolonged anxiety. Individuals tend to block out the feelings of anxiety over time, but the physical stress it creates for the body continues to increase until physical problems develop.Most people are very surprised to discover that what they thought was purely a physical problem is primarily due to chronic anxiety. It is only in the last decade that the full impact that anxiety has on the human biology is coming to be appreciated. Anxiety results in an overactive brain. Individuals tend to worry or ruminate excessively and are hypervigilent. This causes increased brain activity that is chronic and results in excessive consupmtion of oxygen, glucose, and neurotransmitters as well as a host of nutrients. The effect of this appears in PET scans as well as topographic EEG braimaps. The heightened level of metabolic activity also results in higher levels of fast brain wave activity known as beta brainwave activity. We call this condition “brain too fast” in contrast to depression in which the brain is running too slow. With neurofeedback the goal is to train the brain to slow down and operate in a more optimal zone of functioning. As the brain practices being in this more efficient zone of operation it begins to grow networks that help it regulate itself better when it is not practicing in the clinic. Over time this new zone of operation becomes the default or normal zone of operation. The symptoms of anxiety progressively dissipate as the indiviual trains and the brain normalizes functions.

Neurofeedback With Anxiety And Affective Disorders

By: Cory Hammond, PhD

Compelling evidence exists for a neurophysiologic basis for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A large number of positron emission tomographic and single photon emission computed tomographic studies have found increased blood flow and metabolism in the mediofrontal, anterior cingulate, right frontal, or orbitofrontal areas, which implicates a cortico-striato-thalamocortical network. Functional abnormalities also have been documented in a large number of quantitative EEG (qEEG) studies and evoked potential studies. OCD seems to be somewhat heterogeneous, however, with at least two qEEG subtypes that have been found. Prichep et al and Kuskowski et al found a group with excess alpha brain waves throughout most of the head, with frontal excess beta, whereas another subgroup has an excess of theta activity, particularly in frontal and posterior temporal areas. Clinical experience in conducting qEEG assessment with patients with OCD also has shown that excess beta activity is often found along the midline, in cortical areas approximately over the anterior cingulate.For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Anxiety

Autism

Assessment-Guided Neurofeedback for Autistic Spectrum Disorder

By: Robert Coben, PhD and Ilean Padolsky, PhD

In recent years, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has shown a dramatic increase in prevalence. A review of prevalence survey research for ASD (identified by DSM-IV criteria for Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) across the United States and the United Kingdom reported rates of ASD substantially increased from prior surveys indicating 5 to 10 per 10,000 children to as high as 50 to 80 per 10,000 (equivalent to a range of 1 in 200 to 1 in 125 children with ASD) (Blaxill, 2004). Another review of research on the epidemiology of Autism (Medical Research Council, 2001) indicated that approximately 60 per 10,000 children (equivalent to a range of 1 in 166 children) are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Autism

Connectivity-Guided Neurofeedback for Autistic Spectrum Disorder

By: Robert Coben,PhD

Research on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) has shown related symptoms to be the result of brain dysfunction in multiple brain regions. Functional neuroimaging and electroencephalography research have shown this to be related to abnormal neural connectivity problems. The brains of individuals with ASD show both areas of excessively high connectivity and areas with deficient connectivity. This article reviews emerging evidence that neurofeedback guided by connectivity data can remediate these connectivity anomalies leading to symptom reduction and functional improvement. This evidence raises the hopes for a behavioral, psychophysiological intervention moderating the severity of ASD. Both empirical data and a case example are presented to exemplify this approach. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Autism 2

Positive Outcome With Neurofeedback Treatment In a Case of Mild Autism

By: Arthur G. Sichel, Lester G. Fehmi, and David M. Goldstein

This article looks at the experience of Frankie, an autistic 8 and 1/2 year old boy. He was diagnosed mildly autistic by several specialists. One specialist claimed he was brain damaged and “autistic-like ” and that there was no hope for improvement. At Frankie’s mother’s request, neurotherapy diagnosis and treatment was begun. After 31 sessions, Frankie showed Positive changes in all the diagnostic dimensions defining autism in DSM-111-P, This has profound implications for treatment in a field with few low-risk alternatives. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Autism 3

Neurofeedback Helps Those With Autistic Disorders, Study Finds

By: Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2008) Research on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) shows that neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) can remediate anomalies in brain activation, leading to symptom reduction and functional improvement. This evidence raises the hopes for a behavioral, psychophysiological intervention moderating the severity of ASD. Read More link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080226185848.htm

Bipolar Disorder

EEG Neurofeedback for Treating Psychiatric Disorders

By Alondra Oubré, Ph.D

Neurofeedback, also called electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback or neurotherapy, is an adjunctive treatment used for psychiatric conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, depression and affective disorders, autism, and addictive disorders.

In an interview with Psychiatric Times, Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D., chief scientist at EEG Spectrum International Inc., described neurofeedback as neuroregulation in the time and frequency domains through the use of bioelectrical operant conditioning. Like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), neurofeedback is an innovative form of electrotherapeutics that complements neurochemical interventions for mood disorders. “With the use of anticonvulsants as mood stabilizers,” Othmer said, “we have seen a convergence of psychiatry and neurology in the field of pharmacology. Similarly, neurofeedback signals a convergence of psychiatry and neurology in bioelectrical approaches to treating affective disorders. By stabilizing the brain and rewarding it for holding particular states, neurofeedback acts as a natural anticonvulsant.” The rationale for using neurofeedback therapeutically is that it corrects deficits in brain cerebral regulatory function related to arousal, attention, vigilance and affect (Othmer et al., 1999).

During neurofeedback sessions, patients learn to produce desirable brain wave patterns displayed on a computer screen by controlling the activity of a computerized game or task seen on a second screen. Increases in the amplitude of slow spindle activity are instantaneously rewarded. The reward corresponds to the earned score, similar to scores accumulated in a computer game (Othmer, 1999).

Neurofeedback represents a window of opportunity for assessing and shifting any given brain state (Manchester et al., 1998). The designated frequency band determines which brain state is rewarded (Othmer, 1999). Beta (15 Hz to 18 Hz) training usually produces a slightly upward shift in arousal levels, leading to increased wakefulness and attentiveness or to decreased depression. For more information, please click this link: Biofeedback and Psychiatric Disorders.

Chronic Fatigue

EEG Patterns and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By: Thomas H. Budzynski, Ph.D

He number of investigations of the degree and extent of cognitive difficulties found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) subjects has increased in recent years. Deficits in speed of information processing, psychomotor activity, semantic processing, logical reasoning, and metabolism of the cerebral cortex (measured using a SPECT scan) all demonstrate the broad array of cognitive difficulties associated with this disorder (DeLuca, Johnson, Beldowicz, & Natelson, 1995; Johnson, DeLuca, Fiedler, & Natelson, 1994; Krupp, Sliwinski, Masur, Friedburg, & Coyle, 1994; Ray, Phillips, &Weir, 1993; Schwartz et al., 1994; Smith, Behan, Bell, Millar, & Bakheit, 1993).

Although current research has yet to establish any etiological factor or combination of factors that characterize a majority of CFS patients, numerous studies have demonstrated psychological differences between CFS patients and controls representing the general population (Hickie, Lloyd, Wakefield, & Parker, 1990; Krupp et al., 1994; Swanink et al., 1995). Hickie et al. (1990) concluded that psychological impairment in CFS is a result of the illness and not a precursor to CFS. They found that the premorbid prevalence of ma or depression (12.5%) and of total psychiatric disorder (24.5%) was no higher than general community estimates. Only 20.5% of the CFS patients studied by Schweitzer, Robertson, Kelly, and Whiting (1994) exceeded the severe depression cutoff on the Beck Depression Inventory In contrast, Manu et al. (1989) claimed that depression is an important antecedent to chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, CDC criteria for CFS were not used in the selection process for subjects in the latter study, making comparisons between this and other studies difficult. Krupp et al. (1994) found that CFS patients rated themselves as significantly more depressed on self-report questionnaires when compared to controls (p <.001), with a lifetime prevalence of major depression (determined through psychiatric interview) at 40%. Only CFS subjects who included cognitive symptoms among the major CDC criteria were used in this study This selection criteria may have indirectly limited CFS inclusion to those subjects who were more depressed. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Pain

New Hope for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

By Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D

Pain is one of several sensory systems that keep us apprised of the status of our bodies. As we hurry through our daily lives, we usually view pain at the very least as an inconvenience, if not a major disruption. It’s fortunate that we have our pain sensors – they provide a valuable warning to us that we need to stop and take care of ourselves. Pain has considerable survival value, but when an injury has healed and the pain continues unabated, or when pain seems to have no obvious connection to any injury, it no longer serves a useful purpose. Pain of this type is referred to as chronic pain, and once you have fallen under its sway, it may be very difficult to escape.

The Challenge of Pain Management

The management of chronic pain has always been a medical challenge. Treatment often involves increasing doses of a variety of medications in an effort to gain a measure of relief. In some instances, the pain is significantly reduced with the use of medication, but when the drugs are removed the pain returns, and so the meds become a more or less permanent fixture of life, often resulting in drug dependence or even addiction. In other cases even heavy use of medication provides the sufferer little or no relief; the brain simply adjusts to the presence of the medications and demands more, while the pain continues.

Meanwhile, even the most thorough medical examination can find no real reason that the pain should persist. This all becomes clearer when we reflect on the fact that pain is not ‘out there’ in the body where it is felt. Pain is actually sensed in the brain. The brain makes it up, so to speak. It is a result of the way the brain interprets messages coming from the body, a determination that you should receive an “I hurt” warning so you won’t just ignore an injury that needs care. The brain is ultimately in charge of how severely the pain is perceived and where it is localized in the body. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Chronic Pain.

Depression

Current Status of QEEG and Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Clinical Depression

By: Jonathan Walker, MD, Robert Lawson, MS

Depression is an almost universal experience. Fortunately, it usually remits spontaneously after a period of time. Unfortunately, it does not spontaneously remit in many individuals, and they are diagnosed as being ‘clinically” depressed, requiring treatment to be able to have an acceptable quality of life and be able to work. Several depression subtypes have been defined based on their semiology (Table I). We have indicated the most common abnormalities found in our clinic for each type of depression, and indicated the type of neurofeedback training that most effectively remediates the depression and prevents further episodes, in our experience. Note that alpha asymmetry appears in most cases to be a state marker rather than a trait marker, and is not seen with the linked ears reference used in all commercially available databases. One must use a CZ reference to identify the asymmetry and Cz is not an inactive reference. However, alpha asymmetry may represent a trait marker in some patients, and alpha asymmetry training may produce long-lasting remissions in some patients.

The Neurobiology of Depression

Adolphs and Tranel (2004) reviewed the neurobiology of emotions generally and in depression and mania, specifically. Neural structures that process emotions in humans include the left and right hemispheres, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, basal ganglia, cingulated gyrus and hippocampus. The left cerebral hemisphere is more involved in positive emotions, and the right hemisphere is more involved in negative emotions. Davidson and Irwin (1999) posited an approach/withdrawal dimension, correlating increased right hemisphere activation with increases in withdrawal behavior (including emotions such as fear or sadness, as well as depressive tendencies), and increased left hemisphere activity with increase in approach behaviors (including emotions such as happiness). An important key issue for neurofeedback therapists is what exactly constitutes “activation.” We will address this in the QEEG section of this chapter. Major depression has been associated with damage to the frontal lobes, especially the left frontal pole (Starkstein & Robinson, 1991). PET studies have shown that a region under the genu of the corpus callosum, the subcallosal gyrus, is consistently underactivated in patients with depression (Ongur, Drevets, & Price, 1998). As reviewed by Liotti and Mayberg (2001) depression also is associated with hypometabolism in the cingulate cortex and occasionally in other areas such as the orbitofrontal, insular, and anterior temporal cortices, amygdalae, basal ganglia, and thalamus. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Depression.

Epilepsy

Neurofeedback: A Non-Invasive Treatment for Seizure Disorders

By: Robert Coben, PhD Review of epilepsy research

  • Sterman (2000) conducted a meta-analysis of 30 years of epilepsy research
  • 82% showed clinical improvement (> 30% reduction in seizures)
  • There was an average of 60% symptom reduction (intensity and frequency) Advances in Epilepsy Researh
  • QEEG, Power and Connectivity assessment enriches the power of Neurofeedback
  • Walker et al have shown the QEEG guided coherence training improves NF outcome for seizure disorders
  • Sample had an average of 13 seizures (PCS) week while on medication.
  • 20% seizure free with no medication, 70% seizure free with medication, 10% seizure 1/month.

For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Seizures

Fibromyalgia

Treatment of Fibromyalgia Incorporating EG-Driven Stimulation: A Clinical Outcomes Study

By: Horst H. Mueller, Stuart Donaldson, David V. Nelson and Mellisa Layman Myosymmetries International Inc., Edmonton, Alberta

Thirty patients from a private clinicai practice who met the 1 990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) were followed prospectively through a brainwave-based intervention known as electroencephalograph (EEG)-driven stimulation or EDS. Patients were initially treated with EDS until they reported noticeable improvements in mental clarity, mood, and sleep. Self-reported pain, then, having changed from vaguely diffuse to more specifically localized, was treated with very modest amounts of physically oriented therapies. Pre- to posttreatment and extended follow-up comparisons of psychological and physical functioning indices, specific FS symptom ratings, and EEG activity revealed statistically significant improvements, EDS appeared to be the prime initiator of therapeutic efficacy. Future research is justified for controlled clinical trials and to better understand disease mechanisms.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is a common rheumatologic disorder seen disproportionately in females that is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal aching, the presence of multiple tender points at specific soft tissue sites, and often by morning stiffness, persistent fatigue, and nonrestorative sleep. It also is frequently seen in association with various other physical complaints such as auditory and photo sensitivity, dysmenorrhea, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and neurovascular disturbances as well as psychological distress and cognitive complaints. In addition, FS is frequently associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in that over 60% of persons diagnosed with primary CFS also will meet the classification criteria for FS.

The cause of FS is unknown, and the onset may or may not be preceded by an identifiable illness or other physical or emotional trauma. Explanations that focus on hypothesized central nervous system (CNS) mechanisms (e.g., electroencephalograph [EEG] abnormalities detected during sleep studies associated with nonrestorative sleep, generalized hypervigilance and perceptual amplification of pain, neuroendocrine deficiencies, neurosensitization) have been increasingly prominent. The efficacy of available treatments (e.g., pharmacologic, aerobic exercise, bioleedback, hypnosis, physical therapies, multimodal/multidisciplinary, and so on) have typically demonstrated only moderate success, and large numbers of patients remain very impaired and even disabled. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Fibromyalgia

Insomnia

The Treatment of Psychophysiologic Insomnia with Biofeedback: A Replication Study

By Hauri PJ, Percy L, Hellekson C, Hartmann E, Russ D

To replicate a previous study, 16 psychophysiological insomniacs were randomly assigned to either Theta feedback or sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) feedback. Evaluations by home sleep logs and by 3 nights in the laboratory were done before biofeedback, immediately after biofeedback, and 9 months later. Results from this study replicate previous findings. Both Theta and SMR feedback seemed effective treatments of insomnia according to home sleep logs. According to evaluations at the sleep laboratory, tense and anxious insomniacs benefited only from Theta feedback but not from SMR feedback, while those who were relaxed at intake but still could not sleep benefited only from SMR but not from Theta feedback For more information, please click the following link:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=7138954&dopt=Citation%20 and Biofeedback and Insomnia

Lyme Disease

Quantitative Electroencephalography Patterns Associated With Medical Conditions

D. Corydon Hammond, PhD, ECNS, QEEG-D, BCIA-EEG

Chabot and Sigal (1995) evaluated 29 patients with Lyme disease. Abnormal QEEG or evoked potentials were found in 75% of active Lyme disease patients, and “despite treatment, persisting signs of cortical neurophysiological dysfunction were still present in 54% of the patients in the post CNS [central nervous system] Lyme disease group” (p. 143). Some patients manifested excess theta and/or delta power, similar to dementia and systemic lupus with cognitive complaints. The major complaint of this subgroup was memory problems. Two patients, on the other hand, displayed cortical hyperexcitability, with excess absolute and relative power beta in one case (who complained of anxiety, headaches, and sleep problems) and excess alpha with increased alpha mean frequency in the other case (who complained of fatigue and sleep problems). Several patients also displayed focal abnormalities involving left/right hemisphere power asymmetry and/or incoherence problems. For more information, please click the following link: Biofeedback and Lyme

Memory Loss

Neurofeedback Therapy in the Treatment of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

By Clare Albright If you have been dealing with the deteriorating condition of a lifelong companion, you would no doubt welcome any news about advances in medical science that offer hope of slowing the memory loss and mental decline of your loved one. Neurofeedback therapy is one of those promising achievements.

Our understanding of the human brain and nervous system, compared to even a decade ago, has dramatically changed the way we view the aging process. We now know that it is possible to alter the structure of the brain deep into the “Golden” years and much further, perhaps. In recent months a study looking at using neurofeedback to treat those suffering with the symptoms of dementia (such as memory loss) concluded that neurofeedback may very well slow memory loss, and, in some cases, may even improve memory. Although research in this area is very limited at this time, future studies are sure to follow.

Professor John Gruzelier, from Imperial College London at Charing Cross hospital has commented “Neurofeedback has been proven to be effective in altering brain activity, but the extent to which such alterations can influence behavior are still unknown.” Notice that he did not place a cap on what is possible, he is simply saying, in so many words “this much we know, and we need to see what else there is to know”.

How does neurofeedback help with Alzheimer’s disease? The neurofeedback method used to treat Alzheimer’s patients is the same as for anything other neurological condition. Positive reinforcement is used to gradually change the way the patient’s brain is functioning, but it is difficult to specify exactly what happens to bring about these changes.

The reason is quite simple; Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood in terms of how it manifests and what causes it to progress. There is still a great deal more to discover about this malady before we can talk definitively about the processes involved in improving brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.. For more information, please click the following link:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Neurofeedback-Therapy-in-the-Treament-of-Dementia-and-Alzheimers-Disease&id=3619647

Migraines

Treating Migraines Without Painkillers

BY SARVENAZ ZAND, M.D

For many people, a nagging migraine means turning to an over-the-counter pain pill like acetaminophen, or, in some cases, a prescription medication like Imitrex. “World News Tonight” takes a look at easing the pain of migraine sufferers. But recent advances in nondrug treatments, such as biofeedback and neurofeedback, have opened more options for headache suffers. And something as seemingly unrelated as heart surgery may hold the solution for some people. Here’s a look at some nondrug alternatives to headaches.

Biofeedback: Changing Your Physiology

Biofeedback is a safe, drug-free alternative for the treatment of migraines, tension type headaches, chronic pain, sleep disorders and more. Receiving feedback from a computer, patients are trained to adjust physical features like skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate or blood flow changes that can lead to decreased pain and stress. “Biofeedback reduces the stress response and brings stability and calmness to the nervous system,” said Dr. David Biondi, a neurologist and consultant in headache management at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I think it’s very effective for migraines. Studies have shown that biofeedback can be just as effective as some of the preventive medications we use.” How well does it work? According to Dr. Barry Schwartz, director of the Headache Center in New Orleans, about 85 percent to 90 percent of patients with chronic headaches respond positively to biofeedback. “Biofeedback also serves as an excellent bridge in assisting patients wean off medications,” he said. It’s a method that worked for migraine patient Elizabeth Poe of New Orleans. She said she had suffered from about two migraines a week for the last 30 years. Her remedy used to be 12 tablets of ibuprofen a day, with the occasional prescription painkiller. “After I started biofeedback, almost immediately I stopped having the headaches. Now I haven’t had a headache in three years,” she said. “Biofeedback got me off all the pills I was taking and taught me techniques that can help me relax and avoid headaches. I feel 1,000 percent better. “.For more information, please click the following link:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/story?id=1693092&page=1#.UON2YaVXLzI

Stroke

Stroke Victims – How Neurofeedback Therapy Can Help

By Clare Albright

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Death from a massive stroke, of course, can be immediate. In other cases, the effects of a stroke can range from a temporary slur in speech, to a condition where the victim’s existence is reduced to that of a soul trapped inside a motionless body.

Most people are aware of some of the more obvious complications that can occur after someone has suffered a stroke. However, there is another debilitating condition that frequently accompanies the other complications, and that is depression. If someone you love has suffered a stroke, you will naturally be concerned about the effect that depression can have on their recovery. Studies show that the intensity of the depression does not directly correlate with the patient’s degree of impairment. In fact, people who have not suffered a stroke, but whose mobility is impaired due to some other condition, do not experience depression at the same high rate as those who have suffered a stroke. This has led some researchers to conclude that the depression has to do with the injury to the brain caused by the stroke, rather than the restricted mobility. This is important for one very good reason. The risk of death is three fold for depressed stroke patients compared to non-depressed stroke patients, regardless of their age or type or intensity of the stroke.

While it may be an oversimplification, you might say that the stroke victim, being immobile and depressed, simply loses the will to live, and this, of course, creates measurable and rapid physiological changes that can deplete the immune system. That is why successfully treating depression in the stroke patient is of the utmost importance.

The good news is that neurofeedback therapy can be helpful in stroke victims for improving balance, speech fluency, and attention, and eliminating or reducing anxiety and depression. Neurofeedback has recently been the topic of much media attention, and the results of several studies involving neurofeedback have been very promising. The exciting thing about neurofeedback therapy is that it can effect permanent changes in the way a stroke victim’s brain functions. This is done through a series of sessions during which the therapist will attach very thin leads to the patients scalp. These transfer the brain wave readings to an EEG device. This procedure is safe and noninvasive, and most patients report that it is quite comfortable..For more information, please click the following link:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Stroke-Victims—How-Neurofeedback-Therapy-Can-Help&id=3646528

Substance Abuse

Neurofeedback in Treatment of Substance Abuse

By Stephen Sideroff, PhD

Over the last two decades neurofeedback has shown promise in the treatment of substance abuse. This article addresses how it works, what makes it so effective, why it is a potentially important tool in addiction, the neurophysiological issues it might address, the existing promising research and, most importantly, that neurofeedback can be a significant adjunct to the therapeutic and counseling process with addicts.

The category of disorders associated with substance abuse is the most common psychiatric set of conditions affecting an estimated 22 million people in this country (SAMHSA, 2004). Furthermore, the disorder is accompanied by serious impairments of cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning. These conditions and symptoms so significantly alter a person’s brain and its functioning, that we often refer to the drug as hijacking the brain, making it very difficult to think logically and appropriately weigh the consequences of the drug related behavior.

Detoxified addicts have been shown to have significant alterations in brain electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns and children of addicts also exhibit EEG patterns that are significantly different than normal (Sokhadze et al., 2008, for review). This indicates that, not only are we dealing with the neurological consequences of drug-related behavior, but there appears to be a genetic pattern as well, that places certain people at greater risk for addictive behaviors. The complexity of these factors makes the treatment of addiction one of the most difficult areas of mental, emotional and physical rehabilitation. For more information, please click the following link: http://www.eeginfo.com/research/addiction_main.html

Traumatic Brain Injury

Improvement/Rehabilitation of Memory Functioning With Neurotherapy/Qeeg Biofeedback

By Thornto K., Psychologist, Center for Health Psychology

This article presents a new approach to the remediation of memory deficits by studying the electrophysiological functioning involved in memory and applying biofeedback techniques. A Quantitative EEG (QEEG) activation database was obtained with 59 right-handed subjects during two auditory memory tasks (prose passages and word lists). Memory performance was correlated with the QEEG variables. Clinical cases were administered the same QEEG activation study to determine their deviations from the values that predicted success for the reference group. EEG biofeedback interventions were designed to increase the value (to normal levels) of the specific electrophysiological variable that was related to successful memory function and deviant in the subject. Case examples are presented that indicate the successful use of this intervention style in normal subjects and in subjects with brain injury; improvement cannot be fully explained by spontaneous recovery, given the time postinjury. Five cases (two normal, two subjects with brain injury, and one subject who had stereotactic surgery of the hippocampus for seizure control) are presented. Improvements ranged from 68% to 181% in the group of patients with brain injury, as a result of the interventions. For more information, please click the following link:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11056409&dopt=AbstractPlus

 

Request A Consultation Today

 

Request A Consultation Today