Is neurofeedback effective for treating ADHD?
What to expect
Before the first neurofeedback session, the practitioner will ask questions about the individual’s symptoms, treatment history, and lifestyle.
The individual will continue to provide information about their symptoms before each treatment session, as this will allow the practitioner to track improvements over time.
At the start of each session, the practitioner will attach electrodes running from an EEG machine to the person’s head. These will measure brain activity.
The number of electrodes varies depending on the practitioner and the session. The electrodes do not hurt, and they will not deliver an electrical current. They are only there to measure the brain’s activity.
When the session begins, a real-time scan of the person’s brain waves will show up on a screen.
The practitioner will instruct the person to perform a specific task, expecting the task to alter the brain waves.
Activities might involve a video game or other stimuli that encourage the brain to process information in different ways. There may be music involved, or a single tone, or sounds that suddenly stop and start.
As the brain responds to the stimuli, the feedback on the EEG will show how the stimuli interrupt, change, or increase brain activity.
Readings may show significant changes in the brain’s activity from session to session.
Proponents claim that the process can slowly alter the brain’s waves, impacting a person’s behavior and related symptoms of ADHD.