There is a significant body of clinical findings and research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of Neurofeedback for a variety of problems. The following is a very brief summary of highlights that document the growing body of research. For utility, the information has been organized by symptom or problem addressed.
Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Byers, A.P. Ed.D, The Normalization of a Personality Through Neurofeedback Therapy. in Subtle Energies, Vol 3, No.1, 1-17
Single subject case study of an alcohol and Xanex dependent Using Neurofeedback. "Normalization" of personality was evident Using the MMPI-2 Inventory both Pre and Post Treatment. After treatment, the patient demonstrated intolerance to alcohol after an attempted relapse binge.
Penniston, E. and Kulkosky, P (1989), Alpha-theta brain wave training and B-endorphin levels in Alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 13 (2), 271-279
Using measurements of B-endorphin levels in the body as a measurement of stress, the authors demonstrated that responsiveness to Neurofeedback created positive physiological changes improved abilities to cope. Demonstrated that some alcoholics show poorly developed slow wave activity in the theta and alpha frequency bands.
This is consistent with a state of chronic hyper-arousal for alcoholics in abstinence. This correlates with several other studies that there is an increase in slow wave activity upon ingesting alcohol.
Penniston E & Kulkosky, P (1990), Alcoholic Personality and alpha-theta brainwave training. Medical Psychotherapy: An International Journal, 2, 37-55.
A controlled study of VA veterans who were multiple relapsing alcoholics. In addition to the 80% of participants maintained sobriety for up to three years post-treatment. In contrast, conventional treatment range in only 15% to 60% abstinence.
Personality assessments demonstrated reduction in signs of psychopathology.
Saxby E. and Penniston, E.(1995) Alpha-Theta brain wave training: An Effective Treatment for male and female alcoholics with depressive symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, (5), 685-693
Bodenhamer-Davis, E. & DeBeus, M. (April,1995), Neurotherapy for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse: Results of a two-year study. Paper presented to the Third Annula Conference of the Society for the Study of Neuronal Regulation, Scottsdale, AZ.
Study of outpatient probationers and others with alcohol and drug addiction, comparing subjects who completed treatment with those who did not. 35 subjects are currently in follow-up.
Fahrion, et.al. Study with Incarcerated 109 Offenders using Randomized controlled trial of conventional addiction treatment plus Neurofeedback compared to conventional addiction treatment alone in the Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Ellsworth, Kansas.
Initial findings have replicated and confirmed Penniston's findings outlined above of approximately 80% rate of sobriety. Fahrion has Participants currently being contacted for long-term follow-up.
Fahrion,et.al. Alterations in EEG Amplitude, Personality Factors and Brain Electrical Mapping After Alpha-Theta Brainwave Training: A controlled Case Study of an Alcoholic Recovery. in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol 16, No. 3,1992.
The subject showed significant improvements in personality measurements and demonstrated improved functioning four months post-treatment. In post treatment the subjected reported no further cravings for alcohol.
Von Bozzay, G. EEG Biofeedback Training For Addictions: Alpha-Theta Brainwave Training For the Treatment of Alcoholism.
A rigorouse four-year study and follow-up demonstrated an 80% abstinence and reduction of depression in the experimental group and no reductions in drinking or depressiohn in the traditionally treated control group. (30 subjects)
Antisocial Behavior/Personality Disorders
Quirk, Douglas, Ph.D. Composite Biofeedback Conditioning and Dangers Offenders: III
Seventy-seven offenders were treated with Neurofeedback and peripheral biofeedback (Galvanic Skin Response). Criminal recidivism rates were shown to decrease in relation to the duration of treatment. Criminal recidivism varied from 65%(no biofeedback) and to only 20% for those having 33 half-hour sessions.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Moon, Mary Ann (April,2000) EEG Biofeedback Aids Impulse Control, Clinical Society News & Journal of Neurotherapy, Vo. 4, No. 1)
Impulse control and attentiveness improved after 20 sessions of EEG Biofeedback in 80% of 1,089 children and adults with ADHD, and other attentional/behavioral disorders. Study participants ranged between 5-16 years old. Adults ranged from 17-67 years old. Improvements were measured using the pre and post testing with the TOVA computerized testing tool, self-report, and clinical evaluations. The greatest improvements were noticeable in those with the most obvious impairments. Improvement scores rose by two standard deviations.
Kaiser, David and Othmer, Siegfried Efficacy of SMR-Beta Neurofeedback For Attentional Processes
A large sample study of 530 children with pre and post testing using the Test of Variable Attention(TOVA). Some 75% of subjects exhibited significant clinical improvement(i.e., half a standard deviation increase in one or more measures)
Kaiser, David and Othmer, Siegfried Efficacy of EEG Biofeedback on Symptoms of ADHD Children and Adults
A study of 342 children and adolescents showed marked improvements in Pre and post TOVA test scores. Significant improvements was also observed in standardized cognitive tests and was demonstrated in increase in IQ scores, increase in word fluency, symbol digit modalities, and manual dexterity.
Lubar, J.F. and Shouse, M.N. EEG and Behavioral Changes in A Hyperactive Child Concurrent Training of the Sensorimotor Rhythm: A preliminary Report. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 1, pp 293-306
This early study demonstrated that EEG Biofeedback training found to be effective in showing substantial improvements in 8 out of 13 behavioral categories. The training was found to be more effective than the use of stimulant medication (Ritalin) alone.
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
Seifert, A.r. and Lubar, J.F. (1975) Reduction in Epileptic Seizures Through EEG Biofeedback Training, Biological Psychology 3, 157-184
Significant reduction in seizure activity with 5/6 subjects who were previously uncontrolled despite near toxic levels of anti-convulsants after three months of Neurofeedback training.
Sterman, Ph.D., M.B., et al. "Electroencephlalographic and Behavioral Studies of Monomethyl Hydrazine Toxicity in the Cat
A ground breaking finding that first demonstrated that cats who had been trained with Neurofeedback techniques were found to be extremely resistant to seizures when exposed to a particular toxic substance. This studies has been replicated multiple times in both animal and human subjects.
Sterman, M.B. "Effects of Sensorimotor EEG Feedback Training on Sleep and Clinical Manifestations of Epilepsy, in Biofeedback and Behavior.: (1977, New York: Plenum Publishing
This research demonstrated the significant reduction in number of seizures per month during treatment between 9/71-4/74.
Sterman, M.B. and MacDonald, L.R. and Stone, R.K. (1974) Biofeedback Training of the Sensorimotor EEG Rhythm in Man: Effect on Epilepsy, 15, pp 395-416.
After Neurofeedback, subjects achieved an average of 66% reduction in seizure incidence in four epileptics using SMR Enhancements with inhibition of slow wave theta activity."
Finley, WW., Smith, H.A., and Etherton, M.D. (1975) Reduction of Seizures and Normalization of the EEG In A Severe Epileptic Following Sensorimotor Biofeedback Training: Preliminary Study. Biological Psychology, 2, 189-203
Achieved a ten fold reduction for a 13 year old boy who had an initial seizure rate of 8 per hour. In one year follow-up,the seizure rate had continued to show reductions to once per 3 hours.
Sterman, M.B. and Shouse, M.N. Sensorimotor Mechanisms Underlying A Possible Common Pathology in Epilepsy and Associated Sleep Disturbances." in Sleep and Epilepsy, Chapter 3: Academic Press (1982)
70% of subjects demonstrated seizure reduction.
Multiple Personality Disorders
Manchester, C., Allen, T. & Tachiki, K. (1994). The Use of Neurotherapy In The Treatment of MPD: The Manchester Procedure. Presented at the Second Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Neuronal Regulation, Las Vegas, NV.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Penniston, E.& Kulkosky, P. (1991), Alpha-Theta Brainwave neurofeedback for Vietnam Veterans with combat related, post-traumatic stress disorder in Medical Psychotherapy, 4, 1-49.
Penniston, E. Marrinan, D., Deming, W., Kulkosky, P.(1993) EEG Alpha-Theta Brainwave Synchronization in Vietnam Theatre Veterans with Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Abuse. Medical Psychotherapy, 6, 37-50.