1. Sustained effects of neurofeedback in ADHD: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018 Feb 14. doi: 10.1007/s00787-018-1121-4.
Van Doren J1, Arns M2,3,4, Heinrich H1,5, Vollebregt MA6,7, Strehl U8, K Loo S9.
Neurofeedback (NF) has gained increasing interest in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Given learning principles underlie NF, lasting clinical treatment effects may be expected. This systematic review and meta-analysis addresses the sustainability of neurofeedback and control treatment effects by considering randomized controlled studies that conducted follow-up (FU; 2-12 months) assessments among children with ADHD. PubMed and Scopus databases were searched through November 2017. Within-group and between-group standardized mean differences (SMD) of parent behavior ratings were calculated and analyzed. Ten studies met inclusion criteria (NF: ten studies, N = 256; control: nine studies, N = 250). Within-group NF effects on inattention were of medium effect size (ES) (SMD = 0.64) at post-treatment and increased to a large ES (SMD = 0.80) at FU. Regarding hyperactivity/impulsivity, NF ES were medium at post-treatment (SMD = 0.50) and FU (SMD = 0.61). Non-active control conditions yielded a small significant ES on inattention at post-treatment (SMD = 0.28) but no significant ES at FU. Active treatments (mainly methylphenidate), had large ES for inattention (post: SMD = 1.08; FU: SMD = 1.06) and medium ES for hyperactivity/impulsivity (post: SMD = 0.74; FU: SMD = 0.67). Between-group analyses also revealed an advantage of NF over non-active controls [inattention (post: SMD = 0.38; FU: SMD = 0.57); hyperactivity-impulsivity (post: SMD = 0.25; FU: SMD = 0.39)], and favored active controls for inattention only at pre-post (SMD = – 0.44). Compared to non-active control treatments, NF appears to have more durable treatment effects, for at least 6 months following treatment. More studies are needed for a properly powered comparison of follow-up effects between NF and active treatments and to further control for non-specific effects.
2.EEG neurofeedback treatments in children with ADHD: an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Nov 13;8:906. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00906. eCollection 2014.
Micoulaud-Franchi JA1, Geoffroy PA2, Fond G3, Lopez R4, Bioulac S5, Philip P6.
We undertook a meta-analysis of published Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) with semi-active control and sham-NF groups to determine whether Electroencephalogram-neurofeedback (EEG-NF) significantly improves the overall symptoms, inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity dimensions for probably unblinded assessment (parent assessment) and probably blinded assessment (teacher assessment) in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
A systematic review identified independent studies that were eligible for inclusion in a random effects meta-analysis.
Effect sizes for ADHD symptoms were expressed as standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals.
Five identified studies met eligibility criteria, 263 patients with ADHD were included, 146 patients were trained with EEG-NF. On parent assessment (probably unblinded assessment), the overall ADHD score (SMD = -0.49 [-0.74, -0.24]), the inattention score (SMD = -0.46 [-0.76, -0.15]) and the hyperactivity/impulsivity score (SMD = -0.34 [-0.59, -0.09]) were significantly improved in patients receiving EEG-NF compared to controls. On teacher assessment (probably blinded assessment), only the inattention score was significantly improved in patients receiving EEG-NF compared to controls (SMD = -0.30 [-0.58, -0.03]).
This meta-analysis of EEG-NF in children with ADHD highlights improvement in the inattention dimension of ADHD symptoms. Future investigations should pay greater attention to adequately blinded studies and EEG-NF protocols that carefully control the implementation and embedding of training.
3. Neurofeedback for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Meta-Analysis of Clinical and Neuropsychological Outcomes From Randomized Controlled Trials.
Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;55(6):444-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Apr 1.
Cortese S1, Ferrin M2, Brandeis D3, Holtmann M4, Aggensteiner P5, Daley D6, Santosh P7, Simonoff E7, Stevenson J8, Stringaris A7, Sonuga-Barke EJ9; European ADHD Guidelines Group (EAGG).
OBJECTIVE: We performed meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials to examine the effects of neurofeedback on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and neuropsychological deficits in children and adolescents with ADHD.
METHOD: We searched PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, ERIC, and CINAHAL through August 30, 2015. Random-effects models were employed. Studies were evaluated with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.
RESULTS: We included 13 trials (520 participants with ADHD). Significant effects were found on ADHD symptoms rated by assessors most proximal to the treatment setting, that is, the least blinded outcome measure (standardized mean difference [SMD]: ADHD total symptoms = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.11-0.59; inattention = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.09-0.63; hyperactivity/impulsivity = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.08-0.43). Effects were not significant when probably blinded ratings were the outcome or in trials with active/sham controls. Results were similar when only frequency band training trials, the most common neurofeedback approach, were analyzed separately. Effects on laboratory measures of inhibition (SMD = 0.30, 95% CI = -0.10 to 0.70) and attention (SMD = 0.13, 95% CI = -0.09 to 0.36) were not significant. Only 4 studies directly assessed whether learning occurred after neurofeedback training. The risk of bias was unclear for many Cochrane Risk of Bias domains in most studies.
CONCLUSION: Evidence from well-controlled trials with probably blinded outcomes currently fails to support neurofeedback as an effective treatment for ADHD. Future efforts should focus on implementing standard neurofeedback protocols, ensuring learning, and optimizing clinically relevant transfer.
4. On the Efficiency of Individualized Theta/Beta Ratio Neurofeedback Combined with Forehead EMG Training in ADHD Children.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Jan 18;12:3. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00003. eCollection 2018.
Bazanova OM1,2, Auer T3,4, Sapina EA5,6.
Background: Neurofeedback training (NFT) to decrease the theta/beta ratio (TBR) has been used for treating hyperactivity and impulsivity in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, often with low efficiency. Individual variance in EEG profile can confound NFT, because it may lead to influencing non-relevant activity, if ignored. More importantly, it may lead to influencing ADHD-related activities adversely, which may even result in worsening ADHD symptoms. Electromyogenic (EMG) signal resulted from forehead muscles can also explain the low efficiency of the NFT in ADHD from both practical and psychological point-of-view. The first aim of this study was to determine EEG and EMG biomarkers most related to the main ADHD characteristics, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. The second aim was to confirm our hypothesis that the efficiency of the TBR NFT can be increased by individual adjustment of the frequency bands and simultaneous training on forehead muscle tension.
Methods: We recruited 94 children diagnosed with ADHD (ADHD) and 23 healthy controls (HC). All participants were male and aged between six and nine. Impulsivity and attention were assessed with Go/no-Go task and delayed gratification task, respectively; and 19-channel EEG and forehead EMG were recorded. Then, the ADHD group was randomly subdivided into (1) standard, (2) individualized, (3) individualized+EMG, and (4) sham NFT (control) groups. The groups were compared based on TBR and EEG alpha activity, as well as hyperactivity and impulsivity three times: pre-NFT, post-NFT and 6 months after the NFT (follow-up). Results: ADHD children were characterized with decreased individual alpha peak frequency, alpha bandwidth and alpha amplitude suppression magnitude, as well as with increased alpha1/alpha2 (a1/a2) ratio and scalp muscle tension when c (η2 ≥ 0.212). All contingent TBR NFT groups exhibited significant NFT-related decrease in TBR not evident in the control group. Moreover, we detected a higher overall alpha activity in the individualized but not in the standard NFT group. Mixed MANOVA considering between-subject factor GROUP and within-subject factor TIME showed that the individualized+EMG group exhibited the highest level of clinical improvement, which was associated with increase in the individual alpha activity at the 6 months follow-up when comparing with the other approaches (post hoc t = 3.456, p = 0.011).
Conclusions: This study identified various (adjusted) alpha activity metrics as biomarkers with close relationship with ADHD symptoms, and demonstrated that TBR NFT individually adjusted for variances in alpha activity is more successful and clinically more efficient than standard, non-individualized NFT. Moreover, these training effects of the individualized TBR NFT lasted longer when combined with EMG.
5. Mitigation of stress: new treatment alternatives.
Cogn Neurodyn. 2018 Feb;12(1):1-20. doi: 10.1007/s11571-017-9460-2. Epub 2017 Nov 29.
Subhani AR1, Kamel N1, Mohamad Saad MN1, Nandagopal N2, Kang K3, Malik AS1.
Complaints of stress are common in modern life. Psychological stress is a major cause of lifestyle-related issues, contributing to poor quality of life. Chronic stress impedes brain function, causing impairment of many executive functions, including working memory, decision making and attentional control. The current study sought to describe newly developed stress mitigation techniques, and their influence on autonomic and endocrine functions. The literature search revealed that the most frequently studied technique for stress mitigation was biofeedback (BFB). However, evidence suggests that neurofeedback (NFB) and noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) could potentially provide appropriate approaches. We found that recent studies of BFB methods have typically used measures of heart rate variability, respiration and skin conductance. In contrast, studies of NFB methods have typically utilized neurocomputation techniques employing electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging and near infrared spectroscopy. NIBS studies have typically utilized transcranial direct current stimulation methods. Mitigation of stress is a challenging but important research target for improving quality of life.
6. Biofeedback for psychiatric disorders: a systematic review.
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2014 Jun;39(2):109-35. doi: 10.1007/s10484-014-9246-9.
Schoenberg PL1, David AS.
Biofeedback potentially provides non-invasive, effective psychophysiological interventions for psychiatric disorders. The encompassing purpose of this review was to establish how biofeedback interventions have been used to treat select psychiatric disorders [anxiety, autistic spectrum disorders, depression, dissociation, eating disorders, schizophrenia and psychoses] to date and provide a useful reference for consultation by clinicians and researchers planning to administer a biofeedback treatment. A systematic search of EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and WOK databases and hand searches in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, and Journal of Neurotherapy, identified 227 articles; 63 of which are included within this review. Electroencephalographic neurofeedback constituted the most investigated modality (31.7%). Anxiety disorders were the most commonly treated (68.3%). Multi-modal biofeedback appeared most effective in significantly ameliorating symptoms, suggesting that targeting more than one physiological modality for bio-regulation increases therapeutic efficacy. Overall, 80.9% of articles reported some level of clinical amelioration related to biofeedback exposure, 65.0% to a statistically significant (p < .05) level of symptom reduction based on reported standardized clinical parameters. Although the heterogeneity of the included studies warrants caution before explicit efficacy statements can be made. Further development of standardized controlled methodological protocols tailored for specific disorders and guidelines to generate comprehensive reports may contribute towards establishing the value of biofeedback interventions within mainstream psychiatry.
7. Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Children With Unilateral Cerebral Palsy: A Protocol and Risk Mitigation Guide.
Front Pediatr. 2018 Mar 16;6:56. doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00056. eCollection 2018.
Gillick BT1, Gordon AM2, Feyma T3, Krach LE4, Carmel J5, Rich TL6, Bleyenheuft Y7, Friel K5.
Non-invasive brain stimulation has been increasingly investigated, mainly in adults, with the aims of influencing motor recovery after stroke. However, a consensus on safety and optimal study design has not been established in pediatrics. The low incidence of reported major adverse events in adults with and without clinical conditions has expedited the exploration of NIBS in children with paralleled purposes to influence motor skill development after neurological injury. Considering developmental variability in children, with or without a neurologic diagnosis, adult dosing and protocols may not be appropriate. The purpose of this paper is to present recommendations and tools for the prevention and mitigation of adverse events (AEs) during NIBS in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP). Our recommendations provide a framework for pediatric NIBS study design. The key components of this report on NIBS AEs are (a) a summary of related literature to provide the background evidence and (b) tools for anticipating and managing AEs from four international pediatric laboratories. These recommendations provide a preliminary guide for the assessment of safety and risk mitigation of NIBS in children with UCP. Consistent reporting of safety, feasibility, and tolerability will refine NIBS practice guidelines contributing to future clinical translations of NIBS.
8. Neurofeedback outcomes in clients with Asperger’s syndrome.
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2010 Mar;35(1):63-81. doi: 10.1007/s10484-009-9120-3.
Thompson L1, Thompson M, Reid A.
This paper summarizes data from a review of neurofeedback (NFB) training with 150 clients with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and 9 clients with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) seen over a 15 year period (1993-2008) in a clinical setting. The main objective was to investigate whether electroncephalographic (EEG) biofeedback, also called neurofeedback (NFB), made a significant difference in clients diagnosed with AS. An earlier paper (Thompson et al. 2009) reviews the symptoms of AS, highlights research findings and theories concerning this disorder, discusses QEEG patterns in AS (both single and 19-channel), and details a hypothesis, based on functional neuroanatomy, concerning how NFB, often paired with biofeedback (BFB), might produce a change in symptoms. A further aim of the current report is to provide practitioners with a detailed description of the method used to address some of the key symptoms of AS in order to encourage further research and clinical work to refine the use of NFB plus BFB in the treatment of AS. All charts were included for review where there was a diagnosis of AS or ASD and pre- and post-training testing results were available for one or more of the standardized tests used. Clients received 40-60 sessions of NFB, which was combined with training in metacognitive strategies and, for most older adolescent and adult clients, with BFB of respiration, electrodermal response, and, more recently, heart rate variability. For the majority of clients, feedback was contingent on decreasing slow wave activity (usually 3-7 Hz), decreasing beta spindling if it was present (usually between 23 and 35 Hz), and increasing fast wave activity termed sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) (12-15 or 13-15 Hz depending on assessment findings). The most common initial montage was referential placement at the vertex (CZ) for children and at FCz (midway between FZ and CZ) for adults, referenced to the right ear. Metacognitive strategies relevant to social understanding, spatial reasoning, reading comprehension, and math were taught when the feedback indicated that the client was relaxed, calm, and focused. Significant improvements were found on measures of attention (T.O.V.A. and IVA), core symptoms (Australian Scale for Asperger’s Syndrome, Conners’ Global Index, SNAP version of the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD, and the ADD-Q), achievement (Wide Range Achievement Test), and intelligence (Wechsler Intelligence Scales). The average gain for the Full Scale IQ score was 9 points. A decrease in relevant EEG ratios was also observed. The ratios measured were (4-8 Hz)(2)/(13-21 Hz)(2), (4-8 Hz)/(16-20 Hz), and (3-7 Hz)/(12-15 Hz). The positive outcomes of decreased symptoms of Asperger’s and ADHD (including a decrease in difficulties with attention, anxiety, aprosodias, and social functioning) plus improved academic and intellectual functioning, provide preliminary support for the use of neurofeedback as a helpful component of effective intervention in people with AS.
9. Biofeedback in rehabilitation.
J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2013 Jun 18;10:60. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-10-60.
Giggins OM1, Persson UM, Caulfield B.
This paper reviews the literature relating to the biofeedback used in physical rehabilitation. The biofeedback methods used in rehabilitation are based on biomechanical measurements and measurements of the physiological systems of the body. The physiological systems of the body which can be measured to provide biofeedback are the neuromuscular system, the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Neuromuscular biofeedback methods include electromyography (EMG) biofeedback and real-time ultrasound imaging (RTUS) biofeedback. EMG biofeedback is the most widely investigated method of biofeedback and appears to be effective in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions and in post cardiovascular accident (CVA) rehabilitation. RTUS biofeedback has been demonstrated effective in the treatment of low back pain (LBP) and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Cardiovascular biofeedback methods have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a number of health conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, asthma, fibromyalgia and even psychological disorders however a systematic review in this field has yet to be conducted. Similarly, the number of large scale studies examining the use of respiratory biofeedback in rehabilitation is limited. Measurements of movement, postural control and force output can be made using a number of different devices and used to deliver biomechanical biofeedback. Inertial based sensing biofeedback is the most widely researched biomechanical biofeedback method, with a number of studies showing it to be effective in improving measures of balance in a number of populations. Other types of biomechanical biofeedback include force plate systems, electrogoniometry, pressure biofeedback and camera based systems however the evidence for these is limited. Biofeedback is generally delivered using visual displays, acoustic or haptic signals, however more recently virtual reality (VR) or exergaming technology have been used as biofeedback signals. VR and exergaming technology have been primarily investigated in post-CVA rehabilitation, however, more recent work has shown this type of biofeedback to be effective in improving exercise technique in musculoskeletal populations. While a number of studies in this area have been conducted, further large scale studies and reviews investigating different biofeedback applications in different clinical populations are required.
10. Biofeedback on heart rate variability in cardiac rehabilitation: practical feasibility and psycho-physiological effects.
Acta Cardiol. 2014 Jun;69(3):299-307.
Climov D, Lysy C, Berteau S, Dutrannois J, Dereppe H, Brohet C, Melin J.
Biofeedback is a self-regulation therapy by which the patient learns how to optimize the functioning of his autonomic nervous system. It has been applied to patients with various cardiovascular disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the practical feasibility and the psychophysiological effects of biofeedback applied to heart rate variability (HRV biofeedback) in order to increase cardiac coherence in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation programme.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
In this randomised and controlled study, 31 CAD patients were randomly assigned to an experimental or to a control group. The experimental group participated in a programme of 10 sessions of cardiac coherence biofeedback training, in addition to the rehabilitation programme. The control group participated in the usual cardiac rehabilitation programme only. Physiological variables (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, SDNN) and psychosocial variables (anxiety, depression, type D personality) were measured at the start and at the end of the programme in both groups. Statistical comparisons assessed the inter and intra group differences. The small sample size precludes any firm conclusions concerning the effect of cardiac coherence biofeedback on physiological or psychological variables. However, we observed a significant increase of the percentage of cardiac coherence, in relation with an increased SDNN index.
Our study demonstrated the practical feasibility of cardiac coherence biofeedback training in CAD patients. Further research is desirable to investigate the potential benefit of cardiac coherence biofeedback as an adjunct to stress management in cardiac rehabilitation.