Pediatrics Neurofeedback with ADHD

From the desk of Dr. Vicki Kelsey,

In November 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics approved biofeedback and Neurofeedback as a Level 1 or "best support" treatment option for children suffering from ADHD.

Pediatrics. 2014 Mar: 133(3):483-92. doi:10. 1542/peds.2013-2059. Epub 2014 Feb 17

In-school neurofeedback training for ADHD: sustained improvements from a randomized control trial.: Steiner NJ 1, Frenette EC, Rene KM, Brennan RT, Perrin EC

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate sustained improvements 6 months after a 40 session, in-school computer attention training intervention using neurofeedback or cognitive training (CT) administered to 7-to 11-year-olds with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHODS: One hundred four children were randomly assigned to receive neurofeedback, CT, or a control condition and were evaluated 6 months postintervention. A 3-point growth model assessed change over time across the conditions on the Conners 3-Parent Assessment Report. (Conners 3-P), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function Parent Form (BRIEF), and a systematic double-blinded classroom observation (Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools). Analysis of variance assessed community-initiated changes in stimulant medication.

RESULTS: Parent response rates were 90 at the 6-month follow-up. Six months postintervention, neurofeedback participants maintained significant gains on Conners 3-P (Inattention effect size [ES] = 0.34. Executive Functioning ES = 0.25. Hyperactivity/Impulsivity ES = 0.23) and BRIEF subscales including the Global Executive Composite (ES = 0.31), which remained significantly greater than gains found among children in CT and control conditions. Children in the CT condition showed delayed improvement over immediate postintervention ratings only on Conners 3-P Executive Functioning (ES = 0.18) and 2 BRIEF subscales. At the 6-month follow-up, neurofeedback participants maintained the same stimulant medication dosage, whereas participants in both CT and control conditions showed statistically and clinically significant increases (9 mg [P = .002] and 13 mg [P < .001], respectively.)

CONCLUSIONS: Neurofeedback participants made more prompt and greater improvements in ADHD symptoms, which were sustained at the 6-month follow-up, than did CT participants or those in the control group. This finding suggests that neurofeedback is a promising attention training treatment for children with ADHD.