Slow cortical potential neurofeedback in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: is there neurophysiological evidence for specific effects?

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Neumuensterallee 9, 8032, Zurich, Switzerland.
Journal of Neural Transmission (Impact Factor: 2.87). 10/2008; 115(10):1445-56. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-008-0104-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study compared changes in quantitative EEG (QEEG) and CNV (contingent negative variation) of children suffering from ADHD treated by SCP (slow cortical potential) neurofeedback (NF) with the effects of group therapy (GT) to separate specific from non-specific neurophysiological effects of NF. Twenty-six children (age: 11.1 +/- 1.15 years) diagnosed as having ADHD were assigned to NF (N = 14) or GT (N = 12) training groups. QEEG measures at rest, CNV and behavioral ratings were acquired before and after the trainings and statistically analyzed. For children with ADHD-combined type in the NF group, treatment effects indicated a tendency toward improvement of selected QEEG markers. We could not find the expected improvement of CNV, but CNV reduction was less pronounced in good NF performers. QEEG changes were associated with some behavioral scales. Analyses of subgroups suggested specific influences of SCP training on brain functions. To conclude, SCP neurofeedback improves only selected attentional brain functions as measurable with QEEG at rest or CNV mapping. Effects of neurofeedback including the advantage of NF over GT seem mediated by both specific and non-specific factors.

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