A simple and effective case study using neurocognitive training for children with AD/HD has being performed in China. What is most interesting to me during this study is the fact that over 33% of parents in China with children who had been diagnosed with ADHD are against using medication. Just over 25% of them would only use medication if there was no other alternative.
The ADHD Society uses the exact technology with our clients in USA that this entire study was based upon. As in our previous blog – ADHD and Myndplay Helping Emotional Intelligence we discussed using this neurofeedback device in our office and the results.
Read on to learn more about how neurofeedback training for children is helping kids and China and the USA.
“Two alternative technology-based approaches to addressing symptoms of AD/HD are cognitive training and neurofeedback training. Cognitive training involves the use of purpose-designed computer software to exercise particular psychological abilities (e.g., memory) with the aim of improving them with practice.
These tasks typically include performance feedback, with task difficulty varied according to performance to promote challenge, engagement, and learning. Neurofeedback training involves non-invasive measurement of ongoing brain electrical activity (electroencephalogram [EEG]) via electrodes on the scalp, with the user provided continuous simplified feedback about that activity (e.g., current level of attention shown as a number, a bar graph, or an engaging visual display).
The aim of neurofeedback training is to promote awareness and control of psychological “state” factors that are reliably reflected in the EEG, such as high versus low attention or being relaxed versus tense. Several meta-analyses indicate research support for neurofeedback training as a method to reduce symptoms of AD/HD and improve behavior.”
The ADHD Society believes that the combination of alternative therapies is the future of helping people with ADD/ADHD. There isn’t just one pill that’s going to help everyone. This study does its best to combine both the forms of cognitive training and neurofeedback training to create results that not only help in the classroom, but also, make changes in their home life as well.
The video game used in this study has over 12 different games that challenge the user with respect to impulse control, attention, focus, working memory, physiological control of states of frustration and re-focus. There are many levels to each game from ‘easy’ to incredibly challenging – ‘insane’. We’ve noticed similar results in our practice as does the neurocognitive study in China.
I’ve summarized the findings of the study below:
- reduced AD/HD behaviors and symptoms
- all children were rated by their parents as being at the normal level after training.
- scores on the BRS completed by parents and teachers showed reductions in AD/HD symptom frequency.
- more attentive behaviors were perceived during and after training sessions.
- children started showing more socially meaningful behaviors
- improvement in assignment completion and exertion of more patience during tasks
- broad behavioral problems lessened – social, aggressive, and delinquent problems.
- children had completed more schoolwork, and the improvements remained after the training.
- increased attentive behavior in class
- improved quality of schoolwork improved these children’s social status.
- children had better social status after the training, as rated by their homeroom teachers.
- increased children’s confidence in doing tasks.
- their motivation for doing daily tasks improved
- their expectation for success increased improvement of the cognitive and state-control problems that are commonly associated with AD/HD
“These findings indicate that parents and teachers have perceived a broad range of behavioral improvements as a result of the neurocognitive training.”
“These findings speak to the relationship between underdeveloped psychological abilities, negative behavior patterns, and inadequate academic and social participation at school, and indicate that once the children have received positive support and technical aids, they can achieve dramatic improvements”
Neurofeedback studies are being performed as we speak in classrooms across the USA as well.
2. In-school neurofeedback training for ADHD: sustained improvements from a randomized control trial
3. Neurofeedback and cognitive attention training for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in schools
4. Computer-based attention training in the schools for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a preliminary trial.
Introducing a non-invasive form of neurofeedback (NFB) that is fun and can be tracked, along with pre and post psychological assessments – seems like a no-brainer. NFB simply is monitoring the brain waves while the subject is performing a task. The task can be directly helpful to improving the impulsiveness, and distraction problems so prevalent with ADHD. Combining the two into a video game that can provide it’s own reports on the subject’s progress; now you have a winning combination.
If that was too complex for you, let’s break it down. Non-drug treatment, using technology that monitors brain waves to control a fun interactive video game, to dampen the negative traits of ADHD, while enhancing the positive traits, which can provide progress reports. And to put the icing on the cake, have the parents and child both take real psychological ADHD assessments before and after treatment.
In the USA, our clinic is the first to bring this technology into the arena of ADHD treatment. The London company, Myndplay, not only, has partnered with us in our mission to re-educate the world on the positive aspects of ADHD, but also is providing the support and platform by which to make this technology accessible to all parents, adults, and children who need help.