Conditions

Conditions

The conditions below have been proven in research studies to be clinically responsive to neurofeedback. Here is a list of these conditions, along with an explanation of each.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADD; ADHD; Childhood hyperkinesis
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

ADHD usually begins in childhood but may continue into the adult years. It is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls. It is not clear what causes ADHD. A combination of genes and environmental factors likely plays a role in the development of the condition. Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of  children without ADHD.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Addiction

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).

In the past addiction used to refer just to psychoactive substances that cross the blood-brain barrier, temporarily altering the chemical balance of the brain; this would include alcohol, tobacco and some drugs. A considerable number of psychologists, other health care professionals and lay people now insist that psychological dependency, as may be the case with gambling, sex, internet, work, exercise, etc. should also be counted as addictions, because they can also lead to feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, rejection, anxiety and/or humiliation.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Anxiety

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.

People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Autism

Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a person’s life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person’s communication and social interaction skills.

People with autism have issues with non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter.

Genomic research is beginning to discover that people with autism spectrum disorders probably share genetic traits with individuals with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or clinical depression. A team at the Cross Disorders Group of the Psychiatric Genomic Consortium suggests that the five mental disorders and illnesses have the same common inherited genetic variations.

What is ASD?

ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder and can sometimes be referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. In this text Autism and ASD mean the same. ASDs are any developmental disabilities that have been caused by a brain abnormality. A person with an ASD typically has difficulty with social and communication skills.

A person with ASD will typically also prefer to stick to a set of behaviors and will resist any major (and many minor) changes to daily activities. Several relatives and friends of people with ASDs have commented that if the person knows a change is coming in advance, and has time to prepare for it; the resistance to the change is either gone completely or is much lower.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, as well as fluctuations in energy and activity levels. During these abnormal shifts, the patient commonly finds it difficult to complete everyday tasks.

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. Bipolar disorder has nothing to do with the ups and downs we all experience sometimes; it is much more severe, debilitating and incapacitating. Fortunately, it is treatable, and with proper care and the right medication patients can perform well at work and academically and lead full, productive lives.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (MANI) says that over 10 million people have bipolar disorder in the United States. It adds that more than half of all cases start when patients are between 15 and 25 years old. Males and females are affected equally.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Brain Injury

Brain injury refers to an injury in which an insult to the brain causes damage to the brain. Because of the fact that each injury does damage to a different part of the brain, every brain injury is unique.

Brain injuries are often described as either traumatic or acquired based on the cause of the injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has developed the following definitions:

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative.
Acquired brain injuries are caused by some medical conditions, including strokes, encephalitis, aneurysms, anoxia (lack of oxygen during surgery, drug overdose, or near drowning), metabolic disorders, meningitis, or brain tumors.

Although the causes of brain injury differ, the effects of these injuries on a person’s life are quite similar.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Chronic Pain

Pain, though unpleasant, is your body’s warning system. The tingling, tightness, or stiffness indicates that overworked or damaged muscles and nerves need attention. Prolonged pain—lasting three months or longer—is considered chronic. Chronic pain strikes any place in the body, most commonly in the lower back, and ranges from mild to severe. It can be sharp, shooting, burning, aching, or marked by stiffness. While pain following injury or disease is normal, persistent pain can affect your personal and professional life.

Chronic pain can take a toll on you emotionally as well as physically. The emotional stress can further aggravate symptoms, and possibly weaken your immune system, which could lead to infection, fatigue, or depression.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Depression

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being.[1] Depressed people feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present.

Depressed mood is not always a psychiatric disorder. It may also be a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a primary or associated feature of certain psychiatric syndromes such as clinical depression

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols. It is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. It is typically characterized by difficulties in word recognition, spelling and decoding. People with dyslexia have problems with reading comprehension.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities1 says that dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition, and not the result of poor teaching, instruction or upbringing. Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence.

The effects of dyslexia, in fact, vary from person to person. The only shared trait among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels significantly lower than typical for people of their age. Dyslexia is different from reading retardation which may reflect mental retardation or cultural deprivation.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Epilepsy / Seizures

People with epilepsy tend to have recurrent seizures (fits). The seizures occur because of a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain – there is an overload of electrical activity in the brain. This causes a temporary disturbance in the messaging systems between brain cells. During a seizure the patient’s brain becomes “halted” or “mixed up”.

Every function in our bodies is triggered by messaging systems in our brain. What a patient with epilepsy experiences during a seizure will depend on what part of his/her brain that epileptic activity starts, and how widely and quickly it spreads from that area. Consequently, there are several types of seizures and each patient will have epilepsy in his/her own unique way.

The word “epilepsy” comes from the Greek word epi meaning “upon, at, close upon”, and the Greek word Leptos meaning “seizure”. From those roots we have the Old French word epilepsie, and Latin word epilepsia and the Greek words epilepsia and epilepsies.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is “A common syndrome of chronic widespread soft-tissue pain accompanied by weakness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances; the cause is unknown.” The word fibromyalgia comes from the Greek myos meaning “muscle”, Greek algos meaning “pain”, and New Latin fibro meaning “fibrous tissue”.

Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder. When a health illness or condition is chronic it means it is long-lasting.

Even though fibromyalgia is frequently referred to as an arthritis-related condition, it does not cause joint damage or inflammation, as arthritis does. Neither does fibromyalgia cause damage to muscle and other tissues. However, it is similar to arthritis because it causes severe pain and tiredness, and can undermine the patient’s ability to go about his daily activities. Fibromyalgia is seen as a rheumatic condition. A rheumatic condition is one that causes joint and soft tissue pain.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that millions of people worldwide have to live with. Individuals with insomnia find it difficult to either fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Insomnia commonly leads to daytime sleepiness, lethargy and a general feeling of being unwell both mentally and physically.

Insomnia includes a wide range of sleeping disorders, from lack of quality of sleep to lack of quantity of sleep.

Insomnia is commonly separated into three types:

Transient insomnia – occurs when symptoms lasts from a few days to some weeks.
Acute insomnia – also called short-term insomnia. Symptoms persist for several weeks.
Chronic insomnia – this type lasts for at least months, and sometimes years. According to the National Institutes of Health1, the majority of chronic insomnia cases are secondary, meaning they are side effects or symptoms of some other problem.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere.[5] Borrelia is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus Ixodes (“hard ticks”).[6] Early symptoms may include fever, headache, and fatigue. A rash occurs in 70–80% of infected persons at the site of the tick bite after a delay of 3–30 days (average is about 7 days), and may or may not appear as the well-publicized bull’s-eye (erythema migrans). The rash is only rarely painful or itchy, although it may be warm to the touch. Approximately 20–30% of infected persons do not experience a rash.[7][8] Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early.[9][10] Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Migraines

A migraine is a severe, painful headache that is often preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound. The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days.

Migraine headaches result from a combination of blood vessel enlargement and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around these blood vessels. During the headache, an artery enlarges that is located on the outside of the skull just under the skin of the temple (temporal artery). This causes a release of chemicals that cause inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery. Migraine headaches can be very debilitating. A migraine headache causes the sympathetic nervous system to respond with feelings of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This response also delays the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine (affecting food absorption), decreases blood circulation (leading to cold hands and feet), and increases sensitivity to light and sound.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder / OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an illness that affects thoughts and actions and is believed to be rooted in a biochemical imbalance of the brain. OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) published by the American Psychiatric Association. This puzzling illness is characterized by recurrent and disturbing thoughts (called obsessions) and/or repetitive, ritualized behaviors that the person feels driven to perform (called compulsions). Obsessions can also take the form of intrusive images or unwanted impulses. The majority of patients have both obsessions and compulsions, but a minority (about 20 percent) have obsessions alone or compulsions alone (about 10 percent). The person with OCD usually tries to actively dismiss the obsessions or neutralize them by engaging in compulsions or avoiding situations that trigger them. In most cases, compulsions serve to alleviate anxiety. However, it is not uncommon for the compulsions themselves to engender anxiety, especially when they become very demanding.

A hallmark of OCD is that the person recognizes that her thoughts or behaviors are senseless or excessive. However, the drive can be so powerful that the person caves in to the compulsion even though she knows it makes no sense. One woman spent hours each evening sifting through the household trash to ensure that nothing valuable was being discarded. When asked what she was looking for, she nervously admitted, “I have no idea, I don’t own anything valuable.” Some people who have had OCD for a long time may stop resisting their compulsive drives because they feel it’s just easier to give in to them.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD

It is common for people to feel that no matter what they’ve faced or lived with, no matter how extreme, they should be able to carry on. But sometimes people face situations that are so traumatic that they may become unable to cope and function in their daily lives. Some people become so distressed by memories of the trauma – memories that won’t go away – that they begin to live their lives trying to avoid any reminders of what happened to them.

A person who feels this way months after a traumatic experience has passed may be suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, a serious and common health condition. For these people, getting beyond the trauma and overcoming PTSD requires the help of a professional.

PTSD may develop following exposure to extreme trauma. Extreme trauma is a terrifying event or ordeal that a person has experienced, witnessed or learned about, especially one that is life-threatening or causes physical harm. It can be a single event or repeated experience. The experience causes that person to feel intense fear, horror or a sense of helplessness. The stress caused by trauma can affect all aspects of a person’s life, including mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Research suggests that prolonged trauma may disrupt and alter brain chemistry. For some people, this may lead to the development of PTSD.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Sleep Disorders

sleep disorders are major disturbances of normal sleep patterns that lead to distress and disrupt functioning during the day. Not only are sleep disorders extremely common, affecting virtually everyone at some point in their lives, but they can also lead to serious stress and other health consequences.

There are 5 types of sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking
  • Nigh Terrors

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Stroke

A stroke is a condition in which the brain cells suddenly die because of a lack of oxygen. A stroke can be caused by an obstruction in the blood flow, or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain. The patient may suddenly lose the ability to speak, there may be memory problems, or one side of the body can become paralyzed.

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse is a harmful pattern of use of any substance for mood altering purposes which leads to frequent and serious problems. These problems can affect performance at school, work or home. Many times, relationships begin to suffer. Individual abusing substances often have trouble with the law. Substance abuse is not simply drug abuse. It also includes the use in inhalants, solvents, alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes. Almost any substance can be abused.

There are many things that can lead to substance abuse, some of which we have no control over. Research shows that having a family history of substance abuse makes a person more at risk for alcohol and drub abuse. Also, individuals who have been victims of child abuse or who have been raised in poverty are more at risk. Depression and low self-esteem also can lead to substance abuse. When people, children and teens especially, begin to have friends who use drugs or accept drug use as the “norm”, they are more likely to develop substance abuse issues themselves.

If you are concerned that someone you love may have a problem with substance abuse, there are several symptoms that you can look for.

• Loss of interest in activities
• Depression
• Suicidal thoughts or threats
• Decline in grade or work performance
• Forgetfulness
• Increased risk taking

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page


Obesity

An obese person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on their health. If a person’s bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he or she is considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.

People become obese for several reasons, including:

  • Consuming too many calories
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Not sleeping enough
  • Endocrine disruptors, such as some foods that interfere with lipid metabolism
  • Medications that make patients put on weight
  • Obesity genes

For case studies that show how neurofeedback can help, please visit our research page