A Comparison of EEG Biofeedback and Psychostimulants in Treating Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders
Journal of Neurotherapy
The study compared the effects of EEG biofeedback and stimulant medication in reducing AD/HD symptoms. Stimulants are the most widely used treatment for AD/HD but have drawbacks. The most serious is that symptom reduction is only temporary unless medication is taken indefinitely. In addition, stimulants may have side effects and long term compliance with taking the medication is poor, especially among adolescents. The study compared treatment programs with 20 sessions of EEG biofeedback (n =
... biofeedback (n = 23) or stimulants (n = 23) as their primary components. An EEG group (EEG) was matched with a stimulant group (MED) by age, IQ, gender, and diagnosis. The Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) was administered pre and post-treatment. Both the EEG and MED groups improved (p < .05) on TOVA measures of inattention, impulsivity, information processing, and variability but did not differ from each other (p > 0.3) on TOVA change scores. The results indicate that the EEG biofeedback program is an effective alternative to stimulants and may be the treatment of choice when medication is ineffective, has side effects, or compliance is a problem. Previous studies suggest that EEG biofeedback leads to lasting symptom reduction. This needs to be confirmed with larger samples using standardized assessment procedures.