An introduction by Dr. David Silvers M.D.
Neurofeedback is a scientifically validated treatment modality (See Nature, “Closed-loop brain training: the science of neurofeedback”, 2016). Successful neurofeedback produces structural changes in the brain (i.e. neuro-plasticity) through operant conditioning which subconsciously rewards the brain for positive brainwave changes. Many neurological and psychiatric conditions demonstrate predictable abnormalities on quantitative EEGs, and are potentially correctable using neurofeedback.
Unfortunately, the medications that I prescribe to my patients while trying to treat neuropsychiatric conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression, cognitive decline) are frequently only partially successful, and medications are sometimes poorly tolerated secondary to side effects. Furthermore, some patients would rather not take additional medications. Therefore, a safe, non-invasive, efficacious intervention could make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients. Neurofeedback can be combined with pharmacological and other non-pharmacological therapies.
Randomized controlled trials have yielded positive results for anxiety, depression, chemotherapy-
induced polyneuropathy, ADD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fibromyalgia. Other trials have suggested benefit in migraines, post cancer cognitive impairment (a.k.a. “chemobrain”), cognitive impairment from other causes, early Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease (balance improvement) and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
At Gardens Neurology, an experienced technician will perform your customized brain mapping as well as set up and monitor your individual therapy sessions and progress. You will meet with our nurse practitioner or with me at the start of your neurofeedback, and again after several weeks of therapy, to help with all aspects of your treatment plan. I will monitor and review your mapping and recommend the best customized protocol.
Our sessions are always one-on-one which we find to be most beneficial when performed in a quiet room without external distractions. Results are typically seen after 15-20 sessions, but additional sessions may be needed for maximal benefit. At times, your protocols will be adjusted in order to try and maximize results, sometimes for more than one symptom or condition.
Continued research is clearly needed, but given its safety, EEG neurofeedback is ready for use today as a treatment modality in neurological patients. Neurologists in both private practice and in the academic community are now beginning to appreciate the great potential of neurofeedback. I am looking forward to sharing with you this exciting and revolutionary new treatment plan.