Good news for the brain

Good news for brain health! Neurofeedback is growing in popularity — an estimated 100,000 Americans have tried it over the past decade.

The National Institute of Mental Health just sponsored its first study, on ADHD, with results to be announced later this month. The study’s director noted improvement in many of the children’s behavior.

Some so-called authorities still think of it as crackpot science.

It seems to me more like physical therapy: you have an injury or an imbalance, and you do exercises targeted to gain functionality.

Neurofeedback practitioners say people have problems when their brain wave frequencies aren’t suited for the task at hand, or when parts of the brain aren’t communicating adequately with other parts. These issues, they say, can be represented on a “brain map,” the initial EEG readings that serve as a guide for treatment. Subsequently, a clinician will help a patient learn to slow down or speed up those brain waves, through a process known as operant conditioning.

The article mentions companies offering it, and the lack of regulation. It advises choosing a practitioner carefully.

I’d love to hear first-hand accounts of people who’ve used neurofeedback to improve brain functioning in Austin, Texas.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/health/05neurofeedback.html?src=me&ref=health

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