EEG Neurofeedback

Bernard

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Yes, I'm aware of Dr. Sterman's experiments with cats and jet fuel. :)
 
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I've been onto this idea of neurofeedback for a long while and have wanted to try it out, not only for possibility of seizure control, but to develop higher creativity and awareness. I've looked into all kinds of brainwave devices, but there is all kinds of suspect stuff on the market that promises a lot but delivers nothing. (Some of it can be dangerous to people like us.) On the other hand, it's impossible to get insurance for it, so you have to pay for a more reputable service with your own cash. That leaves this only available to people who have that kind of disposable income (ie., not for me). Anyway, check out this book "Mega Brain" by Michael Hutchinson, which is all about this kind of stuff. Incidentally, this ties in with a thread I've put out about using will-powre or "brain yoga" tp control seizures. Actually, meditation, has been proven to calm down the brain or put it in alternative wave states.
 

Mike

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Nerofeedback

Ive had epilepsy for 27 years. Ive had a right temprol lobectomy that caused more harm than good. Only after six months of the Nerofeedback,(the L.E.Ns is the one helps me the best)did I experince five years of seizure freedom untill heart diease and a heart attack brought them back.Now after one dozen treatments,Today is my 447th day of this wonderfull gift of seizure freedom. I cant afford it! Dr. Larson has been kind enough to treat me for next to nothing to prove its ability in stopping seizure activity and quieting the brain.
 
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One thing to consider before we go out and shell out money for some expensive EEG machine or EEG therapy treatments, is this: To go into alpha brainwave state, all you need to do is close your eyes and breathe deeply, going into a state of deep calm. Try to maintain a kind of awakened awareness. Once you find it, it is probably where the EEG feedback is going to take you anyway. For me, it's a kind of pleasant "buzz" in the back of my brain, probably the cerebrum area. Nevertheless, I'd still like to hook up to a machine just to see if I'm on target here.
 

Bernard

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One thing to consider before we go out and shell out money for some expensive EEG machine or EEG therapy treatments, is this: To go into alpha brainwave state, all you need to do is close your eyes and breathe deeply, going into a state of deep calm.
The brain has constant activity in all the brainwave spectrums - alpha, beta, delta theta. The idea that you "go into alpha brainwave state" is not quite correct. When you are awake, you should have a certain amount of alpha wave activity (associated with being awake and alert). During Stacy's last QEEG, her brain's alpha wave activty was extremely low - appearing normal for a sleep state while she was awake.
 

Bernard

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philly.com said:
But few health insurance companies cover neurofeedback, and many physicians and researchers question its effectiveness, although few contend it is unsafe.

David Baron, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine, says neurofeedback studies that he is aware of involved small numbers of participants and were not "double-blind," the gold standard in medical research that minimizes unrelated influences.

"Testimonials don't mean they're right," Baron says, adding that patients' claims aren't necessarily wrong either; he wants to see more definitive research.

Also at Temple, pediatric psychologist Brian Daly has reviewed numerous studies reporting positive results from neurofeedback. But the assistant professor in the College of Health Professions questions whether the findings are "due to the treatment itself or other non-specific factors like attention-from-therapist."
Someone should tell Mr. Baron that neurofeedback is a training mechanism and it is not possible to perform a double blind study of neurofeedback. These guys are seriously crazy if they think that the verifiable changes in brain wave activity over the course of several weeks is attributable to 30-60 minutes of face time (each week) with a therapist.

philly.com said:
Like many other nontraditional approaches, the popularity of neurofeedback has nevertheless "exploded" in recent years, says Cynthia Kerson, executive director of the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. The number of practitioners in the United States is now about 4,000, she says.

"The biggest problem in our field," says Kerson, whose organization is based in Richmond, Va., "is the lack of research money. The money is tied up with the pharmaceutical industry, and they are not interested in seeing us grow."

Most neurofeedback "trainers" are certified by the companies that sell brain-scan software and neurofeedback programs. Additional standards are set by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America, but the practice is not generally regulated by the government. Therapists who use it - psychologists, social workers, nurses and others, many of whom integrate neurofeedback with other approaches, depending on a patient's diagnosis - often belong to professions that are licensed by the states, however.

The lack of insurance coverage means patients must be particularly committed - and have the financial resources to spend up to $135 a week for 20 to 40 weekly sessions.

An optional new diagnostic tool called Quantitative Electroencephalography, or QEEG, can add anywhere from $500 to $1,500 to the initial cost. The digital scan allows an individual's brain activity to be compared with patterns of normal brain waves stored in databases. The results can help fine-tune a treatment plan.

Reports from around the world indicate that neurofeedback is being tried for far more than serious neurological disorders. Neuroscientists at the Imperial College London reported that a controlled study showed brain-wave training improved performances by students at the Royal College of Music. Some members of New York's Metropolitan Opera have made similar claims. And Italy's soccer team was widely reported to have attributed its 2006 World Cup, in part, to neurofeedback training by four of its players.
Retraining brain waves
 
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:brock:"The lack of insurance coverage means patients must be particularly committed - and have the financial resources to spend up to $135 a week for 20 to 40 weekly sessions."


To spend that much, one may as well buy a machine and do it yourself at home. Problem is, there are so many "quacks" out there, how do you know what is going to be useful or not.

Business idea: Get one of these machines, fix yourself - then charge treatments or rent machine to others! Let's do it ourselves, folks! We don't need those boys in white coats!:brock:
 

Bernard

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angel

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Bernard & STACY

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback is offering a free .PDF file explaining the research for biofeedback and neurofeedback for a vareity of conditions:

Evidence-Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback by Carolyn Yucha, PhD and Christopher Gilbert, PhD

It is well worth reading and summarizes a lot of the information I painstakingly pieced together in this thread. :mrt:
Bernard & STACY !!!

I went to my neuroligest appointment today, im still having sps so at first wanted to put me ontegretol I said id rather not switch meds again... from keppra unless i have to so we are trying another two months on it,,,, anyways, my husband was with me and I said to my doctor really fast then kinda went into a black out haha my husband wants me on alternative treatments:) are there any? my husband was like yeah! then my neuro said well not many studies blah blah but then he said the words EEG Neurofeedback! I was like omg... and actually was excited that he brought it up ... we pretty much left it at that long story wasnt feeling well at appointment slered speach and headach... he is open to it though thats a good thing fist thing is we are going to work on getting me some kind of medical hes writing me a long letter to give to whomever need be to help me get on hmo or somthing... then he gave us about 400.00 worth of meds .... hes a neuro brain surgen too... he says unfortunality to my husband wife is one of those who has trouble with meds.... :( anyways at least he knows about Neurofeedback:) I was so tired though from the little seizures ive been having that i couldnt seem to get into the subject with him he was talking to my husband trying to point out my seizures to him its hard for my husband because i dont have gms and he thinks all seizures are gms...

im excited and tired hope im making sence....

Love angel
 

Bernard

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That's great Angel. :woot: Sounds like you have a doctor that is keeping up with current research. :mrt:

I hope you are able to work out arrangements to try neurofeedback with a good practitioner (and your neuro's oversight/blessing).
 
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Whether it is recognized at large by the AMA or not, I personally am quite convinced that neurofeedback is the way to go. There happens to be someplace called "Optimal Brain Institute" in Northampton, MA (I live a few miles from there in Amherst, MA). The woman who runs it says insurance won't recognize it as a valid form of therapy. However, I did talk to my insurance provider, MassHealth, a state-funded insurance for low-income people. He said it could probably pass muster if they simply called it "therapy" or "behavior modification" (just don't say anything about the weird EEG machines). Anyway, this is an angle I'm going to push.

Actually, calling it "behavior modification" would be exactly what it is. Basically you are attempting to train your brain waves to behave in more constructive ways by getting positive feedback looking at them on a monitor. Ironically, although "behavior modification" or even "psychotherapy" are not 100 percent "proven" or "effective" forms of treatment, insurance companies will fund that.

So this may be what will work. I advise any of you out there to do that; get back to us if it works.

Of course, another thing, is to bug the hell out of the insurance companies to pay for this treatment. Or write your Congressperson. One way or the other, we can push this thing through!
 

renee97

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Well, this is really not a response to Robin's interest, but I have been away for a while and I found this subject - of interest.
Earlier this year on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation's Science Friday," the subject was Sharon Begley's book 'Train your Mind, Change your Brain.' I missed the program, saw it listed, went into their archives and listened to the program. I then went online and purchased the book from a local independent bookstore at a discount. I have read it at least twice, and many sections I have read over and over.
Without getting too involved---especially in things that I admit I do not know---the "EEG Neurofeedback" attracted my attention and there are similarities in what Bernard is talking about and what is in the book. Only similarities. I have been interested in any and all kinds of biofeedback ever since the spring of 2006. It was one day when I went to see my shrink (easier to spell) and described to her what I was doing when an "epilepsy-like thing" (?) would wake me up.
She looked right at me and said
"Biofeedback. You are doing a form of biofeedback."
I was just doing something, some thing that I thought would delay, contain, or otherwise not allow a full T/C seizure to happen.
End of story (for now).
 

Bernard

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Yes, biofeedback and neurofeedback are both forms of operant conditioning, but EEG neurofeedback works directly with brain function.
 

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Um, so where does this take us? I understand what you are saying. What I am trying to assemble is how does one get from dependency on drugs to control seizures to the opposite? Is this something that takes years?
renee
 

Bernard

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Most studies of EEG neurofeeback showed efficacy in reducing (or eliminating) seizures within a 6 month window. Of course, results vary with the individual (and presumably with the competence of the practitioner adjusting the neurofeedback protocol).
 

Bernard

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EEG neurofeedback in the news as a treatment option for depression:
Chicago Tribune said:
... Cognitive disorders, such as attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or anxiety, show up as aberrant brain waves.

"By consciously reshaping the aberrant brain-wave pattern, the patient retrains her brain, thereby reducing symptoms while enhancing concentration," Bonesteel said. "Conscious control becomes unconscious control as a result of positively reinforced repetition. The brain learns to regulate itself."

Depending on the condition and its severity, neurofeedback treatment might take 20 to 40 or more one-hour sessions. But positive results seem to stick.

Dr. Elsa Baehr, director of NeurQuest Ltd. in Skokie, has treated people with neurofeedback therapy for 15 years. "We have data on patients 5 years, 10 years, 13 years after treatment," she said. "The condition is holding. They're not depressed. It's been a very effective treatment."

Dr. J. Peter Rosenfeld, professor of psychology at Northwestern University's Institute for Neuroscience, worked with Baehr to develop the original protocol for treating depression with neurofeedback. Despite what he calls "pretty impressive" clinical results, he insists that more control-group research is required.

...

Bonesteel agreed that it's not a panacea but noted that neurofeedback, used as part of a multifaceted treatment plan, improves a variety of specific cognitive impairments besides depression, ADD and ADHD. In his clinic, he helps people with insomnia, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, chronic fatigue, mild autism and epilepsy -- often without medication. Research indicates that neurofeedback produces some of the same brain-wave changes as drugs used to treat ADD and ADHD.

"You can chemically condition the brain with pills or do it with neurofeedback," Bonesteel said. "But neurofeedback trains more specifically than pills, without the side effects. It also changes the brain for the better in an ongoing way."
Aerobics for the brain
 

Bernard

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Rutland Herald said:
Sharrie Hanley is one of only a few people in the state offering neurofeedback training for the management of a wide range of cognitive conditions from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to anxiety and depression.

...

"It's very, very rare that neurofeedback doesn't work on somebody," Hanley said.

Neurofeedback is a scientifically-based training process with results occurring quickly in some clients and more gradual in others. "With a child, you can see the results within minutes. With adults, they see it more retrospectively," she noted.

...

Hanley said she charges $30 per training session to make neurofeedback accessible to most clients because health insurance seldom covers the costs.

For more information on neurofeedback training, Sharrie Hanley can be reached at 236-7378.
:clap:

I'm giving her a free plug because she deserves it. She is in Rutland, Vermont.
 
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