Conditions 

This list is not exhaustive, but contains some conditions responsive to neurotherapy and neurofeedback.

Please contact us if you would like further information about our work with any particular condition.

ADD/ADHD

About 11% of U.S. children ages 4 to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD as of 2011, according the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They all fall under the same diagnosis. However, there are different types of ADD/ADHD.

 

Different types of ADD/ADHD may respond differently to neurofeedback and neurotherapy (i.e., more positively or negatively) to traditional forms treatment based on their individual EEG type. One type of ADD/ADHD shows excesses in alpha and theta (the slower brainwaves that anxious, strung out, and stressed people are deficient in). Another type shows an excess theta pattern. This is the most common pattern seen in children with ADHD diagnoses, occurring in 60% of cases.

 

In other cases, particularly adolescents and adults, show too much alpha, with normal levels of theta. This is a different type of brain than the other two ADD/ADHD types. The excess alpha pattern represents vast processing regions that are "awake" but fail to "allocate" their resources to the job at hand. This results in a “hearing” of what is said, but an inability to process what is said.

 

The more severe difficulties, show a mixture of alpha, theta and often delta waves.

Addiction

  • 22.5 million Americans need treatment, only 3.8 million receive it
  • The cost estimate for illicit drug abuse is estimated at $181 billion
  • If you include healthcare, criminal justice, and lost productivity, the costs exceed $500 billion.
  • For every dollar spent on treatment there is a $4 to $7 reduction in the cost.
  • With outpatient programs, savings can reach a ratio of 12:1

         -- National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004

 

Addiction is a brain disorder. It is not a lack of discipline or a moral issue. we work directly with the brain to retrain patterns of dysfunction with neurotherapy. Training helps support more clear thinking. This builds a strong foundation for recovery and relapse prevention.

 

In the brain, the reward network or pleasure network is the same as the addiction network.  (This includes the amygdala and hippocampus, as well as Brodmann areas 8, 9, 10, 30, 33). The difference is that addictive drugs (methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol, etc.) change the network dynamics by introducing neurophysiological imbalance.

 

For example, using drugs in excess activates excitatory dopaminergic neurons and makes them create excessive dopamine, which fills synaptic gaps and causes feelings of intense pleasure. When this experience is coupled with inhibitory neuron dysregulation, a snowball effect is created, which leads to an inability to restore the supplies of dopamine. The result? Feelings of craving strengthening.    The balance is lost. A dopamine depletion and circuit dysregulation disrupt the dopamine restoration process. The reduction of dopamine is linked to depression and often addiction arises as self medication to deal with depression feelings to begin with.

 

Behavioral habits associated the acquisition and use of the addictive drugs occur in the basal ganglia of the brain.   One therapeutic and behavioral strategy is to replace the drug with natural sources of pleasure when ever the craving feelings arise, thus rewiring the basal ganglia. This is the one-two punch of training addiction.

 

Article: Addiction From A Neurobiological Perspective

 

References

Zalesky A, Solowij N, Yücel M, Lubman DI, Takagi M, Harding IH, Lorenzetti V, Wang R, Searle K, Pantelis C, Seal M. (2012) Effect of long-term cannabis use on axonal fibre connectivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(40):E2657-64. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1206820109.

Alzheimer's

One of the main elements of Alzheimer's is the loss of alpha and higher frequencies components. Often the brain will lose control of coherence, which is stability of the phase relationship within the brain. If Alzheimer’s is detected early on, the neural networks can be strengthened, leading to the halting of the degradation and inflammation of brain tissue. This leads to the potential preservation of cognitive abilities.

 

 

 

Anxiety

Usually anxiety is a response to psychological physical, dietary and/or environmental stress. Patterns of anxiety are hard to break.  It can show up as restlessness, rumination, excessive worrying, fear, restlessness, unwarranted reactivity, negative thinking, and defensiveness.

 

Overexposure to environmental stress (at home, work, school) will lead to a chronically "on" stress response. The result is that neuroendicrine glands (hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, which monitor, regulate & produce the stress response/state of arousal) become injured due to chronic overuse and under-rest/recovery & other support.

 

And since the hypothalamus, in particular, is both the primary endocrine gland and a primary autonomic nervous system organ, damaging it results in hormonal and autonomic nervous system dysfunctions. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction is noted in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)and Fibromyalgia patients, which includes altered/restricted blood flow to the brain, which may potentially lead to brain fog symptoms.

 

Traumatically overuse, say, a knee, and you'll wear it out, and it won't function normally. Traumatically overuse your hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands by having a chronically "floored", "pedal-to-the-metal" stress response, and you'll injure these parts of your body, too. Given that these glands produce the hormonal signals to the rest of your body's cells that tell them to up- or down-regulate their activity, if there's insufficient "up" signals, the cells metabolize glucose at a very low rate, producing the cellular "energy crisis" that manifests on the macro scale.

 

In addition to monitoring various hormones in the blood and being the primary endocrine gland, the hypothalamus also activates the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, so it's a primary control organ in both the endocrine and neurological systems, and functions as a "connecting bridge" between them.

 

If you suffer from an anxiety-based disorder, you may feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed out. You might find concentration difficult; you may find you cannot shut off your mind. You might find that the constant internal chatter interrupts your sleeping and steals your quality of life. You may find yourself constantly worrying about the future or the past. 

 

Biofeedback, neurotherapy and neurofeedback are two of the quickest and fastest ways we teach people to learn to calm themselves. These technologies have been used for many years with solid proven results.  It’s true, one can learn how to decrease anxiety and remain calmer with neurofeedback. Learning this life-long skill decreases the need for dependence upon medications.

Autism, Asperger's, & Developmental Delays

Neurotherapy and neurofeedback leads to organized and regulated brain activity. Autistic spectrum children have disorganized brains with clear patterns of dysregulation. Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) studies examining neural networks in autism have seen an exponential rise over the last decade. Such investigations have led to the characterization of autism as a distributed neural systems disorder. Studies have found widespread cortical underconnectivity, local overconnectivity, and mixed results suggesting disrupted brain connectivity as a potential neural signature of autism. You can see these types of issues in Quantitative EEG.

 

It is possible for autistic children to train their own brains. During training, you gradually see their brain activity become more organized and better regulated. This results in more attention, greater ability to calm down, better behavior,, and more awareness and connection. These types of findings are consistently reported by professionals and parents.

 

Overwhelm is one common trait in autistic spectrum children. In autistics, specific areas of the brain, which play a role in self-calming, are dysregulated. Autistic children responds in not so subtle ways, which can have a big impact on the lives of the family and the child.

 

Article: "Salience Network" Dysfunction Hypothesis in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Article: Underconnected, but How? A Survey of Functional Connectivity MRI Studies in Austism Spectrum Disorders

Depression

An increasing number of healthcare professionals – psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals - now use neurofeedback daily with their clients. This is in large part due to the limitations of medication and psychotherapy for depression.

 

Depression has a neurological basis, though many varieties exist. After getting a QEEG we can determine how the depression is manifesting in the brainwaves. This data helps to identify which areas of the brain to target. The result is changes in mood, motivation, and stability. The propensity to fall back into a depressive rut is lessened, as well.

 

Many depressives feel stuck. Others feel they have slipped into a deep dark hole and there is no way out. Depression is an illness, no less serious than a broken bone, and more dangerous, since its cloaked in normalcy and depressives carry the extra burden of the social stigma.

 

You can emerge from the black hole. You can train back to health. In some cases that people notice being in a better mood within a few sessions. Intensives (daily or three times weekly) are recommended for more severe cases. Training leads to mood regulation.

Sleep

Do you experience any of the following:

  • Insomnia - Difficulty falling asleep; difficulty maintaining sleep during the night
  • Difficulty waking from sleep
  • Difficulty getting to bed
  • Not feeling rested after sleep
  • Sleeping too long (over 10 hours)
  • Physically restless sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Bedwetting (Nocturnal enuresis)
  • Sleepwalking
  • Restless leg syndrome - Leg discomfort or sleep causing movement & arousal
  • Bruxism - teeth grinding during sleep
  • Sleep terrors - Abrupt arousal with intense fear, difficult to awaken, no dream recall or memory of event
  • Narcolepsy
  • Deregulated sleep patterns/cycles (circadian rhythms)

 

Neurotherapy improves brain regulation and the brain regulates sleep.When working with individuals who suffer from sleep disorders, we often see a lack of slower brainwaves (delta and theta) or excess of beta and high beta, indicating an overly active mind that cannot shut off.

 

Because sleep is complex, involving many systems, there are cases of sleep disorder than neurotherapy will not help. This is one of the reasons for the qEEG. Also, a full sleep hygiene intake, assessing for caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well as other problematic habits and patterns, will assess the weight and severity of contributory factors.

Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury

“In cases of TBI, neurofeedback is probably better than any medication or supplement."



    - Richard Brown, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY

 

Anyone who has suffered a stroke knows the devastaing, life altering changes that occur. Often movement will be restricted or lost all together onone side, speechmay be impacted or lost entirely, and the functioning of the brain feels frustratingly compromised. Physical therapy, speech therapy, psychoterhapy and occupational therapy play a role. However, after 2 years fewer gains are typically made (and fewer expected).  Enter neurotherapy.

 

When the brain suffers damage, often slower brainwaves—delta and theta—rush to the site of the injury to begin repairing. These are the brainwaves babies, toddlers and youth spend much time in while their brains are developing because their brains are developing. These slow waves are the waves of angiogeneisis, neuroplasticity, and neurogenesis. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the brain would produce these waves when trying to regenerate damaged tissue.

 

However, the patterns of delta and theta become locked, entrenched, and habitual, preventing growth out of the stroke/TBI disabled state. The use of neurotherapy, pulsed electromagnetic frequency, and neurofeedback can create profound shifts in yrou ability to recuperate and recover from your injury.

 

With neurotherapy, we can target train specific areas of the brain that relate to speech (for example, Broca’s or Wernicke’s area) or movement (such as the sensory motor strip).  By reinforcing the frequencies and patterns we want to see the brain generate, we can help ease you back into your normal ways of being.

 

A clenched and unusable hand becomes operational again. An easy gait returns to replace a stiff stagger. Fluid speech begins first in word finding, then sentence completion, into full conversation.

 

A caveat: the level of recovery that can be achieved is not predictable and the willingness, hope, patience and cooperation of the patient is essential to success. Overall, neurotherapy has been successfully applied to patients with mild traumatic brain injury. Hundreds of case studies have been presented at conferences, published in academic journals and, most importantly, undertaken for the ultimate benefit of those involved.

Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are pervasive and common. There are many modalities to work with them, many work well. Neurotherapy works well, but is completely different than the other options. It is used to train the area of the brain involved in learning or performing reading, math or auditory and visual processing.

 

We know that learning involves coordination between multiple areas of the brain. The speed, amplitude, coherence, and symmetry of the brain are all required for a sound system of information intake and output. Neurofeedback and neurotherapy increase the brain’s coordination and communication between different areas of the brain.

 

Connectivity training is particularly effective with this demographic, and seems to provide more consistent improvements in learning issues such as reading comprehension, dyslexia, math deficits, and visual and auditory processing problems.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

We have had much success with PTSD clients. Indeed, neurofeedback and neurotherapy are being used in some branches of the US military services because of their effectiveness off the battlefield.

 

Even severe cases of PTSD, clients get their lives back after training with neurofeedback and neurotherapy. As one of our PTSD clients reported: “it’s like everything just suddenly clicked into place.”  The rumination, the anger, the fight/flight reflex, the depression, the anxiety, all slowly subside when neurotherapeutic protocols are implemented.

 

According to research, PTSD is a brain-based disorder. The brain learns patterned ways of behaving and reacting that are appropriate for the battlefield, but grossly inappropriate for accepting and living a typical, modern lifestyle.

 

As training carries on, sleep improves, ruminations slow, and the PTSD symptoms begin to lift. The training is permanent and occasional tune ups are always welcome at the clinic, though rarely needed.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Rumination, obsession, checking, fretting, weighing consequences, debating outcomes, again, and again, and again. OCD is an all-consuming pathology. When taking a qEEG, we can often see the area of the brain that is aberrant. We can see where excesses and compensatory deficiencies lie. We can see anywhere the brainwaves are locking—often causing the individual to go back, again, and again, drilling into the situation, obsession, or compulsion.

 

Using pEMF and neurofeedback, as well as the occasional biofeedback modality, we can begin to loosen the grip of the obsession and/or compulsion. Your mind will slowly begin to release the all consuming thoughts. You will have the ability to discern real from unreal and to “shut it off.”

 

This progress typically occurs on its own, without effort on the part of the client. Outside of the work of neurotherapy, it’s a matter of going about life and not holding tight when the propensity to let go occurs, as it usually does. The mind becomes more quiet and becomes more efficient at managing all issues.

 

Article: QEEG-Guide Neurofeedback in the Treatment of OCD

Migraines

Migraines manifest in a few ways. Thus, it is important to get a qEEG before beginning any type of treatment. Neurotherapy is effective in some cases. Particularly with the use of HEG, where we teach the brain to bring oxygen-rich blood into the frontal lobes, which leads to angiogenesis and vaso dilation. The result is an increased amount of dendritic growth, leading to new neutral pathways and new ways of processing information, as well as new circulatory pathways and less pain in the brain from constricted blood flow.

 

The bonus is that the dendritic growth also leads to an increase in IQ, according to Herschel Toomin, the inventor of Hemoencephalography. When working with rats, after undergoing HEG, the dendrites in the trained rats’ brains were dense and thick, like a forest, when compared to the control group. They were literally bulkier and heavier than those of the control group. This treatment is always included in our work with migraines, and will usually be blended with pEMF and neurofeedback. Our overall goal is to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the number of headaches and intensity of headaches.