Updated: Apr 21, 2022
To be able to sit still, pay attention, and occasionally control one’s impulses can be difficult for almost everybody. For just over six million children, and over three million adults in the US, these problems are so prevalent and persistent that it interferes with their home, professional, academic, and social lives.
The commonly known condition Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a growing behavioral condition for both adults and children, and has become one of the main targets of modern health care. The function of attention is one of the most important features of being conscious and the basis of cognitive function itself. The fact that ADHD exists in children in even greater numbers than in adults, illustrates the urgency with which this disorder must be handled. The important thing to know is that ADHD is possible to surmount. Many individuals with ADHD have led very successful and satisfying lives, but early identification and solution development offer a big advantage. The longer this condition persists, the more serious the consequences may be, such as family and social stress, delinquency, school failure, depression, addiction, or loss of employment.
There are currently 2 mainstream approaches to dealing with ADHD, behavioral therapy or medication. Behavioral therapy is minimally effective and medication has supplied some results, but too often at a high price. The effects of ingesting a psychostimulant, is that by nature of being chemical, has other side effects such as dependency, as well as physiological arousal on the body, which can have lasting consequences, especially for childrens' developing bodies.
The application of Neurofeedback technology offers an evidence-based and clinically tested opportunity to bring relief from ADHD. By working at the level of regulating electrical activity of the brain, neurofeedback allows it to function more efficiently and shift its activity towards better focus, impulse control, reduction of restlessness, etc..
Neurofeedback technology allows identification of performance markers of ADHD, that has even been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a clinical diagnostic. EEG (electroencephalography) is the measure of brain waves that different regions and states of the brain emit. When it comes to ADHD, there is a classical signature of electrical activity that is associated with the condition, referred to as the “theta/beta ratio”. This is an FDA approved marker for the diagnosis of ADHD, that neurofeedback has been clinically shown to be effective in influencing. By steering brain activity towards a theta/beta range that corresponds to improved attentional function, neurofeedback has shown monumental success in helping individuals overcome ADHD in a healthy and long-lasting way.
One of the foundational and earliest discovered brain wave patterns that plays a significant role in general brain performance is known as the Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR). SMR is a specific brain wave frequency/speed (Hertz/Hz), that has been researched extensively in the application of neurofeedback. This frequency of 12-15Hz has been shown to be the most effective frequency band to train individuals with cognitive symptoms associated with ADHD.
This offers enormous hope to individuals who suffer from any kind of attentional dysregulation. The ability to change the way the brain, and therefore the mind operate, is the first time in recorded history that this is available. The sophistication of neurofeedback portends and where optimal mental health and cognitive function will no longer be just the products of heredity and upbringing, but will be available to any individual, just as most modern health care is available now.