Brain Training: Science or Woo-Woo
We're the first to admit neurofeedback brain training can sound pretty woo-woo.
Unlike exercise where it's easy to measure improvements in strength and health bio-markers, due to the number of reasons people do neurofeedback, it's not as easy to measure. This is why we encourage people to track whatever it is they're looking to improve before and after they start brain training.
That could be sleep, stress, creativity, focus, anxiety, grades, memory, awareness, attention, behavior…the list goes on and on.
The system we use at Quantify Fitness is called NeurOptimal. It's been around for over 20 years, and we chose it based on their long history of safety and efficacy for people of all ages. Their efficacy survey has a more comprehensive list of all the reasons people choose to use neurofeedback brain training.
NeurOptimal Neurofeedback Research
We occasionally get asked about neurofeedback research studies specific to NeurOptimal, so we've compiled this list that we'll continue to update as more research becomes available.
A Family Matter: NeurOptimal® For Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has a profound impact on both the child and the family. In this pilot study, NeurOptimal® was provided for both child & family members. Standard measures and FMRI were used to assess results.
ADHD-ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
The Effects of EEG Neurofeedback and Neuro-Cognitive Processing in the Educational Environment of an Arts-Based Private Elementary/Middle School.
The purpose of this study was to ascertain measurable differences in academic outcomes among two groups of learners within a creative arts curriculum that employed a self-directed, stress-reduced, and individualized curriculum. One group was provided with EEG neurofeedback and neuro-cognitive coaching for stress reduction, while the other was not. This study measured the rate of improvement in academic progress that a learner can achieve when formalized learning takes place in a stress-reduced arts-based learning environment with EEG neurofeedback and neurocognitive coaching.
CHEMO BRAIN (Cancer Therapy)
The Effect of EEG Biofeedback on Reducing Postcancer Cognitive Impairment.
Postcancer cognitive impairment (PCCI) is observed in a substantial number of breast cancer survivors, persisting for as long as 20 years in some subgroups. Although compensatory strategies are frequently suggested, no restorative interventions have yet been identified. This study examined the feasibility of EEG biofeedback (“neurofeedback”) and its potential effectiveness in reducing PCCI as well as the fatigue, sleep disturbance, and psychological symptoms that frequently accompany PCCI.
Efficacy of EEG Biofeedback in Addressing Cognitive Dysfunction in Cancer Survivors.
This study examined the efficacy of EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) in addressing the cognitive sequelae of cancer therapy, commonly known as “chemobrain” or “chemofog.” Approximately fifty percent of breast cancer survivors exhibit cognitive impairment within three weeks of beginning chemotherapy, and half of those have not recovered one year later. Neurofeedback, unlike compensatory strategies currently recommended by the National Cancer Institute and major cancer centers, has the potential to restore cognitive function.
Working With Extrinsic Constraints: Clinical Case Study From the Perspective of Bowen Family Systems Theory and NeurOptimal®.
This study demonstrates the evident changes brought on through NeurOptimal® training.
Five Year Clinical Outcome Study using NeurOptimal®
Outcome Analysis 2013 using NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback — A retrospective chart review NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is designed to interface with the nervous system as a Non-Linear Complex Dynamical System, whereas traditional ‘evidence-based’ research tends to measure linearly. Therefore, it seems reasonable to measure outcomes because that’s what prospective clients and referral sources really want to know. Since NeurOptimal® is training at the source of complaints, the nervous system’s turbulence, rather than treating diagnostic categories, it also seemed reasonable to look at outcomes across diagnostic categories rather than try to compare medically defined groups where fallible diagnostic judgments create more issues.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Natural Sleep Rhythms: From Cells to Behavior.
How NeurOptimal® potentially interfaces with, and restores, natural sleep rhythms. New evidence mapping cellular networks underlying the brain’s circadian timing nucleus has provided a potential locus of control for the human circadian rhythm (HCR). This network provides a biologically plausible regulatory site for external influence of the HCR-notably pharmacologic agents, environmental influence, and particularly salient to this presentation, NeurOptimal®.
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
A CASE STUDY … Physical, Psychological and Cognitive Trauma with Recovery through NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback.
Personal case study with pre and post NeurOptimal® psychometric testing and SPECT Scan results.
The Use of NeurOptimal® With a Young Adult With an Acute TBI – A Case Study.
This is a case study using clinical, NeurOptimal® baseline and anecdotal data. Dr. Lartin’s 22 year old son Brian survived a life-threatening TBI in April of 2012 and had more than 70 sessions of NeurOptimal® in a year. The contribution of NeurOptimal® to his recovery is discussed. Brian made an essentially complete recovery.
NeuroCognitive Approaches to Brain Injury. Independent case studies focusing on the cognitive aspects of remediation when coupled with NeurOptimal®.
A trio of case studies, protocols and progress:
- 24 year old boy with Concussive Syndrome
- 68 year old woman with primary ischemic stroke
- 30 month old girl with a rare chromosomal disorder
Systemic EEG Biofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury.
Since NeurOptimal® helped ChemoBrain patients, will it also help people with TBI with similar symptoms?
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