COVID-19 update: We are offering Teletherapy services for all psychotherapy appointments and some neuropsychological testing. Neurofeedback services are open.

Are you looking for alternatives to medication? Find out how to improve your mental health with neurofeedback.

The path to better mental health begins with understanding how the most complex organ in the human body works. The brain, an incredibly intricate network of neurons, is not only essential for basic human functions but also dictates how we feel, think, and behave.

Understanding neuroanatomy, how the brain functions, and the mechanisms of brainwave activity is the first step in improving our mental health and our well-being.

In recent decades, the intense research in neuroscience and the progress of new technologies have shed light on our ability to better understand how the brain functions, the cognitive algorithms, and patterns. This has helped the field of neurofeedback to expand how treatment is done as we better understand how to affect the brain and the symptoms that people struggle with.

With neurofeedback, also known as neurotherapy, we have the possibility to discover and explore our brain’s behavior and, most importantly, to retrain it so that it brings significant positive changes to our mental health. Moreover, neurofeedback can often be an alternative to medication treatment, especially for children, teenagers, adults, and older adults, diagnosed with neurocognitive disabilities.

An efficient and non-invasive procedure, neurofeedback helps people of all ages regain their hope and confidence by retraining their brain through feedback and practice, enhancing cognitive abilities, and improving their mental health.

Understanding the concept of neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a complex process that involves a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s brainwave activity. Brainwave activity is collected by recording the brainwave activity with an individual’s eyes open and closed and also while engaging in a visual task and an auditory task. Analysis of this data is comprehensive and ultimately assists in retraining dysfunctional brainwave patterns.

While it is definitely a complex concept that involves multiple layers of analysis and approaches, neurofeedback can be simply described as a way to exercise our brain to learn how to respond to feedback and stimuli, according to specific parameters and individual needs.

One of the most important benefits of neurofeedback is the approach chosen by the practitioner, which should always be customized for each individual patient, addressing their distinct issues and needs. It is important to discuss with your practitioner how your results are used and how they choose protocols in which to do neurofeedback treatment.

The choice of the right treatment and approach is based on a comprehensive QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalography), which allows the practitioner to evaluate brainwave activity and to analyze each patient’s unique brain mapping. Through this approach, the practitioner can determine the specific brainwave activity needing to be addressed for the patient’s needs, along with creating a customized neurofeedback treatment plan.

The treatment protocol varies depending on what the patient is struggling with, an individual’s needs, and the patient’s QEEG results. Based on the results, the practitioner can choose between surface neurofeedback, sLORETA or swLORETA z-score neurofeedback, neurostimulation or a combination of each.

Another effective approach is ERP (Event Related Potentials), a process that records brain wave activity while the patient interacts with visual and auditory stimuli. This approach measures the speed, level of difficulty, and accuracy of the patient’s response to stimuli and treats the dysfunctional responses with neurostimulation.

Through these approaches, the practitioner helps the patient train their brain by learning how to respond to feedback and producing neuroplastic changes. At the same time, the practitioner might choose to combine neurofeedback and neurostimulation with other types of treatment, such as psychotherapy, play therapy, or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), depending on the patient’s needs.

LORETA z-score Neurofeedback – improving your mental health

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swLORETA (low-resolution electromagnetic tomographic analysis) z-score feedback is the most advanced neurofeedback approach, proven to be efficient in treating various psychological and cognitive disorders.

This advanced brain training technique analyzes the deeper areas of the brain as well as analyzing the communication between different brain structures and compares the patient’s brain mapping with data from healthy patients. Afterwards, the patient’s brain is trained to respond to feedback, a process that is possible due to the brain’s neuroplasticity.

Defined as “the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life” by MedicineNet [1], neuroplasticity is one the most important discoveries in the field of neuroscience, proving the brain’s ability to retrain its structure.

With the sLORETA and swLORETA z-score approach – which identifies dysfunctional brainwave activity in deeper areas of the brain – patients have the possibility to restructure their neural connections in a safe environment through conditioning and feedback. By addressing these specific brain regions, the retraining of the brain is more efficient and patients feel reduction in their symptoms.

Additionally, this approach offers the possibility to enhance cognitive skills and improves overall brain health.

A healthier brain

According to the National Institute of Mental Health [2], the lives of millions of US citizens are affected by mental health issues every year. Some of the most common issues are anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADHD, and autism. To give you an idea of the gravity of the situation, around 8 million adults in the United States struggle with the symptoms of PTSD every year, as stated by the National Center for PTSD [3].

When it comes to ADHD and other learning disabilities, a report from 2016 conducted by the National Survey of Children’s Health [4] found that over 6 million children were diagnosed with ADHD in the US, including 388,000 children under the age of 5.

Fortunately, neurofeedback can bring back hope to millions of adults and children in the United States, by enabling them to retrain and reorganize their brainwave activity for better quality of life. The opportunities offered by neurofeedback, especially the swLORETA z-score and neurostimulation approaches, have been proven to be highly efficient in treating patients diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, PTSD, TBI and concussion, anxiety and depression.

For instance, a study conducted by the journal NeuroRegulation concluded that patients with PTSD who underwent LORETA z-score neurofeedback treatment had “statistically significant decreases in abnormal z-scores within all targeted networks” [5], proving the efficiency of the treatment.

Similar studies found that the symptoms of patients with ADHD and learning difficulties had ameliorated or diminished after neurofeedback treatment. With TBI and concussion, EEG Neurofeedback has been proven to bring “significant changes in structural and functional connectivity among young moderately injured TBI patients” [6].

Neurofeedback can be the right treatment for millions of people who struggle with complicated psychological and cognitive disorders, bringing remarkable improvements to their daily lives.

A Holistic Approach 

At NeuroHope, we strive to make the impossible possible.

Our main objective is to help our patients achieve their goals by offering them the proper care, guidance, and treatment. This is the reason why we rely on a holistic approach and focus on physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental states. By understanding how important the relationship between body and mind is, we are able to offer customized treatment plans that help our patients regain their hope and confidence.

Our holistic approach ensures that each patient’s needs are addressed with empathy, care and professionalism.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with psychological or cognitive issues caused by dysfunctional brain wave activity or you are working on enhancing your cognitive function, neurofeedback can help you find hope and live a better life.

Follow your dreams and take a step together with us! Call us today to schedule an appointment or a free 30-minute neurofeedback consultation and take your life back.

References

  1. Definition of Neuroplasticity – MedicineNet.” https://www.medicinenet.com/neuroplasticity/definition.htm. Accessed 10 Mar. 2021.
  2.  “NIMH » Statistics.” 1 Jan. 2018, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/index.shtml. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.
  3.  “How Common is PTSD in Adults? – National ….” 17 Oct. 2019, https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.
  4. “Data and Statistics About ADHD | CDC.” 16 Nov. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.
  5. (PDF) Healing the Neurophysiological Roots of Trauma: A ….” 23 Sept. 2020, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334061901_Healing_the_Neurophysiological_Roots_of_Trauma_A_Controlled_Study_Examining_LORETA_Z-Score_Neurofeedback_and_HRV_Biofeedback_for_Chronic_PTSD. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.
  6.  “EEG Neurofeedback therapy: Can it attenuate brain changes in TBI?.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25238859/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.