Neurofeedback for ADHD therapy

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback therapy is a very gentle, painless form of therapy used to treat ADHD. It is performed by occupational therapists, psychologists, or psychotherapists and not only fights against symptoms, but also combats the causes of the disorder. In contrast to medicine, this therapy can be used from as early as preschool children to adults.

The scientific basis of this method is biofeedback: During these, changes in body processes such as the heart rate or blood pressure are made visible using devices. In the case of Neurofeedback, brain activity is measured and “reported back” to the patient via monitor.

The aim of this method is that patients learn to consciously control and influence what are usually involuntary activities. Just as they learned cycling or running when they were younger, they now internalize with Neurofeedback how they have to behave in order to willingly produce an attentive or a relaxed state.

The treatment usually includes 20 to 40 sessions. In individual cases, more sessions may be useful. Afterwards, there is no further treatment necessary. In addition to the meetings, the patient should continue to practice at home using special training cards.


No side effects

Neurofeedback should be integrated into a multimodal treatment concept. It can also be used in parallel with medication. In contrast to medicine, no side effects have been reported for Neurofeedback, as long as it is performed in the correct way.

Neurofeedback is scientifically recognized. Various studies have shown that Neurofeedback is an effective additional or alternative treatment for children with ADHD, leading to significant and consistent improvements in attention and behavior.

Scientific foundations

Numerous scientific studies have shown that there are correlations between certain patterns of brain activity and behavior. Scientists found, among other things, that the central nervous system of people with ADHD responds differently to internal and external stimuli.

In healthy people, the brain's electrical signals in the EEG shift into the negative direction above the x-axis when expecting an event or preparing for a task: Their brain is energized and activated and produces many negative slow cortical potentials (SCPs). Negative shifts represent the delivery of the resources necessary to perform a task, increased attention and the initiation of goal-directed behavior.

Positive shifts, on the other hand, are observed when the provided resources are consumed to perform the task. 

In people with ADHD, however, the SCPs do not gain a sufficient level of negativity. That means they have less (or no) energy to process stimuli and to cope with a task. At the same time, they have great difficulty working calmly yet concentrated on a task over a certain time period.

Learn more about Neurofeedback