Neurofeedback | Brain Injury/ConcussionLaurence Hirshberg
Neurofeedback for brain injury
Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is quite sophisticated, the process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. It is just learning. You learn to alter your brain activity the same way you learn every other skill – through feedback and practice. What is new in neurofeedback is that you are guided by a form of feedback that was previously not available to you – instantaneous information about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every half second, your brain activity is compared to your targets for change. You get a signal and “reward” when you meet the goal. No signal or reward when you do not.
In 20 neurofeedback sessions, with feedback every half second, you get 72,000 chances to learn. That’s a lot of repetition and practice. Brain science has shown that repetitive exercise of brain networks reshapes the brain. Neurofeedback allows you to reshape networks in your brain after a traumatic brain injury. Learn more.
Research: Neurofeedback for TBI
Five small group studies have been completed investigating the effectiveness of neurofeedback for brain injury (TBI). A number of case studies have also been reported. These results, although only preliminary, suggest that neurofeedback is a promising intervention for impairments of short and long term memory, attention, and problem solving deficits resulting from closed head injury. Several studies showed that neurofeedback results in greater improvement in function that other forms of rehabilitation, including computerized exercises, use of strategies, and medication.
See the problem, then correct it.
With brain injury, it is critically important to understand how the injury impacted brain function overall. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, we measure brain function with a quantitative EEG brain map, so that we can see the areas of the brain that have been negatively impacted by the injury. The image below is from the qEEG analysis of one of our clients with a severe TBI, affecting language, memory, executive function, and motor function. The blow that caused the injury was sustained on the left frontal side of the head. This is the area showing the most significant abnormality. Once we see the source of the problem, we target that area for change through neurofeedback brain training. Learn more.
Real stories: neurofeedback after traumatic brain injury
Erin is an artist and art teacher. Well known, celebrated shows in New York. She had a terrible fall while bike riding and sustained a serious traumatic brain injury. The injury left her suffering from fatigue with little stamina. She felt “dull, flat, non-inventive”. Her memory was impaired, she had trouble thinking clearly, could not stay organized or plan ahead. Due to these symptoms, she could not work. Could not do her art. Could not teach art. After ten weeks and 20 neurofeedback sessions, Erin was much improved. Her memory and planning were much better. She had her creative energy back. She plunged back into her art and teaching.
Two years later she wrote us: “I have been meaning to write and actually will be sending you a catalog of my show that I had in NYC in the fall. With your help I managed to pull off this huge project….And to think that most of those paintings were done AFTER I worked with you!!!” With glowing reviews by a world renown artist, her show was a huge success. She sent us the beautiful catalog from the show. It’s one of our prize possessions.
Alex was a college student who suffered three concussions over a period of four months. One concussion is bad enough, but multiple concussions in a short period of time leads to much more severe difficulties. Alex had to drop out of college due to his problems with attention, mood, memory and executive function. Before we started neurofeedback for brain injury, we used proven tests to measure Alex’s mood, ADHD symptoms, and executive function. After ten weeks and 20 neurofeedback training sessions, Alex’s repeat testing showed significant improvements, as shown below. Alex went back to college the next semester, graduated with honors, and went off to do graduate study in Europe.
Sam sustained a very serious penetrating injury to his frontal lobe – the part of the brain that is involved with emotional and behavioral self-control and other parts of executive function. His recovery was amazingly good. His language was fine. No attention problems. He was organized and on time. He had a great sense of humor. But he could not stop himself from getting out of control if he got angry. Sam lost several jobs after telling off his boss. He had repeated bouts of “road rage” while driving.
Ten weeks of neurofeedback for brain injury helped a great deal. Sam’s temper cooled considerably, and his self control increased significantly as measured by psychological tests. Sam liked to tease us: it wasn’t that the neurofeedback helped. It’s just that “the drivers got better”.
If you are struggling after a brain injury or concussion and would like to learn more about neurofeedback, we are here to help.Contact Us