Neurofeedback, a type of training using a computer program for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can contribute to lasting improvements for these children, according to a study in the March 2014 issue of Pediatrics, “In-School NeurofeedbackTraining for ADHD: Sustained Improvement From a Randomized Control Trial,” published online Feb. 17. Neurofeedback consists of giving immediate feedback (both heard and seen) to individuals regarding their attention as they practice focusing. Neurofeedback trains users to monitor and change their brainwave patterns in ways that can improve their attention and executive functioning (a set of skills related to learning and academic achievement). The researchers looked at 102 children and compared their attention and executive functioning after two types of computer training: neurofeedback and cognitive training. These students were compared to students who had no computer training for the study. Compared to no computer training, the children using both types of training had better results in certain areas of attention and learning six months later. The group using neurofeedback showed significant improvements, in more areas and to a greater degree than those who received cognitive training. This is the first large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of in-school computer training for ADHD, and the authors identify future research steps to advance this type of brain development. Link to AAP research study.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.