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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 1, 41 - 50

Review article

Neurofeedback and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: what is it and is it working?

J. van As, J.W. Hummelen, J.K. Buitelaar

summary
background Neurofeedback (nf) is a method of treatment that is being used increasingly in the Netherlands, particularly in psychological practices. Many psychiatric and somatic symptoms are currently being treated with the help of nf. In particular, nf is being used more and more to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd). Despite its growing popularity, nf is still a relatively unknown treatment method in psychiatric practices.
aim To investigate the scientific evidence for treating adhd with nf.
method We searched the literature for reports on controlled trials that investigated the effectiveness of nf on adhd.
results Six controlled trials were located. The studies reported that nf had a positive effect on adhd, but all the studies were marred by methodological shortcomings.
conclusion On the basis of currently available research results, no firm conclusion can be drawn about the effectiveness of treating adhd by means of nf. In view of the fact that nf is being used more and more as a method of treatment, there is an urgent need for scientific research in this field to be well planned and carefully executed.

keywords ADHD, eeg-biofeedback, neurofeedback