What is Neurofeedback?
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is recognized since the sixties and researchers from around the world are working in collaboration to its improvement.
Electrical sensors of your brain activity are distributed over your scalp. They record your brain waves as an electroencephalogram EEG.
Software measures your brain activity in real time and compares it to an ideal brain functioning.
You are guided to move your brain waves towards an ideal by feeback that can be seen or heard. Typically, music or videos are activated each time your brain improves. This feedback occurs eac 2 seconds and a training session can last up to 30 minutes.
Some clinics will offer brain programs based on symptoms. But these programs don't work for everyone as they are not tailor made to your brain's needs. Symptoms can be the cause of many different malfunctions of the brain.
The most sophisticated and effcacious neurofeeback programs are tailor made to your brain's precise needs, after a thorough evaluation of your own's brain activity called a quantitative electroencephalogram QEEG.
The most cutting edge neurofeedback programs also use a 19 electrode headset to monitor and guide your brain during the neurofeedback sessions. This is called precision neurofeedback, Loreta z-score neurofeedback or QEEG neurofeeeback.
Is neurofeedback known to be effective for anxiety?
The latest generation of neurofeedback (19-electrode Loreta z-score) is a proven effective approach for different types of anxiety.
In a 2013 study from Yale University, precision neurofeedback enabled anxious individuals to reduce their symptoms. Subjects learned to control their stress level in anxiety-inducing situations.
Two different aspects of brain function were shown to have been improved using neurofeedback:
- The limbic regions that produce anxious feelings became less responding to stressful situations;
- The prefrontal regions responsible for stress control became stronger, enabling the person to have greater control over their stress and anxiety.
This study was published in the prestigious journal Nature.
Since then, others studies haved been done using the precision neurofeedback used at Neuroplus (Loreta 19-electrode z-score). They all confirmed the effectiveness of neurofeedback.
In conclusion, studies show that QEEG neurofeedback helps to achieve significant reductions in anxiety.
Improvements of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using non-drug neurofeedback are natural and durable.
Is neurofeedback recognized as effective for ADHD?
The scientific community and the American Psychological Association APA recognize the effectiveness of neurofeeedback for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD.
The development of individualized neurofeedback using QEEG along with QEEG neurofeedback has enabled bigger and faster results in the « treatment » of ADD:
- 1960' : neurofeedback offers one-size-fits-all neurofeedback training and uses only one sensor on the scalp to record EEG throughout the neurofeedback training session
- 2000' : QEEG is used to analyze the client's unique brain patterns. Neurofeedback is tailor-made to the individual's specific brain needs. Neurofeedback uses QEEG 19 electrode z-score Loreta training train up to 150 brain parameters at once.
QEEG neurofeedback is by far the most efficient type of brain training. Compared to one channel eeg neurofeedback, QEEG neurofeedback helps a person achieve better results in approximately halve the number of brain training sessions (Wington N.L. & KIrigbaum G., 2015).
Is neurofeedback recognized as effective for depression?
Scientific publications show that the most recent 19-electrode Loreta z-score neurofeedback demonstrates an efficiency to relieve symptoms of depression in as little as 10 training sessions (Koberda J.L., M.D. Ph.D., 2015).
Improvements in depressive symptoms using neurofeedback are shown to be significant using 2 sets of data:
- clinical improvements demonstrate symptom reduction using questionnaires and evaluations
- biological improvements show improved brain function
Is neurofeedback available through the public health system?
If you are lucky, you might be able to participate in a university clinical research projects. Other than that, neurofeedback is rarely covered by government agencies or public institutions. This is true in North America but is rapidly changing in countries like Korea and Australia.
Is neurofeedback covered by insurance companies?
Neurofeedback offered by a recognized practitioner is covered by most insurance companies.
Are neurofeedback practitioners certified?
The Quebec and Canadian education systems do not offer training to become a neurofeedback practitioner.
Neurofeedback professionals have to obtain proper training from either one of the few American University Programs, or by a private school recognized by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA).
In both cases, the process of becoming a certified neurofeedback practitioner takes a few years. The process includes:
- BCIA-recognized neurofeedback training course
- BCIA exam
- Practicing neurofeedback under the clinical supervision of a BCIA-certified Mentor
Certified neurofeedback practitioners have obtained their accreditation from the BCIA and carry the title “BCIA-EEG”.
In Quebec, we find a few BCIA-EEG practitioners and only a few BCIA-EEG Mentors.
Francine Therrien, Ph.D., clinical director for Neuroplus inc. is BCIA-EEG certified as well as a BCIA-EEG Mentor.
How long or how many sessions are needed to get results with neurofeedback?
Older generations of neurofeedback usually took 20 to 40 sessions to achieve significant and lasting results. The new generation of 19-electrode Loreta z-score neurofeedback cuts the number of sessions required by around half to obtain the same or better results.
What is the cost of neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback costs vary with expertise and choice of equipment:
- Some devices are so-called neurofeedback but do not need professional expertise. These devices include home-based biosensors as well as one-size-fits-all neuromodulation devices.
- Single-electrode neurofeedback is inexpensive as compared to 19-electrode neurofeedback. But it trains fewer brain regions at a time and takes twice as many sessions to obtain results.
- QEEG neurofeedback can measure the activity of every 1.5 to 3.7 mm of the brain, depending of the software used. The most advanced software is more expensive but able to train deeper regions of the brain as well as the cerebellum.
- Some QEEG neurofeeback headsets are dry and wireless. This technology is much more expensive than traditional gel type eeg caps but offer the adavantage of not leaving traces of gel in the hair of the user.
Neuroplus only uses the most advanced and expensive hardware, software along with the best experts in the field.
In Rosemere Quebec, our clinic uses a 19 electrode dry and wireless headset aong with a 1.5mm precise software for “Loreta z-score” neurofeedback. You get significant results in 10 sessions *.
*: Average published in scientific studies, consistent with our clinical experience.
The cost of the QEEG assessment followed by 10 sessions varies between $ 1,710 and $ 1,850 * depending on your payment method preference. We have no hidden costs and the precision of our measurement tools coupled with our expertise avoids you additional evaluation costs.
*: Neurofeedback is a taxable product. Its fees, including taxes, are considered a deductible health care expense on your income tax return.