Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

ASD is one of the most dreaded disorders. Scientists and clinicians have not yet found an acceptable answer to the cause. Prevalence has reached 2% in the U.S. and is increasing every year. Thousands of clinical studies have been conducted in the U.S. which validate the efficacy of neurofeedback as an alternative to psychiatric medications in managing some of the neurological and behavior problems of ASD. 

The study Neurofeedback improves executive functioning in children with autism spectrum disorders was conducted by Mirjam E.J.Kouijzer et al. in 2008. Seven autistic children diagnosed with ASD received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation. Following treatment, children's executive capacities were found to have improved greatly relative to pre-treatment assessment on a range of executive function tasks. Additional improvements were found in children's social, communicative and typical behaviors compared to a waiting list control group. These findings suggest a basic executive function impairment in ASD that can be alleviated through specific neurofeedback treatment.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

The prevalence of ADHD has continued to grow from 6% to 10% during the last 20 years in the U.S. Pharmaceuticals continue to be the first choice of treatment. However, long term use of strong stimulants is known to cause serious side effects. Neurofeedback is used as the first choice in complimentary alternative methods of treating ADHD.

The study Sustained effects of neurofeedback in ADHD: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry was reviewed by Van Doren et al. in 2018. A systematic review and meta-analysis which looks at data from more than 500 children with ADHD from 10 randomized controlled trials, comparing the effects of Neurofeedback with ‘active treatment – including medication – and – ‘non-active’ (no treatment) conditions. To critically interpret the data, researchers with different views on Neurofeedback contributed to this study. They concluded that Neurofeedback has long lasting effects after an average of 6 months, with no ongoing therapy sessions needed after the initial program. The non-active treatment group was still taking medication at follow-up. And, at follow-up the effects of neurofeedback were comparable to the effects of medication.

Learning disabilities (LD)

The definition and criteria of Learning Disabilities is very loosely defined in Thailand.  It is reported that Thai classroom teachers sent many “difficult to teach” first graders to special education rooms after 3 months of observation.  Now the Ministry of Education is developing a standard for learning disorders especially among children coming from poverty or orphanages who suffer from reading difficulties.  These children repeat lower grades many times and are still not able to read. As a result, they often suffer from social stigma, low self-esteem, and often lose the motivation to learn.  

The study The Impact of Coherence Neurofeedback on Reading Delays in Learning Disabled Children: A Randomized Controlled Study was conducted Robert Cohen in 2015.  42 school-aged participants were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received qEEG-guided, individually tailored, two-channel coherence neurofeedback over the left hemisphere. This included two sessions per week for a total of 20 sessions. The control group received typical resource room instruction. All participants received pre-and post-educational measures focused on reading abilities. Results: Following the intervention period, the experimental group enhanced their reading scores, while the control group did not. Coherence neurofeedback led to an average enhancement of 1.2 grade levels in reading scores, but resource room instruction led to no such improvement at all.