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Neurofeedback and Learning Disorders

Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, is a noninvasive, drug-free treatment that has helped patients with autism, ADHD, and other mental health issues. It is a process of training the brain to regulate its own functioning, with the goal being to increase positive brainwave patterns and inhibit or reduce negative ones. In addition to helping with the symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADD, and other conditions, research has shown that neurofeedback can also improve learning abilities.

During a neurofeedback session, electrodes are placed on the scalp and you watch a movie or listen to audio content while the computer monitors your brain’s activity. You can see in real-time how the screen gets brighter when your brain produces particular types of brainwaves, and dimmer when it produces less favorable brainwaves. This immediate feedback teaches the brain, over time, how to sustain the beneficial brainwaves that keep the screen active, fostering healthier thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

The results are typically observed after 20 to 40 sessions, depending on the condition. In addition, many patients notice a difference within the first few sessions. The Drake Institute has assisted thousands of people in overcoming their symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression with the use of neurofeedback. In fact, it is one of the most researched therapies available for these conditions. In some cases, patients are able to overcome their addictions as well.

Some studies have used Neurofeedback to help patients with various psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These results have been backed up with the use of fMRI imaging technology to show that the brainwaves being trained in neurofeedback actually change the physical structure and function of the brain.

Other studies have used neurofeedback to help patients who struggle with learning disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. The results of these studies have found that patients can learn how to shift their brainwaves to produce more beta waves, and decrease the power of theta waves, which are associated with slower learning.

Because neurofeedback is noninvasive, it has fewer side effects than medications and other treatments for these conditions. However, it is still important to be aware of the risks and to discuss your medical history with your practitioner. Those with pre-existing neurological conditions, such as seizures, can experience unique side effects during the process of neurofeedback.

It is also important to find a qualified therapist who has extensive experience with the use of neurofeedback. This will ensure that the sessions are being conducted properly to help you get the best results. To find a qualified therapist near you, visit the International Society for Neuroregulation and Research. They have an online tool that allows you to search for a therapist based on location, specialty, and keywords. It is also recommended to speak with your primary care physician, who may be able to refer you to someone. Lastly, it is important to know that neurofeedback is not covered by insurance, and you will have to pay for the sessions out-of-pocket.