Have you suffered an accident and experienced a concussion or a traumatic brain injury? Are you experiencing a change in your cognitive abilities and your behaviour? Is your family telling you that you have changed?
Approximately 1.5 million people in Canada are living with a brain injury. Individuals can suffer from a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to: memory problems, inability to concentrate, headaches, fatigue, sleep difficulties, balance problems, and increased sensitivity to light and sounds.
Treatment for traumatic brain injuries and concussions varies depending on the symptoms and severity of the injury. The most common treatment interventions include rehabilitation programs and medication. In the case of concussions some clients with less severe symptoms recover on their own without any intervention. Others continue to experience difficulties long after their injury or despite medical intervention. Furthermore, there are still a vast number of individuals who are told there are no treatment options available for them and they are left to cope with symptoms that dramatically affect their quality of life. A non-invasive, new and innovative treatment alternative is Neurofeedback. The aim of Neurofeedback is to modify the electrical activity of the brain to achieve a state identical or as close as possible to the pre-injury state.
Because traumatic brain injuries can occur in different parts of the brain, the brain patterns associated with it can take many forms. Research shows that quite often there is reduced amplitude of the alpha and beta frequency bands (Thatcher, 2011). Alpha waves are associated with relaxation and beta waves are associated with focused attention. Changes in brain frequencies are directly responsible for many of the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Another facet that is a common EEG indicator of traumatic brain injury is problems in the communication between different areas of the brain. In general, the more severe the brain injury, the more deviant the EEG measures (Thatcher et al., 1998).
Neurofeedback can treat these deficits by regulating either the under or over-arousal and promoting communication between brain areas.
Neurofeedback targets underlying brain patterns that lead to the symptoms experienced because of your traumatic brain injury. Studies show clients experience improvements in learning and memory deficits (Reddy et al., 2009), attention and response accuracy (Tinius and Tinius, 2000), as well as overall quality of life (Reddy et al., 2009; Walker et al., 2002). A great benefit of Neurofeedback is that it tackles a wide variety of symptoms and leads to an overall improvement of life quality.
Neurofeedback and traumatic brain injury: a literature review
May, G., MD, Benson, R., MD, Balon, R., MD, & Boutros, N., MD. (november 2013). Neurofeedback and traumatic brain injury: A literature review. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry,289-296.
Neurofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury: Current Trends
Thomas, J. L., & Smith, M. L. (2015). Neurofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury: Current Trends. Biofeedback,43(1), 31-37.
EEG Neurofeedback therapy: Can it attenuate brain changes in TBI?
Munivenkatappa, A., et al. (2014). EEG Neurofeedback therapy: Can it attenuate brain changes in TBI? NeuroRehabilitiation. 481-4.
LORETA Z-score Neurofeedback-Effectiveness in Rehabilitation of Patients Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury
Koberda, J.L. (2015). LORETA Z-score Neurofeedback-Effectiveness in Rehabilitation of Patients Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurology and Neurobiology.