Attention Disorders – ADHD/ADD, Frontal Lobe Dysfunction
Attention issues are currently affecting one in four individuals. More children, adolescents, and adults are becoming aware that they suffer from lack of attention whether diagnosed or not. You may often hear people say, “It seems like EVERYBODY has ADD now. What’s going on?” Well, symptoms which have become known under the general umbrella of “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) or “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) may not actually be ADD. Many problems diagnosed as ADHD can actually be other issues such as auditory processing difficulties or learning disabilities that have similar symptoms and/or don’t allow attention to be developed. Anxiety and depression may also be comorbid or mimic attention issues.
At BiofeedbackWORKS, with the use of quantitative Encephalography (qEEG), we are able to identify and address the core deficits in the brain. We treat the problem – not the diagnosis.
At BiofeedbackWORKS we recognize that all people are not the same. Using the qEEG we can often observe attributes of brain function that cannot be seen in the raw EEG signal. Research demonstrates the strong correlates of qEEG profiles with ADHD symptoms as well as the clear benefits of using qEEG in helping with diagnoses and predicting/evaluating treatment response. One of the problems that can occur in using qEEG for assessment of attention issues is recording the clients’ brainwave activity only in a resting state, whether with eyes open or eyes closed. However, important discriminative differences may occur only when cognitive challenges are introduced. To address this issue, we record the brain activity not only in a resting state but also while the client is performing a task such as reading, writing or math exercises.
In addition, we administer the Individual Verbal and Auditory Assessment (IVA) to clients experiencing attentional difficulties. This assessment is unique in that it tests both verbal and visual inattention and impulsivity simultaneously. We use this measurement to help develop our protocols as well as to assess improvement or changes which are tracked every 20 sessions.
EEG studies dating back to 1960’s and 1970’s were suggestive of EEG markers associated with ADD/ADHD. More recent studies based on qEEG have supported these findings and report that there is often a significant excess of slow brain wave activity in boys with the inattentive form of ADD/ADHD in comparison to normal control individuals. In addition, studies show that the excess slow activity (usually dominant theta and/or slow alpha waves) occurred primarily during academic challenges such as reading and drawing and may or may not be present in non-academic tasks. This means that many people with attention problems will present with a somewhat normal EEG pattern when resting but they will produce abnormal EEG patterns when they are trying to perform a task. You might hear someone say “The harder I try the harder the task becomes and the less successful I am.” This dilemma is real and not just an excuse for “laziness” or a lack of desire. This is actually a real problem as a result of the way their brain functions. As these people try to perform a task the area of the brain responsible for that function shuts down, virtually goes to sleep. The wonderful thing is that neurofeedback can teach the individual how to strengthen these areas of the brain and improve functioning.
At BiofeedbackWORKS, our extensive intake process combined with the latest technology in neurofeedback allows us to develop protocols that target specific areas of the brain. The positive results are long-lasting. With neurofeedback and individualized qEEG assessment, we analyze where and how the dysfunction presents in the brain. The qEEG-based protocols direct the brain to a higher level of functioning regardless of the accuracy of a health professional’s initial diagnosis. The brain will begin to respond to the training and to resolve issues globally. This only happens incrementally and with time, but the results can be life-changing.