Neurofeedback and traumatic brain injury: A literature review

Geoffrey May, Randall Benson, Richard Balon, Nash Boutros

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback whereby a patient can learn to control measurements of brain activity such as those recorded by an electroencephalogram. It has been explored as a treatment for sequelae of traumatic brain injury, although the use of neurofeedback remains outside the realm of routine clinical practice. METHODS: Google Scholar™ was used to find 22 examples of primary research. Measures of symptom improvement, neuropsychological testing, and changes in subjects' quantitative electroencephalogram were included in the analysis. A single reviewer classified each study according to a rubric devised by 2 societies dedicated to neurofeedback research. RESULTS: All studies demonstrated positive findings, in that neurofeedback led to improvement in measures of impairment, whether subjective, objective, or both. However, placebo-controlled studies were lacking, some reports omitted important details, and study designs differed to the point where effect size could not be calculated quantitatively. CONCLUSIONS: Neurofeedback is a promising treatment that warrants double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to determine its potential role in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. Clinicians can advise that some patients report improvement in a wide range of neuropsychiatric symptoms after undergoing neurofeedback, although the treatment remains experimental, with no standard methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume25
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Neurofeedback
  • Quantitative electroencephalogram
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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  • Cite this

    May, G., Benson, R., Balon, R., & Boutros, N. (2013). Neurofeedback and traumatic brain injury: A literature review. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 25(4), 289-296.