Neurofeedback is one of the safe, alternative therapies the BART Foundation believes may help brain injury survivors. The BART Foundation aims to promote better outcomes for TBI/ABI survivors by answering three questions – which alternative therapies are likely to work, where can they be found, and how can they be afforded? One of the ways we fulfill our mission is by carefully watching global research and clinical trial outcomes and sharing that information, in user-friendly language, with the TBI/ABI community.
EEG-based neurofeedback (EEG-NFB) is a technique in which, through brain-computer interfaces, patients are trained to regulate the amplitude of a specific frequency band and are rewarded for doing so. This technique has been successfully used in TBI and stroke to rehabilitate learning and memory, attention, and even as part of motor rehabilitation.
In this 2017 article from Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback researchers based at the Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Austria investigated the effects of neurofeedback (NF) training on electrical brain activity and cognitive functions in stroke survivors. The investigation involved two single chronic stroke patients compared to a healthy elderly control group. Participants received up to ten NF training sessions. To evaluate NF training effects, all participants received electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements and a neuropsychological test assessing different cognitive functions before and after NF training. The study found that stroke patients showed improvements in memory functions after successful NF training compared to the pre-assessment.
Healthy participants did not show any abnormalities in their EEG before the start of NF training. Consequently, no EEG changes were observed in these participants when comparing their pre- and post-test. The NF training protocol results showed what was feasible for stroke patients with memory deficits and may represent a new rehabilitation strategy suitable to overcome some of the usual pitfalls of traditional cognitive rehabilitation. NF seems to be an alternative, innovative and easy-to-use cognitive rehabilitation tool since the electrical activity of the brain is affected directly.
Here at the BART Foundation, we are not aware of any comprehensive listing of neurofeedback (NF) practitioners in the USA. What we have been able to find thus far are partial listings, compiled by different organizations, each with an interest in neurofeedback. There are no overarching requirements or certifications for practitioners – in many states, anyone can claim to be an NF worker, whether or not one has suitable training and credentials. Safest to do one’s own due diligence, including inquiring about what experience, if any, the therapist has with brain injuries. Good sources we at the BART Foundation have vetted include:
The EEG Education and Research
The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America
For LENS neurofeedback, the safest source is Ochs Labs