Neurofeedback for Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Investigation of Slow Cortical Potential Neurofeedback—Preliminary Results

Kerstin Mayer, Sarah N. Wyckoff, Ulrike Schulz, Ute Strehl

Abstract


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Compared to ADHD in children, only a few studies have investigated ADHD in an adult population, and even less have investigated new forms of treatment such as neurofeedback. Neurofeedback has been applied effectively in various areas, especially in the treatment of children with ADHD, and symptom improvements were associated with increased amplitude of the contingent negative variation (CNV). This study investigated if any behavioral and electrophysiological changes reflected in the CNV can be observed after 15 sessions of SCP neurofeedback training. Furthermore, a comparison of CNV amplitude in adults with ADHD and a healthy control group was conducted. Continuous 22-channel EEG was acquired from 10 adults who met DSM–IV criteria for ADHD and 8 matched healthy controls. EEG recordings were collected pre=midtreatment and included resting EEG, P300, and CNV tasks as well as ADHD behavioral questionnaires. The adult ADHD group received 15 sessions of SCP training at Cz (referenced to A1, ground A2). The control group only underwent the EEG recording. After 15 sessions of SCP-training a significant improvement in self-ratings of ADHD symptoms was reported. In addition, a trend in increasing CNV mean amplitude was observed after training. A significant difference in baseline CNV between the adult ADHD group and the healthy control group was observed. These results give a promising outlook to the outcome after the completion of 30 sessions of SCP training. The differences in CNV amplitude between the ADHD group and healthy controls are in line with other studies about adult ADHD and CNV. This supports the idea of impaired self-regulation in adult ADHD. The behavioral improvements and increase in CNV after SCP training suggests that SCP training has a positive effect on adult ADHD symptoms and their origin.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10874208.2012.650113

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