QEEG-Guided Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Introduction. Blinded, placebo-controlled research (e.g., Sterman, 2000) has documented the ability of brainwave biofeedback to recondition brain wave patterns. Neurofeedback has been used successfully with uncontrolled epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, and head injuries. However, nothing has been published on the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with neurofeedback. Method. Quantitative EEGs were gathered on two consecutive OCD patients who sought treatment. This assessment guided protocol selection for subsequent neurofeedback training. Results. Scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and the Padua Inventory normalized following treatment. An MMPI was administered pre-post to one patient, and she showed dramatic improvements not only in OCD symptoms, but also in depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and in becoming extroverted rather than introverted and withdrawn. Discussion. In follow-ups of the two cases at 15 and 13 months after completion of treatment, both patients were maintaining improvements in OCD symptoms as measured by the Padua Inventory and as externally validated through contacts with family members. Since research has found that pharmacologic treatment of OCD produces only very modest improvements and behavior therapy utilizing exposure with response prevention is experienced as quite unpleasant and results in treatment dropouts, neurofeedback appears to have potential as a new treatment modality.