ADHD and Stuttering: Similar EEG Profiles Suggest Neurotherapy as an Adjunct to Traditional Speech Therapies
AbstractBackground. This study investigated differences in theta and alpha activity measured by electroencephalography (EEG) at frontal sites between stutterers and nonstutterers during focused attention tasks. Methods. EEG was recorded from 22 male, right-handed developmental stutterers and 22 male, age- and handedness-matched nonstutterers in six conditions: baseline resting-eyes-open; baseline resting-eyes-closed; eyes-open focused attention; eyes-closed focused attention; eyes-closed backwards-counting math task; and eyes-open auditory delayed nonmatch-to-sample task. Results. Significantly more theta was recorded at frontal sites (FP1/2, F3/4, F7/8 and FZ) in each condition for stutterers than for nonstutterers. Significantly lower alpha (8-10 Hz) was recorded at these sites in stutterers than nonstutterers in all conditions. No hemisphere effects were found for either group. Conclusion. The finding of more theta and low alpha activity in stutterers lends empirical support to an attentional component of stuttering. There are strong similarities in the EEG, morphology, and behavior of stutterers and individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These similarities suggest that neurofeedback, which has proven successful in the treatment of ADHD, may hold promise as a viable adjunct treatment to traditional speech therapies for stuttering.
© International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR), all rights reserved. This article (the “Article”) may be accessed online from ISNR at no charge. The Article may be viewed online, stored in electronic or physical form, or archived for research, teaching, and private study purposes. The Article may be archived in public libraries or university libraries at the direction of said public library or university library. Any other reproduction of the Article for redistribution, sale, resale, loan, sublicensing, systematic supply, or other distribution, including both physical and electronic reproduction for such purposes, is expressly forbidden. Preparing or reproducing derivative works of this article is expressly forbidden. ISNR makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any content in the Article. From 1995 to 2013 the Journal of Neurotherapy was the official publication of ISNR (www. Isnr.org); on April 27, 2016 ISNR acquired the journal from Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. In 2014, ISNR established its official open-access journal NeuroRegulation (ISSN: 2373-0587; www.neuroregulation.org).