Neurofeedback Treatment of Depression with the Roshi
AbstractIntroduction. A patient with severe, medication resistant depression was found to have the frontal alpha asymmetry described in Davidson’s (1998a) research as demonstrating a predisposition to depression. Treatment. Initial sessions of EEG neurofeedback using Rosenfeld’s (1997) protocol for correcting the alpha asymmetry were discouraging, actually producing slight negative change. Therefore, treatment shifted to using the Roshi, a two channel unit combining neurofeedback and photic stimulation, doing primarily left hemisphere beta training. Results. The very first Roshi session produced positive changes, and within five sessions the patient reported feeling less depressed and more energetic. At the conclusion of thirty training sessions, objective testing documented dramatic reductions in depression, somatic symptoms, overemotionality, anxiety, rumination, and fatigue. Discussion. In support of Henriques and Davidson’s (1991) belief that hypoactivation of the left hemisphere results in an ‘‘approach deficit" and more withdrawal behavior, post-testing and interview data also documented that the patient had become less withdrawn, more active, sociable, and less distrustful. Eight and one-half month follow-up documented maintenance of changes. Continued exploration of left hemisphere beta protocols in treating depression, and of the combined use of neurofeedback with photic stimulation are encouraged.
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