Neurofeedback for Epilepsy

Epilepsy and Neurofeedback

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is well-known throughout history. It is mentioned in the Bible and the writings of the Greek historian Plutarch. Going back even further, a Babylonian medical text describes multiple forms of epilepsy, from mild to severe. The Egyptians even understood that epilepsy could be caused by brain trauma, with one document explaining the link between a man’s head wound and his epileptic seizures.

Although ancient doctors recognized epilepsy as a disorder, their treatments for it were sadly rudimentary and ineffective. Today, pharmaceuticals are the primary treatment for epileptic seizures, but they provide limited benefits to some patients and may include significant side effects. Fortunately, behavioral therapies show significant promise for reducing epileptic seizures and giving patients greater control over the disorder. Included among these additional therapies is neurofeedback training.

For example, in April of 2019 the journal Current Opinion in Neurology published a review study that concluded as follows:

Behavioral treatments are successful and likely underutilized in the treatment of epilepsy.…[For] motivated and interested patients, appropriately chosen behavioral therapies appear to be important adjuncts to standard therapy.

In this review, seizure control was reported with the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, self-management, yoga, music therapy, and bio- or neurofeedback.

Likewise, an analysis of all studies done from 1970 to 2005 on the use of neurofeedback for epilepsy found that 74% of patients reported fewer weekly seizures as a result of neurofeedback therapy. A very important aspect of this review is the fact that all of these patients were non-responsive to other forms of medical treatment. The researchers from a Veterans Affairs hospital concluded:

Based on this meta-analysis, EEG operant conditioning was found to produce a significant reduction on seizure frequency. This finding is especially noteworthy given the patient group, individuals who had been unable to control their seizures with medical treatment.

For experienced neurofeedback therapy in Sacramento you can rely on the Brain Health Clinic. We provide a complimentary initial consultation to discuss what neurofeedback can do for you. For more information, contact us online or by phone.

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