The International ADHD Congress, held from March 19-21, 2018, focuses on both clinical and neuro-biological aspects. New developments in imaging, basic sciences, and clinical assessment and treatment are highlighted.
Dr Roland Hasler presented Synapsy’s research on electroencephalogram (EEG) Neurofeedback on adult patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Neurofeedback (NF) uses EEG brain-computer interface to give participants a real-time feedback about their brain functioning, and represents a promising non-pharmacological treatment enhancing self-regulation skills in ADHD patients. However, the neural mechanisms involved in NF therapeutic outcomes still remain poorly understood. Our study investigated the effect of short-term NF on the neurophysiological indices associated with attention control and impulsivity in adult ADHD. Because low amplitude alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz) is mainly correlated with an active attentional state, the NF target state was set at reducing alpha amplitude (alpha desynchronization).
Important preliminary results in ADHD patients, showed lower alpha and higher beta relative power as compared to age-matched control subjects, suggesting a hyper aroused EEG subtype. These observations suggest that NF may lead to a counterintuitive normalization of the EEG, i.e., in the opposite direction of the NF protocol, and point to homeostatic plasticity mechanisms in adult ADHD, consistent with similar findings in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).