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ADHD/ ADD

















Attention Deficit/Hyperactive disorder is characterized by socially disruptive behaviours-either attentional problems or hyperactivity-that are present before age seven and persist for at least six months.

Hyperactivity is a confusing term because it refers to both a diagnostic category and behavioral characteristics. Children who are "overactive" or who have "short attention spans" are often referred to as "hyperactive", even though they may not meet the diagnostic criteria for this disorder.

Three type of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders are recognized:

ADHD, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, as characterized by behaviors such as heightened motoric activity (fidgeting and squirming), short attention span, distractibility, impulsiveness, and lack of self -control. Children with this type of ADHD tend to have a pattern of being rejected by peers and more accidental injuries.

ADHD, predominantly inattentive type, is characterized by problems such as distractibility, difficulty with sustained attention, inattention to detail, and difficulty completing tasks. Children with attention deficits tend to have less severe conduct problems and impulsivity than children with the hyperactive form of ADHD. Instead they are more likely to be desribed as sluggish, daydreamers, anxious, and shy.

ADHD, combined type, is probably the most common form of the disorder. In this case, the criteria for both the hyperactive and inattentive types are met.

Research has proven Neurofeedback therapy to be an effective, non-drug treatment for ADD and ADHD.

Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive alternative for the treatment of ADD and ADHD in children and adolescents.

The American academy of pediatrics approved the biofeedback and neurofeedback as a level 1 "best support" treatment option for children suffering from ADHD.

Children with ADD/ADHD become more aware of their physiological responses with neurofeedback training.

They learn to gain control of their physiological reponses as a result.

In general the left and right cerebral hemispheres are involved in different aspects of attention.

The left hemisphere is involved in focused, selective attention and informaton processing.

The principle neurotransmitter for sustained attentional activity and information processing is dopamine

It is postulated that in ADD there is reduced dopamine in the fronto-mesolimbic system in the left hemisphere, which requires slow, serial effort.  With the EEG one can observe that as the task becomes boring, the person with ADD will drift off the task. There is an increase in slow wave activity.

The right hemisphere of the brain is involved in the general maintenance of attention and arousal, which is wide to extra-personal space. It regulates information processing which requires peripheral vision, spatial location, rapid shifts in attention. These aspects of attention appear to involve the noradrenergic system.

In ADD there might be excessive locus coeruleus norepinephrine production and excess noradrenergic stimulation to the right cerebral hemisphere. Overactivation of the noradrenergic system in the right hemisphere is associated with extroversion, histrionic behavior, impulsivity and manic behaviours.

Neurofeedback restores the strength of the frontal region of the brain, and builds a better connection between the mid-brain and fore-brain, allowing focus, attention, impulses, and emotional reactions to become manageable.

Neuro feedback is shown to be a favourable option that provides the same results as medication.

Neurofeedback improve the systems of ADHD in a reasonable percentage of children who have this disorder. The goal of neurofeedback training is to effect a lasting change in the system through learning.

Increased theta (drowsiness) are seen in the prefrontal cortex and and central brain as well as an excess of Alpha at central and frontal brain in the EEG in children with ADD. EEG differences between children with ADHD and normals (higher theta/beta ratios) have been shown in a number of studies. Neurofeedback training has been shown to have lowered the theta/beta ratios significantly.

High amplitude beta waves has been observed in ADD with comorbid disorders, including depression, obsessive compulsive disorders etc.


Children learn how to gain control of the brain's frontal lobes, which is the executive functioning center.

The number of sessions required vary from individual to individual, depending on severity of the symptoms.  

It is however proven that  minimum 20-40 sessions can be required.