In the July 2009 edition of the Journal of Clinical EEG & Neuroscience, a group of researchers reported that EEG biofeedback was found to produce a significant reduction of seizure frequency. About one third of patients with epilepsy do not benefit from medical treatment. For these patients electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback is a viable alternative. EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, normalizes or enhances EEG activity by means of operant conditioning.
While dozens of scientific reports have been published on neurofeedback for seizure disorder, most have been case studies with too few subjects to establish efficacy. The researchers analyzed every EEG biofeedback study indexed in MedLine, PsychInfo, and PsychLit databases between 1970 and 2005 on epilepsy that provided seizure frequency change in response to feedback. Sixty-three studies have been published, ten of which provided enough outcome information to be included in a meta-analysis. All studies consisted of patients whose seizures were not controlled by medical therapies, which is a very important factor to keep in
mind when interpreting the results.
All studies reported an overall mean decreased seizure incidence following treatment, and 64 out of 87 patients (74%) reported fewer weekly seizures in response to EEG biofeedback. This finding is especially noteworthy given the patient group -- individuals who had been unable to control their seizures with medical treatment. The title of the
article is “Meta-Analysis of EEG Biofeedback in Treating
Dr. Stephen Ranicki