In the same way that Neurofeedback can help with brain development issues that are present at birth, it can also help with what are called Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI), or deterioration in brain function over time, known as Neurodegeneration.
These include Traumatic Brain Injuries (caused by a physical impact to the head) and Non- traumatic Brain Injuries (e.g. strokes, ruptured brain aneurysm, chemical brain injury).
NEUROFEEDBACK FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Neurofeedback cannot repair physical damage to the brain’s physical structure, but it can use neuroplasticity to exercise and develop new neural pathways and restore brain function.
In the early stages after a traumatic brain injury, Neurofeedback can be helpful with the head pain that is often experienced, as well as with nausea, irritability, mental confusion, and sleep difficulties. Over the longer term, Neurofeedback can be helpful with energy level, vigilance effort, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction traceable to the injury, sensory hypersensitivity, and executive function. Eventually memory function should recover as well.
Many of these symptoms are known to recover spontaneously, so how do we know that Neurofeedback has helped and the recovery it not just part of the natural process? It is known that the spontaneous recovery process plateaus out within about 18 months post- trauma. In actual clinical experience, most head-injured clients don’t find their way to a Neurofeedback practice until years have passed since the trauma, so the symptoms are quite stable and the natural recovery process has run its course. Therefore all the gains obtained are solely due to Neurofeedback training.
Dr. Margaret Ayers was one of the early Neurofeedback practitioners to treat traumatic brain injury, treating hundreds of patients and achieving remarkable results particularly with recovery from coma in the 1980s. One of her case study collections published in Head Injury Frontiers, describes 250 cases of closed head brain injury she treated.
Dr. Jonathan Walker, a Dallas neurologist, observed significant improvement in 88% of a group of 26 patients with mild closed-head traumatic brain injury. Every one of them who had held a job prior to their injury was able to resume productive employment after Neurofeedback. The average number of Neurofeedback sessions was 19.Click here
These results were obtained with techniques that are now nearly ten years old and significant improvements in training methods have been made within the last decade. The result is that head injury symptoms showing themselves to be resistant to remediation may be targeted more specifically.
NEUROFEEDBACK FOR NONTRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (ex: stroke)
There are three aspects of stroke that Neurofeedback can help with:
- The specific loss of function associated with the damage – e.g. language (aphasia), movement, vision;
- The more diffuse symptoms that may have emerged after the stroke or any associated surgical procedure, including irritability, pain, sleep problems, mood swings, effort fatigue, or cognitive fog;
- The psychological impact of any major loss of function and the acceptance of this – the potential loss of career, relationship issues, reduced social circle.
To learn more about Neurofeedback for Brain Injury, visit: www.braintrainuk.com