Neurofeedback - Treating Alcoholism and Addiction as Brain Disorders
Malibu Horizon is one of only treatment centers treating alcoholism and addiction from a medical prospective. Neurofeedback, also known as EEG Biofeedback, is a proven method for treating substance abuse scientifically. Studies have shown that Neurofeedback can help determine what parts of the brain are not functioning properly. That information is found through doing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). With this information, the doctor can better determine the right best course of treatment. Often a chemical imbalance can be corrected through proper medication, as prescribed by our attending physician, and therapy.
What is Neurofeedback?
What is Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback (NFB) is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of electroencephalography or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to illustrate brain activity, often with a goal of controlling central nervous system activity. Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback. It uses electroencephalography or fMRI to provide a signal that can be used by a person to receive feedback about brain activity. Like other forms of biofeedback, Neurofeedback uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning. The characteristic that distinguishes Neurofeedback from other biofeedback is a focus on the central nervous system and the brain. Neurofeedback has its foundations in basic and applied neuroscience as well as data-based clinical practice. It takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as brain activity. Neurofeedback is about re-training brain function. The goal is to have the brain function much more efficiently. It is a gradual process of teaching the brain how to function better. Neurofeedback is also known as EEG Biofeedback. EEG uses the electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram (EEG).How It Works
Sensors are placed on the scalp to measure brain activity, with data measured by video displays or sound equipment. Electrodes are applied to the scalp, to monitor brainwave activity and certain brainwave frequencies. It reveals the various rates brain activity and sends it back to the person. The person is then asked to alter their activity level. Various areas of the brain are “targeted” to monitor various activities those areas correspond to.The Objectives
Neurofeedback can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavior disorders, sleep disorders and migraines. Neurofeedback (NFB) involves a brain-computer interface that allows users to learn to voluntarily control their cortical oscillations, reflected in the electroencephalogram (EEG). Although NFB is being pioneered as a noninvasive tool for treating brain disorders, there is insufficient evidence on the mechanism of its impact on brain function. Furthermore, the dominant rhythm of the human brain is the alpha oscillation (8-12Hz), yet its behavioral significance remains multifaceted and largely correlative. In this study with 34 healthy participants, we examined whether during the performance of an attention task, the functional connectivity of distinct fMRI networks would be plastically altered after a 30-min session of voluntary reduction of alpha rhythm (n=17) versus a sham-feedback condition (n=17). We reveal that compared to sham-feedback, NFB induced an increase of connectivity within the salience network (dorsal anterior cingulate focus), which was detectable 30min after termination of training. This increase in connectivity was negatively correlated with changes in 'on-task' mind-wandering as well as resting state alpha rhythm. Crucially, there was a causal dependence between alpha rhythm modulations during NFB and at subsequent resting state, not exhibited by the SHAM group. Our findings provide neurobehavioral evidence for a temporally direct, plastic impact of NFB on a key cognitive control network of the brain, suggesting a promising basis for its use to treat cognitive disorders under physiological conditions.
Neurofeedback Alcoholism Research
In alcohol-dependent individuals, synchronization of brain activity is different from that in non-alcohol-dependent individuals as reflected by EEG differences at alpha and beta frequencies (8-30 Hz). These EEG differences may not only be related to long-term alcohol intake but also to genetic factors that are associated with alcohol dependence. Thus, it is not known what the pure effect of long-term alcohol intake on synchronization of brain activity is. Therefore, we investigated whether EEG synchronization differs between light (0.5-6 drinks per week), moderate (7-20 drinks per week), and heavy (21-53 drinks per week) drinkers. All participants (49 males and 47 females) were free of a personal and family history of alcohol dependence. Eyes-closed EEG was recorded at rest and during mental rehearsal of pictures. EEG synchronization was determined by computing Synchronization Likelihood for six frequency bands (0.5-4 Hz, 4-8 Hz, 8-12 Hz, 12-20 Hz, 20-30 Hz, 30-45 Hz). Both male and female heavy drinkers displayed a loss of lateralization in alpha (8-12 Hz) and slow-beta (12-20 Hz) synchronization. In addition, moderately and heavily drinking males had lower fast-beta (20-30 Hz) synchronization than lightly drinking males. It is concluded that both male and female drinkers who drink 21 alcoholic drinks per week or more have impaired synchronization of brain activity during rest and mental rehearsal at alpha and beta frequencies as compared to individuals who drink less. As individuals with a personal or family history of alcohol dependence were excluded, the confounding effects of genetic factors related to alcohol dependence on synchronization of brain activity were minimized.
Neurofeedback - Substance Abuse
Neurofeedback (NF) training has been employed as a therapeutic method in substance-dependence disorder over the last three decades. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of this method on improvement of co morbid neuro-psychological syndromes in opioid-dependence disorder. Psychopathological and craving dimensions and brain activity signals of 20 opioid dependent patients were measured using Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Heroin Craving Questionnaire (HCQ), and Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG). All the patients were undergoing pharmacotherapy. They were assigned to two groups that were matched based on SCL-90-R scores, education and age. The experimental group received 30 sessions of NF training in addition to their medicine. The control group received only the usual pharmacotherapy. The probable changes were monitored by reappraisal of all the patients after the treatment. We hypothesized that patients in the experimental group would show more reduction in their co morbid syndromes. The Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) showed that the experimental group, in comparison with control group, showed significantly more improvement in all three outcome measures. In the SCL-90-R, improvement was noted with the hypochondriacs, obsession, interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, psychosis, and general symptomatic indexes. In the HCQ, improvement was found in the anticipation of positive outcome, desire to use substance, and total average score. Finally, the QEEG showed positive changes in frontal, central and parietal delta, frontal and central theta, parietal alpha and frontal and central Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) amplitudes. This study suggests that NF can be used as a therapeutic method to ameliorate abnormalities related to opioid-dependence disorders. The results emphasize the importance of neuropsychological interventions in treatment of substance-dependence disorders.
Neurofeedback - Treating Alcoholism
Alcohol-dependent individuals have different synchronization of brain activity than light drinkers as reflected by differences in resting EEG coherence (Kaplan et al. 1985, 1988; Michael et al. 1993; Winterer et al. 2003a) and power (e.g., Bauer 2001a,b; Enoch et al. 2002; Rangaswamy et al. 2002; Saletu-Zyhlarz et al. 2004). Most differences in EEG coherence and power are found in the alpha and beta bands. Non-alcohol-dependent relatives of alcohol-dependent individuals also have EEG differences in alpha and beta coherence (Michael et al. 1993) and power (Bauer and Hesselbrock 2002; Finn and Justus 1999; Rangaswamy et al. 2002, 2004) as compared to subjects without alcohol-dependent relatives. This indicates that differences in functional brain activity as measured with qEEG in alcohol-dependent patients not only relate to the impact of long-term alcohol intake, but possibly also to genetic factors related to alcohol dependence.
Both alcohol dependence (Schuckit and Smith 1996) and EEG patterns (Van Beijsterveldt and Van Baal 2002) are highly heritable. In addition, some genes coding for GABA receptors in the brain, which mediate the effects of alcohol, are related to certain EEG patterns (Porjesz et al. 2005; Winterer et al. 2003b). Moreover, some GABA-receptor genes that are related to EEG patterns are also associated with the risk to develop alcohol dependence. These associations again suggest that genetic factors play a major role in the EEG differences associated with alcohol dependence.
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