Archive for the ‘Clinical Methods’ Category

Inhibit Options

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I have been using wide inhibits recently with just about everyone. Wide inhibits are typically 2-13 and 14-30 Hz, and easily cover the entire 0-30 Hz frequency band of interest. I moved to wide inhibits a few years ago, first for a stronger effect on fibromyalgia symptoms. I then gradually tried the wide inhibits with more and more clients with different symptom profiles and was pleased with the stronger training effects they produced.

We can think of the wide inhibits as catching inappropriately high amplitude activity at any frequency. In awake-state training an appropriately activated EEG will be desynchronized and low amplitude across the entire band. So the wide inhibits are effective at detecting and inhibiting abnormal bursts of activity at any frequency. Separating the entire band into high and low components allows us to set thresholds separately on the two segments that might have rather different amplitudes. (more…)

Symptom Tracking on EEG Expert

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

With the new year I have reorganized my new client evaluations to include both the Qik CPT (replacing the TOVA) and Symptom Tracking on EEG Expert. The idea of tracking relevant symptoms every session or every few sessions is an attractive one. But implementing this change takes some thought and preparation. EEG Expert makes the data collection and display easy. I needed to think about exactly how to fold this into the evaluation and into subsequent sessions.

I now find that the Symptom Tracking setup works well for me near the end of the evaluation. I start with the interview, then the Qik CPT, then the neurofeedback session. After the session, we discuss the CPT results and training results. Then, before a discussion of how to proceed with neurofeedback, I suggest that it would be helpful to choose five to ten primary symptoms that we can track every five sessions as we proceed with training. I have by then reviewed my interview notes and summarized reported symptoms during the CPT. I also have a print-out of all the available symptoms from EEG Expert, on which I have highlighted what I think might be useful symptoms to track. (more…)

Neurofeedback in the mental health disciplines

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

Someone just drew our attention to the position taken by the American Academy of Pediatrics on certain alternative approaches to ADHD. (
We quote from the website:
“The following methods have not been proven to work in scientific studies:

  • Optometric vision training (asserts that faulty eye movement and sensitivities cause the behavior problems)
  • Megavitamins and mineral supplements
  • Anti-motion-sickness medication (to treat the inner ear)
  • Treatment for candida yeast infection
  • EEG biofeedback (training to increase brain-wave activity)
  • Applied kinesiology (realigning bones in the skull)”

Now most of us with long-term experience with ADHD are aware that all of the listed techniques are quite clearly effective in some children. Developmental vision training can be so helpful to a child that ADHD symptoms subside. Many mental health conditions, including ADHD, are known to respond profoundly in specific instances to megavitamin, mineral, and Omega 3 fatty-acid supplementation, or to detox in the case of the heavy metals. For years various practitioners have challenged the vestibular system with subtle, gentle, sustained movement in order to effect improved cortical regulation; it would not be entirely surprising if the administration of anti-motion-sickness pills to that same subset of kids might be helpful in achieving the same ends. Children with florid candida overgrowth may well exhibit depressive or under-arousal-type ADHD symptoms that subside once the condition is managed. And applied kinesiology may simply be mischaracterized (even by its proponents) as being about the realignment of bones in the skull. Kinesiology methods of adjustment may be just another pathway to reordering the brain’s regulatory function. (more…)

Year-End Newsletter

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

At the office we received our Christmas present just a day or two after Christmas. It was the arrival from our Swiss development partners of a new amplifier, with built in impedance checking, for EEG and peripheral measures. It was immediately placed into operation in our office. Peripheral measures to follow. EEG Support has been offering the impedance meter for those already equipped with amplifiers. Many people thought it pricey, not realizing perhaps that it required even more complexity than is normally furnished in EEG amps. For new purchasers, the combination of impedance checking and EEG amplification makes for a more attractive overall package.

The first operational interface is with the BioExplorer software, which already runs the new games, InnerTube and Particle Editor. The next interface will hopefully be with the BrainMaster software, which now also runs the new games. This would be in line with existing trends within the field toward increasing inter-compatibility and the emergence of specialized development niches. BioExplorer currently interfaces with a variety of hardware. NeuroCarePro interfaces with Thought Tech’s Procomp and the Nexis. NeuroCyberbenetics has utilized the Thought Tech amp for many years, and before that Biofeedback Systems. (more…)

The Connectivity Conference

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

The Connectivity Conference in Armonk, New York, brought together a number of people engaged in synchrony and coherence training or the corresponding analysis. Speakers were brought together by invitation from Michael Gismondi, organizer of the conference. As a user of a variety of neurofeedback instruments, he realized that a focus on coherence training would be very timely.

Joe Horvat kicked things off with a review of his approach to coherence training. The original point of departure was furnished by Thatcher, who was probably the first to highlight coherence deviations as a hallmark of brain injury. And on the practical side, Bob Crago may have been one of the first practitioners to actually use coherence training. Joe had started out first using protocol-based training based on Ayers and Othmer, and at some point introduced coherence training with a treatment-resistant child of six. The coherence standard score went from +3.7 to —2.64 Z-score in 3 sessions! Whereas some symptoms resolved with this new training, other symptoms returned, quite possibly the result of the “overshoot” in coherence. The rapidity of change so panicked Joe that he did not go back to coherence training for a number of years. (more…)

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome–An update

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

We just attended the annual conference on Irlen Syndrome, sponsored by Helen Irlen and her staff, and held here in Long Beach. This was the twentieth anniversary of Helen Irlen’s work, subsequent to her discovery of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome in 1983. The conference was a warm and spunky affair. There was still the sense of “us against the world” in the air, but also the swagger of great self-confidence. The remaining adversary in the world at large was nothing more formidable than ignorance itself.

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome refers to the condition in which individuals find their vision compromised, particularly in reading, under bright light or simply full spectrum light conditions. This may present a particular problem with high spatial frequencies in the visual field, such as steps on escalators, hotel carpets, or as encountered in written material. Words may move; lines may flow into each other; the spaces between words on the page may merge into large-scale gestalts (rivulets down the page), etc. The condition is easily screened for, and the straight-forward and categorical remedy is to limit the spectral input to the eye in some fashion so that the person can see normally. This can be most inexpensively done with colored overlays, and more assuredly with properly fitted colored-lens eyewear. In the absence of a proper diagnosis, people nevertheless may find their way to a remedy, such as preferring a darkened room for reading, favoring certain colors of sunglasses, and avoiding bright scenes as much as possible. (more…)


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