This presentation focuses on results from two pioneers random control studies, that showed that 24 sessions of neurofeedback training (NFT) sessions improved executive functioning in adults and children with developmental trauma.
Developmental trauma (DT) is arguablyone of the costliest public health challenge in the USA. DT is a chronic early childhood exposure to neglect and abuse by caregiver. It has been shown to have a long-lasting pervasive impact on mental, physical and neural development including problems with executive functioning, attention, impulse control, self-regulation. These deficits, not only interfere with adequate daily functioning, but also interfere with the ability to benefit from treatments.
These two randomized control studies consisted of 49 adults and 37 children ages 6-13, with developmental trauma. The participants were randomly divided into two groups, active NFT (adults n=26; children: n=20) and Waiting List (WL), adults n=23; children n=17) the NFT group received 24 NFT sessions twice a week (T4-P4).Executive functioning was assessed by BRIEF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function), a commonly used assessment of executive functions and self-regulation. It was conducted at four time points over the course of training:(1) baseline; (2) midpoint – after 12 NFT sessions for the NFT group or after 6 weeks for the WL group; (3) post NFT for the NFT group or after 12 weeks for the WL group; (4) Follow up – one month post NFT for the active NFT group or after 16 weeks for the WL group). The results for the adults, NFT training showed significant improvement in all the subscales of BRIEF with the exception of emotional control (baseline-one moth follow up). Similarly, for the children, NFT trainingshowed significant improvementin all the subscales of BRIEFwith the exception of metacognition subscale on (baseline – Post NFT). However, for the children, there was a regression between post NFT and 1 month follow-up assessments.
These results indicate that NFT is a promising technique to improve executive functioning of individuals with developmental trauma who are struggling in their daily functioning and benefit from treatment.
Presented by: Ainat Rogel, PhD and Diana Martinez, MD, PhD