Neurofeedback Therapy of Attention Deficits in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury
Background. Impairments of attention are a frequent and well documented consequence of head injury. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if Neurofeedback Therapy (NFT) can enhance remediation of attention deficits in patients with closed head injuries (CHI) who are still in the phase of spontaneous recovery.Method. Feedback of beta-activity (13–20 Hz) was used for the treatment of attentional impairments in twelve patients with moderate closed head injuries. A matched control group of nine patients was treated with a standard computerized training. All patients were tested before and after treatment with a set of attention tests. Results. After ten sessions the analyses of beta activity showed that eight patients were able to increase their beta activity while the remaining four patients showed a decrease of beta activity. Mean duration of beta activity was prolonged about 50% after training. Patients who received NFT improved significantly more in the attention tests than control patients. Conclusion. The results suggest that neurofeedback is a promising method for the treatment of attentional disorders in patients with traumatic brain injuries. It is suggested that NFT should focus not only on the enhancement of beta activity, but also on the duration patients are able to hold beta activity. It is proposed to use NFT also with patients in the early phase of rehabilitation.