Treatment of chronic fatigue with neurofeedback and self-hypnosis
A 21 year old patient reported a relatively rapid onset of serious chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), with her worst symptoms being cognitive impairments. Congruent with research on rapid onset CFS, she had no psychiatric history and specialized testing did not suggest that somatization was likely. Neuroimaging and EEG research has documented brain dysfunction in cases of CFS. Therefore, a quantitative EEG was done, comparing her to a normative data base. This revealed excessive left frontal theta brainwave activity in an area previously implicated in SPECT research. Therefore, a novel treatment approach was utilized consisting of a combination of EEG neurofeedback and self-hypnosis training, both of which seemed very beneficial. She experienced considerable improvement in fatigue, vigor, and confusion as measured pre-post with the Profile of Mood States and through collaborative interviews with both parents. Most of the changes were maintained at 5, 7, and 9 month follow-up testing.