Neurofeedback Therapy for PTSD: Recent Studies - Reynolds Clinic

Sufferers of PTSD – Neurofeedback Shows Significant Promise

Woman closing here face with hands, and some hands around her headPost Traumatic Stress Disorder has received huge amounts of publicity in recent years, with probably the vast majority of Americans aware of at least one person who suffers from the illness. Unfortunately, even though so many people suffer from PTSD, there has been no hugely significant breakthrough in its treatment, probably due to the fact that there are so many variations in how the illness presents itself and the different trigger factors.

What is PTSD?

Although most people reading this blog post will be more than aware of PTSD for the sake of clarity let’s briefly visit and explain what PTSD is and its various symptoms. According to WebMD PTSD is a serious mental condition that some people develop after a shocking, terrifying or dangerous event.

The fact that it is a mental condition means that it may well be suited to treatment using Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a way of retraining the brain to cope with certain conditions like ADHD, anxiety, and depression better. This is done by attaching sensors to the scalp which can read the brain’s activity, and “feed it back” to the patient getting a reward as they learn to control their brain. The reward could be something as simple as getting a movie to start playing, or maybe listening to their favorite music. If they start to become stressed, show signs of anxiety, or exhibit any symptoms that they have previously complained about, then the rewards slow down or are turned off. The concept of Neurofeedback is to educate the brain by rewarding the desired behavior. As the brain learns to behave in the desired way, it associates pleasure or rewards with that type of behavior. Once that type of behavior has become a habit, then it quickly becomes the default behavior in times of stress and effectively changes how a patient reacts to stressful situations or triggers.

In Japan in 2016, a scientific study was designed to put this theory to the test. A total of 52 sufferers of PTSD were put into the study, with a control group, who were given no access to Neurofeedback, and the experimental group who were given treatment. The results of the trial were spectacular, with the group of patients who were treated with Neurofeedback, demonstrating significant improvement in PTSD symptoms, compared to the control group who demonstrated no improvement whatsoever. Due to the small number of participants in the trial, it may be too early to claim that this is a significant breakthrough for scientific research.

However, what it does provide is significant hope and the foundation for future research into the benefits of neurofeedback for sufferers of PTSD.

For anyone who is reading this post, and is actively trying to find hope or a treatment option for a loved one who is going through the trials and tribulations of PTSD, then there is no reason not to give neurofeedback a try. After all this type of treatment is drug free, non-invasive and very simple to partake in. The best way to find a clinic that offers the service is to search for neurofeedback clinics on Google. In our area the most prominent results will refer you to the Reynolds Clinic, so even if you do not live in the local area, give them a call, as they may be able to direct you to a local provider in your area.

PTSD is a horrible illness that can and does destroy many sufferers’ lives, and those of their families. Do not let this terrible illness win. If neurofeedback is able to offer even the slightest hope, then surely it has to be worth a little bit of research, speaking to an expert who offers this service.

We’ve previosly written an article to compare EMDR and Neurofeedback in dealing with trauma or other brain issues.