Neurofeedback in the treatment of patients diagnosed with ADHD – a review of research

1 Centrum Neuropsychiatrii Neuromed, Wrocław. Kierownik Centrum: dr n. med. Halina Flisiak-Antonijczuk
2 Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu. Kierownik Katedry: prof. zw. dr hab. n. med. Andrzej Kiejna
Adres do korespondencji: Dr hab. n. med. Tomasz Adamowski, Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu, Wyb. L. Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław, tel.: 71 784 16 00, e-mail:
Praca finansowana ze środków własnych

Pediatr Med rodz Vol 10 Numer 1, p. 91–96
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2014.0014

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic disorder of multifactorial aetiology, usually recognized in childhood but also occur in adulthood. Diagnostics of ADHD is complex and requires a comprehensive approach considering interview and observations from different sources. In patients with ADHD more frequently co-occur antisocial behaviour, addiction to alcohol and drugs, depression, and increased risk of suicide. Treatment of ADHD requires a comprehensive approach that involves the use of psychoeducation, behavioural therapy and pharmacotherapy. Standard pharmacological treatment and psychological therapy are often insufficient. The drugs increase the risk of side effects and their use is limited due to the limitations of the reimbursement. The most serious adverse effects include the possibility of psychostimulant drugs addiction, inhibition of growth, insomnia, lack of appetite, dysphoria, anticholinergic symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms. Studies of children with ADHD have demonstrated characteristic abnormalities in EEG in specific locations of the brain. Neurofeedback, a type of behavioural therapy, is one of the non-standard treatment for ADHD. The essence of neurofeedback is modelling behaviour through effects on the bioelectric activity of the brain. In comparison with pharmacotherapy it is a relatively cheap method – even if the costs are not reimbursed – not overloading for the patient and safe (has few side effects). There is no, however, well-documented studies of effectiveness this method in ADHD so in the review we focused on the methodology, critically referring to results not derived from controlled trials.

Keywords: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, neurofeedback, nonpharmacological interventions, treatment efficacy