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The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback on Cognitive Functioning in Patients with Alzheimer s Disease (2013)

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#1 NFB Forum

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 12:20 PM



Alzheimer s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. In a qEEG, patients with
AD present a greater amount of theta activity compared to normal aging individuals. An excess
of delta and a decrement of alpha and beta is also observed. Little is known about the effect of
neurofeedback in patients with dementia. However, it has been successfully applied in the
treatment of different disorders.


The objective of this study was to examine if neurofeedback has a positive effect on the
cognitive performance in patients with AD. Ten patients whose qEEG met the typical pattern
for patients with AD received neurofeedback training. These patients were compared with 123
AD patients who received treatment as usual (TAU). Participants were between the age of 61
and 90. All patients received a test designed to assess cognitive functioning pre- and posttreatment.


The test-retest reliability of the TAU group for the total CAMCOG score was 0.84 and
varied between the subscales from 0.56 to 0.78. Individual results, analyzed with a reliable
change index (RCI), indicated that patients who received neurofeedback treatment had stable
cognitive functions. When the groups were compared; patients with neurofeedback treatment
showed an improvement in learning memory, other cognitive functions were stable. In
comparison, patients with TAU had an overall decrement in cognitive functioning, with the
exception of orientation in time.


In sum, neurofeedback has a positive effect on the cognitive performance of patients with
AD. Patients who received neurofeedback treatment had stable cognitive functions and an
increase in the recognition and recall of information, whereas TAU patients showed a
decrement in these functions.

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