Does neurofeedback reduce the use of psychiatric or neurologic medications?

This survey represents a consensus among health professionals who use neurofeedback who work with patients. A lot more research is needed to illustrate the effect on medications. However, many studies with ADHD research and neurofeedback do show that neurofeedback helps improve ADHD while reducing use of medications.

Neurofeedback improves the neuronal timing and activation of the brain. This is well-documented in research. It appears that the change in timing and activation patterns affects the individual’s need for medication. It is theorized that as the brain moves towards more normal functioning, the same amount of medication can have a stronger effect. For some, the need for medication becomes reduced as the brain improves its functioning.

Many clients ask their doctors to reduce the medications as symptoms improve during neurofeedback training. Clinicians report that, in many cases, the client’s symptoms continue to maintain or even improve on lowered dosages of medications.

There are many reported cases where clients have struggled for years to reduce their psychiatric medications, and have never succeeded till they started training with neurofeedback. A good example was discussed in a letter from a Johns Hopkins-trained psychiatrist to her colleagues.

Note that reducing medications should always be coordinated with an MD. Finding the right doctor is also important – many physicians don’t understand the role neurofeedback plays with medications.

There is no way to predict a medication change. The theory about reducing dosages is that as the brain becomes more activated during training and increases blood flow, it works more efficiently. The same dosage seems to have a stronger effect on a more efficient brain, and thus reduction may be required.

Not every patient’s medications are affected. For some patients, neurofeedback seems to act synergistically with medications, allowing the medications to achieve a better response, or stabilizing the use of medications. Neurofeedback is complementary to other treatment approaches, and may help them be more effective.