Research on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) shows that
neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) can remediate anomalies in brain
activation, leading to symptom reduction and functional improvement.
This evidence raises the hopes for a behavioral, psychophysiological
intervention moderating the severity of ASD. The research is reviewed
in a new article published in the latest issue of Biofeedback.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a lack of
appropriate eye contact, facial expression, social interaction,
communication, and restricted repetitive behavior. ASD represents a
group of disorders, including Autism, PDD-nos, Rett's Disorder, Child
Disintegrative Disorder, and Asperger's Disorder. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (2006) reported the prevalence of ASD as
2 to 6 per 1,000.
Research has shown that related symptoms of ASD are the result of
brain dysfunction in multiple brain regions. Functional neuroimaging
and electroencephalography research have shown this to be related to
abnormal neural connectivity problems. The brains of individuals with
ASD show areas of both excessively high connectivity and deficient
connectivity. In other words, some areas of the brain are chatting
excessively with themselves, while failing to communicate normally with
other relevant regions.
In one 2006 study using connectivity-guided neurofeedback, pre-post
analyses showed a 40 percent reduction in autistic symptoms,
enhancement of function between the brain and behavior, and reduction
of hyperconnectivity. These results begin to verify the theory that
interhemispheric, bipolar neurofeedback montages can lead to reduction
in hyperconnectivity based on the reward band trained.
Neurofeedback seems capable of remediating connectivity disturbances
when these data are considered as part of treatment planning.
Connectivity-guided neurofeedback is capable of significantly remedying
these anomalies and reducing autistic symptoms. Hyperconnectivity seen
in patients with ASD can be remedied with coherence training and other
To read the entire study, click here: http://www.allenpress.com/pdf/biof-35-04-04_Coben.pdf
Biofeedback is a quarterly publication distributed by the
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. For more
information regarding the publication or the society please visit, http://www.aapb.org.