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Is Neurofeedback Effective as a Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?


Billy Graham has been dealing with Parkinson’s Disease for over fifteen years. Some 1.5 million American’s suffer from the illness, and you will find up to 50, 000 new cases each year. According to experts, there is now no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Understandably, many physicians are very skeptical concerning the use of neurofeedback for Parkinson’s. One facet of treatment with neurofeedback they are aware of is that neurofeedback does not pretend to correct anything in the field of the brain. By the time some 75% of the neurons in a field have been lost. This gives a lot of insight most Parkinson patients continue to be capable of moving the bulk of their body‘s muscles by intention.

Knowing they’re able to move without, normally, 75% of these neurons, results in the conclusion that they’re able to move with just 25% of the substantia nigra at will remaining. It’s got a lot of plasticities, meaning when the area that handles the task is damaged regions of the mind that are involved with functions will contribute significantly. Neurofeedback therapy might help to strengthen these pathways so they’re better able to compensate for the portion of the brain that’s impaired. A function of neurofeedback treatment involves learning to shift attention and control. With each shift in consciousness, subtle changes in the portion of the brain that’s being used occur.

Neurofeedback accomplishes these changes by efficiently retraining the way portions of the brain function. Some therapists will recommend starting and ending the therapy with a Quantitative EEG or Brain Mapping procedure to see how your mind is functioning. The neurofeedback sessions themselves are non-invasive, comfortable, and considered by many patients to be quite relaxing. Throughout the sessions, the therapist will connect very thin leads that transmit Electric energy from the mind into an EEG device. A special gel is utilized to comfortably hold those leads in place. The patient then uses mind waves to alter what’s happening to a visual display on a pc screen. 

The mind perceives these activities as a reward, and with this positive reinforcement, will increasingly choose to use those desired waves. Neurofeedback almost definitely has a role in lengthening the amount of time that a Parkinson’s patient can live an active life. There’s even reason to believe that neurofeedback treatment could help Parkinson’s patients to those points where mind surgery might be delayed for a time. Dr. Clare Albright is a psychologist and a Neurofeedback practitioner and may be reached at454-.