EEG Neurofeedback therapy: Can it attenuate brain changes in TBI?

NeuroRehabilitation. 2014;35(3):481-4. doi: 10.3233/NRE-141140.


Background: Electroencephalogram Neurofeedback therapy (EEG-NFT) has several potential beneficial effects in terms of improving cognition and electrophysiological regulation among patients with brain injury. However, in vivo structural and functional changes remain less explored.

Objective: The aim of the present study is to explore EEG-NFT induced in vivo changes in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients.

Method: Two patients with mean age of 15 years with moderate head injury who had more than seven post concussion symptoms and poor cognitive performances (<5 percentile) were subjected to 20 sessions of EEG-NFT. The neuropsychological test scores, post concussion symptoms and MRI scan of the brain were recorded pre-post to EEG-NFT.

Results: During EEG-NFT the cognitive scores and concussion symptoms improved significantly (p < 0.05). The EEG-NFT has shown significant increase in cortical grey matter (GM) volumes (p < 0.0001) and fractional anisotropy (FA) of cortical white matter (WM) tracts (p < 0.0001, voxel max 60 and above). There was a significant decrease in global, local efficiency, cost and clustering coefficient of functional connectivity (Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test p < 0.05). Interestingly there was a significant increase in thalamo-cortical connection (increase FA value) after EEG-NFT.

Conclusion: The EEG-NFT therapy has shown significant changes in structural and functional connectivity among young moderately injured TBI patients.

Keywords: EEG-NFT; MRI scan; TBI; in vivo changes; neuropsychological scores.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Gray Matter / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / pathology
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / psychology
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White Matter / pathology
  • Young Adult