Treating ADHD With Suggestion: Neurofeedback and Placebo Therapeutics

J Atten Disord. 2018 Jun;22(8):707-711. doi: 10.1177/1087054718770012. Epub 2018 May 2.


Objective: We propose that clinicians can use suggestion to help treat conditions such as ADHD.

Methods: We use EEG neurofeedback as a case study, alongside evidence from a recent pilot experiment utilizing a sham MRI scanner to highlight the therapeutic potential of suggestion-based treatments.

Results: The medical literature demonstrates that many practitioners already prescribe treatments that hardly outperform placebo comparators. Moreover, the sham MRI experiment showed that, even with full disclosure of the procedure, suggestion alone can reduce the symptomatology of ADHD.

Conclusion: Non-deceptive suggestion-based treatments, especially those drawing on accessories from neuroscience, may offer a safe complement and potential alternative to current standard of care for individuals with ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; EEG; neuroenchantment; neurofeedback; neurosuggestion; nocebo; placebo.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Suggestion*