The efficacy of Ritalin in ADHD children under neurofeedback training

Neurol Sci. 2018 Dec;39(12):2071-2078. doi: 10.1007/s10072-018-3539-3. Epub 2018 Sep 5.


Current research has shown that neurofeedback (NF) is a viable treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however having pharmacological approach alongside such stimulants is still inevitable. Therefore, the purpose of this study is the comparison of neurofeedback with Ritalin and without Ritalin in treating children with ADHD. This study was causal-comparative in design. Participants were children aged 5-10 years with ADHD; seven participants were in neurofeedback group with Ritalin and seven in neurofeedback without Ritalin group according to random split and parent's conformation. Clinical Q, Conner's continuous performance test (CPT), and WISC-R were used before and after treatment. For analyzing data, we used descriptive statistical and Mann Whitney U tests. Results showed that even if the two groups were modified in all components, modifications of commission and reaction time of the CPT and F4 theta/alpha of the clinical Q were more accurate in NF with Ritalin treatment rather than the other group. These findings suggest that neurofeedback is efficient in improving some of the behavioral concomitants of ADHD in children whose parents favored non-pharmacological treatment, but Ritalin and neurofeedback combination is more efficient. So, multimodal approach is strongly recommended for ADHD treatment.

Keywords: ADHD; Clinical Q; Neurofeedback; Ritalin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Checklist
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate