Neurofeedback as a Treatment Intervention in ADHD: Current Evidence and Practice

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 May 28;21(6):46. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1021-4.


Purpose of review: Current traditional treatments for ADHD present serious limitations in terms of long-term maintenance of symptom remission and side effects. Here, we provide an overview of the rationale and scientific evidence of the efficacy of neurofeedback in regulating the brain functions in ADHD. We also review the institutional and professional regulation of clinical neurofeedback implementations.

Recent findings: Based on meta-analyses and (large multicenter) randomized controlled trials, three standard neurofeedback training protocols, namely theta/beta (TBR), sensori-motor rhythm (SMR), and slow cortical potential (SCP), turn out to be efficacious and specific. However, the practical implementation of neurofeedback as a clinical treatment is currently not regulated. We conclude that neurofeedback based on standard protocols in ADHD should be considered as a viable treatment alternative and suggest that further research is needed to understand how specific neurofeedback protocols work. Eventually, we emphasize the need for standard neurofeedback training for practitioners and binding standards for use in clinical practice.

Keywords: ADHD; Brain computer interface; Clinical practice; Current status; Neurofeedback.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Neurofeedback*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome