Effect of Neurofeedback Training on Aggression and Impulsivity in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

Basic Clin Neurosci. 2021 Sep-Oct;12(5):693-702. doi: 10.32598/bcn.2021.2363.1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


Introduction: Aggression and impulsivity are some of the behavioral symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Neurofeedback (NF) training has been suggested as a promising treatment in these children. This study aimed to investigate the effect of NF training on aggression and impulsivity in schoolchildren with ADHD.

Methods: A total of 40 male elementary school children with ADHD (aged 11.17±0.97 years) were randomized into the NF and sham groups. The NF group received 12 NF training sessions, each taking about 60 minutes for six consecutive weeks (twice a week), based on the Hammond protocol. The subjects' parents were questioned to evaluate the outcomes, including aggression and impulsivity, using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS).

Results: After the intervention, in the NF group, the BPAQ score changed from 87.60±9.33 to 81±7.23 and the BIS score from 94.7±7.25 to 88.05±5.4, which were significant (P=0.001). The results indicated the large effect size of NF on aggression and impulsivity in ADHD.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest NF training as a clinically applicable method for decreasing aggression and impulsivity, also support concurrent use of medication and NF training in children with ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; Aggression; Impulsivity; Neurofeedback.