Neuroscience, Meet Clinical Psychology


Headaches and Migraine

Walker (2011) reported on 71 recurrent migraine cases who consulted a neurological practice. Forty-six of the patients consented to QEEG-guided neurofeedback treatment, whereas 25 chose drug treatment. Excess higher frequency beta was present in all cases. At 1-year follow-up, 54% of the neurofeedback group experienced complete cessation of migraines compared with no one in the medication treatment group. In the neurofeedback group, 39% experienced a reduction of greater than 50% in migraines (compared with 8% with drug treatment), and a reduction of less than 50% was found in 4% of patients (compared to 20% with medication treatment). Sixty-eight percent of the medication treatment group reported no change in headache frequency, whereas only one patient (2%) receiving neurofeedback reported no reduction in frequency.


Siniatchkin, Hierundar, Kropp, Gerber, and Stephani (2000) found a significant reduction in the number of days per month with a migraine in children treated with slow cortical potentials training versus a waitlist control group. Carmen (2004) reported improvement of more than 90% in migraine sufferers who completed at least six sessions of HEG training. For Stokes and Lappin (2010), 70% of migraine patients experienced at least a 50% reduction in frequency on more than 1-year follow-up from a combination of 40 neurofeedback sessions combined with HEG training. Tansey (1991a) published four case reports. Although encouraging, further controlled research is needed.


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