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Old 09-14-17, 04:29 PM
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Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

I have a 9 y/o son who was recently diagnosed with ADD. I would like to try neurofeedback and alternative treatments before medication.

I have found what seems to be a very skilled doctor who practices traditional protocol driven neurofeedback, where they take a brain map and tailor the treatments to the patient's particular problem/brainwaves one at a time.

I have also come across Neuroptimal which uses a standard brain map and treats all the brainwaves at once, promising quicker results and less room for human error.

Has anyone had any experience with one or both treatments? Are there any reputable studies comparing Neuroptimal to traditional neurofeedback? Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-14-17, 04:52 PM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

As far as I know unless there have been some advances in this field, there's no evidence for it to work. Personally I sont think you should waste time on alternative treatments. You are just going to waste a lot of money and previous time in your son's life by not using tried and tested treatment methods.

Apart from medication the only yhings that I know that might help a bit are omega 3 supplements, adequate sleep and generally healthy living, plenty of exercise and minimising stress. And behavioural strategies. They don't cure adhd and might not help enough with symptom control either but if you don't want to try meds then I'd rather focus on these than neurofeedback.
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Old 09-14-17, 11:10 PM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

From their own website: "NeurOptimal is a training, not a treatment. Consequently, [it] does not require diagnosis or treatment planning. You should be under the care of a physician for any medical disorder."

I think that there's some hope for neurofeedback-type treatments (or meditation / mindfulness exercises that accomplish similar things), but I would not spend money on a product / "service" like this, nor would I trust a doctor who wanted to sell it to me.

Last edited by namazu; 09-14-17 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 09-15-17, 03:23 AM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

Why wouldnt you try meds when they are considered a first line treatment for adhd?
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Old 09-15-17, 09:52 AM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

I was given an opportunity a few years ago to try the NeurOptimal neurofeedback via a local practitioner who was willing to barter. At the time, I was desperately searching for help, at what felt like an all time low, and was not having luck with the many prescriptions being prescribed, but was also dealing with many other issues in addition to adhd.

I had also been told of the other type of neurofeedback where they'd tailor a program for how they felt my brain *should* be functioning, including having to do a whole lot of homework and such, and something with that didn't set right with my gut, so I declined to participate. I much preferred the methods NeurOptimal mentioned, as working with my brain rather than trying to reprogram it.

I paid very little attention to the brain waves and such as the machine would demonstrate, but rather focused on how I actually felt and how I was actually functioning while participating in the process. It was a very slow and subtle process. They let you know it could take up to 12 sessions for some folks to ever notice any difference. They also explain you don't have to go back and start over from the beginning were you to stop for a while then feel you need more.

After 6 treatments, I began noticing subtle, yet very obvious improvements in multiple areas(again, adhd is only a small part of my overall issues)...like I was no longer snapping at the least little thing, no longer scarfing down a half gallon of ice cream late at night, no longer feeling numb and totally disconnected, could sleep better, etc.

I continue to be forgetful, have no filter when I speak, can't read and concentrate for too long, can't sit still in many situations, etc., etc. All the things the adhd closely affects is still very much there, I just have an easier time, most days, with managing all the symptoms that make up this being known as me. I still have ditch days and super sh***y days, but such is life. My body doesn't do well with many substances, prescription meds being one.

I continued with a few more treatments while that practitioner was still around, but was eventually gifted my own personal system by the hubby that year for xmas after she moved and it was no longer affordably accessible. I still use it. I would explain it as more of an overall brain optimization tool rather than a specific treatment tool for a specific ailment.

In addition to the "brain machine", I also drastically changed my diet (overnight, thanks to a medical emergency) to eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, etc., caffeine, and alcohol. I also resigned from a highly stressful f/t job, the offspring have since flown the coop, and we moved to a nature setting vs. a concrete jungle setting. It's taken quite the village for me to find my particular flavors of relief, that's for sure. But I spent a whole heck of a lot of time in the typical highly studied arenas prior to that painfully finding out what did not work well.

Had I not been in a situation where bartering was made possible, I would never have been able to afford trying it out to see whether it would or would not help. There was a time when I would have swiftly steered people away from trying anything but what the studies support, however, I personally found my most helpful methods of managing my own issues most successfully via all the lesser approved/studied/peer-reviewed methods.

To each their own in finding their healthiest grooves. Wishing your son wellness in whatever you choose.
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Old 09-18-17, 02:53 PM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

Thanks for the feedback. My son doesn't have any impulse control or behavioral issues. He is just starting to fall behind in school because of his inattention and inability to cope with and concentrate on homework. He has been getting small group help in school which is helping a bit.

I am not dead set against medication but I would like to avoid it if possible. The psychiatrist also left a bad taste in my mouth because she was trying to give him meds before even meeting him after talking to me for 10 minutes. Because his situation isn't an emergency I felt it was worth trying other methods. A friend of his in class was also recommended to start meds and had great results with neurofeedback and supplements. I know it is not a proven treatment but I feel it is worth a try.

We have started him on omega 3's and am going to start looking for someone to help him outside of school with his particular issues. I have read some great stories about neurofeedback and some that say it doesn't work, but I think its worth a shot in our situation.

What I haven't found much info on is reputable data about the different types of neurofeedback.

Last edited by peripatetic; 09-18-17 at 03:10 PM.. Reason: made paragraph breaks more distinct to ease reading. no other edits
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Old 09-19-17, 04:13 AM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireddad View Post
Thanks for the feedback. My son doesn't have any impulse control or behavioral issues. He is just starting to fall behind in school because of his inattention and inability to cope with and concentrate on homework. He has been getting small group help in school which is helping a bit.

I am not dead set against medication but I would like to avoid it if possible. The psychiatrist also left a bad taste in my mouth because she was trying to give him meds before even meeting him after talking to me for 10 minutes. Because his situation isn't an emergency I felt it was worth trying other methods. A friend of his in class was also recommended to start meds and had great results with neurofeedback and supplements. I know it is not a proven treatment but I feel it is worth a try.

We have started him on omega 3's and am going to start looking for someone to help him outside of school with his particular issues. I have read some great stories about neurofeedback and some that say it doesn't work, but I think its worth a shot in our situation.

What I haven't found much info on is reputable data about the different types of neurofeedback.
Try not to let one bad psychiatrist spoil your opinion on meds. I get why you are hesitant just know that not all psyche's are like that.
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Last edited by sarahsweets; 09-19-17 at 04:31 AM..
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Old 09-19-17, 09:04 AM
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Re: Neuroptimal or protocol driven neurofeedback

My son was diagnosed as inattentive. However, I realized he was also hyperactive, just not in the clinical sense. He will fidget, and tap on his desk, or even humm sometimes. These symptoms are not as bad as him bouncing out of his seat, but they all contribute to his inattentiveness.

I have no advice on the neurofeedback, but I can say that my son's mind was not calm enough to be able to understand what was being taught. He almost failed 8th grade and that was with a bunch of accommodations. The medicine allows him to be more in touch with what is currently going on. He went from all his grades being 68-72 to 5 A's and 1 B. He has been planning for college, something I never thought I would see.

So while I get the whole concept of not wanting to jump right to medicine I encourage you to not wait too long to try it. It can take a year to find the medicine that actually works for him, if one does. Waiting means every year he learns less and less than his counterparts in school and by the time you get to middle school he will be so far behind he will have to work very hard to make any headway.

My 10th grader reads at a 5th grade level, his vocabulary is horrible, and there are basic things that he never learned because he didn't hear them. The longer he went in school the further he fell behind. Please learn from my mistake.
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