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Overview

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that causes changes in the brain’s functionality as various brain areas are damaged. This can lead to many symptoms such as difficulties in making decisions and judgements, memory loss, problems with thinking and concentrating, and changes in mood. Neurofeedback training has been shown to help improve these symptoms. Memory, recall and recognition often show improvement following neurofeedback sessions.
Current therapies for dementia, Alzheimer’s being the most common form, focus on improving symptoms temporarily and reducing the cognitive decline rate, but they aren’t very effective in slowing the disease’s progression. Also, not all existing drugs are effective for all severities and types of dementia. For example, cholinesterase inhibitors are shown to be effective with mild to moderate AD in reducing symptoms, but show insignificant results in reducing symptoms in very severe or mild symptoms. Moreover, adding neurofeedback training as a complementary treatment for dementia including AD can be effective in managing symptoms. Using real-time feedback, during a neurofeedback session, the patient learns to achieve self-regulation and modulate certain activities in the brain. It works on the principle of operant conditioning, or reinforcement learning, which means that the desired brain activity is rewarded, which enhances the functioning of those parts. This helps maintain cognitive functionality and reduce the rate of decline.
EXPERT TALKS

Alzheimer's Psychiatry: What is it and how can it help you?

PATIENTS RECOVERY STORIES

Living with Alzheimer's and Overcoming Them: Survivor Stories

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How effective is Neurofeedback for Alzheimer’s?

Neurofeedback is effective for patients with Alzheimer’s in improving their brain’s functionality, improving executive functions, improving cognitive and affective symptoms, such as enhancing working memory and attention, leading to performance improvements.

Is Neurofeedback for Alzheimer’s safe?

Neurofeedback is considered a safe treatment intervention generally, although there can be side effects that are usually mild and transitory. While majority of patients don’t experience any serious side effects, rare reactions may include low energy or fatigue, anxiety or depression, dizziness or headaches, muscle tension, social anxiety, cognitive impairment, etc.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

The number of sessions depends on the severity of symptoms in the patient with Alzheimer’s and their response to the training sessions.