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Biol Psychol. 2013 Sep;94(1):12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 May 9.

Neurofeedback and standard pharmacological intervention in ADHD: a randomized controlled trial with six-month follow-up.

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Research Institute on Health Sciences (IUNICS), University of Balearic Islands (UIB), Ctra. de Valldemossa, km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Majorca, Spain.


The present study is a randomized controlled trial that aims to evaluate the efficacy of Neurofeedback compared to standard pharmacological intervention in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The final sample consisted of 23 children with ADHD (11 boys and 12 girls, 7-14 years old). Participants carried out 40 theta/beta training sessions or received methylphenidate. Behavioral rating scales were completed by fathers, mothers, and teachers at pre-, post-treatment, two-, and six-month naturalistic follow-up. In both groups, similar significant reductions were reported in ADHD functional impairment by parents; and in primary ADHD symptoms by parents and teachers. However, significant academic performance improvements were only detected in the Neurofeedback group. Our findings provide new evidence for the efficacy of Neurofeedback, and contribute to enlarge the range of non-pharmacological ADHD intervention choices. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial with a six-month follow-up that compares Neurofeedback and stimulant medication in ADHD.


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); EEG biofeedback; Methylphenidate; Neurofeedback; Pharmacological intervention

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