Neurofeedback Reveals Promise for Addressing ‘Chemo Mind’
Abstract: Neurofeedback has the potential to alleviate signs of “mind fog” and cognitive impairment related to chemotherapy.
Restoring regular mind perform to most cancers sufferers by neurofeedback might doubtlessly alleviate the psychological fog that many report after therapy, in response to a brand new pilot research by UCLA researchers.
The research is among the first to point that neurofeedback, or electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, might assist deal with cognitive deficits in most cancers sufferers affected by ‘chemo mind’, a myriad of signs that may embrace reminiscence issues , focus and group. in addition to different signs similar to sleep disturbances and emotional difficulties.
Earlier analysis has proven that neurofeedback, by which mind waves are skilled to perform in optimum frequency patterns, has helped enhance cognitive perform in sufferers with cognitive issues similar to consideration deficit/hyperactivity dysfunction. , strokes and seizures, in addition to to manage mind exercise in sufferers with drug habit and post-traumatic stress dysfunction.
“The historical past of neurofeedback exhibits that it’s helpful for an entire vary of issues and signs. This research was a chance to see if neurofeedback is one thing that may very well be useful with the chemo mind,” stated Stephen Sideroff, a professor within the UCLA Division of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences who led the research and has used neurofeedback coaching with sufferers for over 20 years.
The research was printed this month within the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Drugs.
The research, led by Sideroff and his UCLA colleagues David Wellisch and Valerie Yarema, included 9 breast most cancers sufferers between the ages of 21 and 65 who had accomplished chemotherapy at the very least a yr earlier and complained of debilitating signs of chemo mind, which led to vital disruptions of their work. and private lives.
A scientific nurse practitioner carried out a short psychological state interview with every affected person to substantiate that they’d persistent difficulties with focus, reminiscence, group, and confusion.
Sufferers chosen for the research didn’t have a present analysis of breast most cancers, a present or current analysis of main depressive dysfunction or different psychological sickness, or weren’t utilizing cognitive-impairing drugs that might distort the outcomes of the research.
Earlier than the neurofeedback coaching periods started, research individuals obtained neurocognitive and psychological testing, in addition to a quantitative EEG to measure brainwave frequencies that may very well be in comparison with normative information. Quantitative pre-training EEGs present that every research participant had irregular mind exercise in comparison with wholesome grownup brains.
Examine individuals obtained a sequence of 18 neurofeedback periods, scheduled for half-hour every over a six-week interval. Throughout these periods, sensors have been positioned on the scalp and earlobe to watch brainwave frequencies.
Sufferers have been proven a monitor displaying these frequencies as bar graphs, and advised that their aim was to extend or lower the amplitude of particular frequency ranges to show every bar inexperienced. They obtained audio and visible suggestions after they succeeded in shifting these amplitudes.
Quantitative EEGs taken after the tip of the 18 neurofeedback periods revealed that brainwave frequencies had considerably normalized in seven of the 9 research individuals, and considerably improved within the different two. .
Neurocognitive testing carried out after neurofeedback periods confirmed substantial enhancements in research individuals’ info processing, govt set change, and sustained visible consideration. Every improved in each day functioning and had general psychological enchancment.
Limitations of the research embrace a small pattern dimension and the dearth of a management group. One other limitation was the prolonged window it took most research individuals to bear all 18 neurofeedback periods. Three accomplished the coaching throughout the scheduled six-week window, whereas most took between seven and 9 weeks. Earlier neurofeedback analysis has proven that remedy is best when periods are shut collectively.
“Our outcomes are extra spectacular on condition that we could not get the topics to remain on schedule,” Sideroff stated.
Sideroff stated the research outcomes have been robust sufficient to help additional analysis geared toward figuring out whether or not neurofeedback is an efficient strategy to treating the chemo mind and figuring out superb protocols for conducting neurofeedback coaching periods.
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“A Neurotherapy Protocol to Handle Cognitive Deficits After Adjuvant Chemotherapy: A Pilot Examine” by Stephen Sideroff et al. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Drugs
A neurotherapy protocol to treatment cognitive deficits after adjuvant chemotherapy: a pilot research
Adjuvant chemotherapy for breast most cancers is undeniably efficient in growing survival charges, however many breast most cancers survivors (BCS) expertise recognized unwanted effects, together with nausea, fatigue, stress and neurocognitive deficits. beneath the title “chemobrain”.
This pilot research explored how neurotherapy, or EEG biofeedback, a non-pharmacological strategy, improved the neurocognitive, behavioral and neurophysiological deficits related to BCS who had undergone chemotherapy.
Topics accomplished 18 EEG biofeedback coaching periods, throughout which audio and visible suggestions occurred with profitable change in EEG patterns.
Quantitative EEG and evaluation checks demonstrated neurophysiological, cognitive, and behavioral deficits in all 9 topics earlier than coaching. EEG biofeedback resulted in vital enhancements in neurophysiological, neurocognitive, and psychological features in all 9 topics after coaching.
We suggest that this intervention and associated types of EEG biofeedback have the potential to considerably attenuate the frequent unwanted effects of chemotherapy in BCS and due to this fact deserve extra analysis consideration.