Traumatic Brain Injury

Supporting Research


A recent review of current research by Foster and Thatcher (2014) established the clinical efficacy of using neurofeedback as a treatment for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). These studies showed that it only took around ten sessions of neurofeedback for improvement to be seen in patients, and the number of sessions is set to reduce as the process and methods of neurofeedback improve. This study used 11 American war veterans who had been involved in armed combat. All participants showed an improvement in neurophysiological normalisation as well as a reduction of pre-existing symptoms that they had been experiencing since their brain injury.

Zorcec (2011) examined the use of neurofeedback training in 6 traumatic brain injury patients, all sustaining their injuries by car accident. Cognitive difficulties were noted as being the main area of concern, with QEEG assessment identifying a predominance of frontal brain waves in the patients. Following 20 sessions of neurofeedback (twice per week, 40 minutes duration), 5 of the 6 patients was able to return to normal education, and all reported improvements concerning mood, quality of sleep, and cognitive abilities.

Research into the use of neurofeedback following traumatic brain injury provides promising evidence for this therapy during rehabilitation (Reddy and colleagues, 2009). The researchers compared the neuropsychological profile of a single patient before and after the neurofeedback training, which was administered for 45 minutes with 20 sessions in total. Improvements were reported in both verbal and visual learning memory. This highlights the potential use of neurofeedback during rehabilitation plans aiming to enhance learning and memory for TBI patients.

Walker and colleagues (2002) used quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) coherence scores to understand a patient’s improvement. They found that 88% of the patients that had experienced a mild head injury improved their score by around 50% in the qEEG. They also reported that all patients that had not been able to work since their traumatic brain injury were able to return to work after the treatment.

Studies have considered the ability of neurofeedback to improve levels of depression and fatigue in a patient. Schoenberger and colleagues (2001) studied 12 individuals with traumatic brain injuries and showed that their cognitive function improved. They also showed a reduction in symptoms such as depression and fatigue.

Byers (1995) compared pre- and post-test measures of a 58-year old female patient who had undergone 31 sessions of neurofeedback. He showed that the patient improved in a number of areas of mental functions after neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback as a treatment for patients with brain injuries was used in a study by Ayers (1987). Two groups were set up where one received neurofeedback and the other group received psychotherapy. The patients that received the neurofeedback reported a reduction in symptoms such as anxiety, anger outbursts, and mood issues. The group that only received the psychotherapy did not show improvement with these symptoms.



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Byers, A. (1995). Neurofeedback therapy for a mild head injury. Journal of Neurotherapy, 1 (1), 22-36.

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Foster, D. S., Thatcher, R. W. (2014). Surface and LORETA neurofeedback in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury. Z-Score Neurofeedback: Clinical Applications, 59-92

Fuchs, T., Birbaumer, N., Lutzenberger, W., Gruzelier, J. H., & Kaiser, J. (2003). Neurofeedback treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: A comparison with methylphenidate. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 28, 1-12.

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Hammond, D. C. (2007). Can LENS neurofeedback treat anosmia resulting from a head injury? Journal of Neurotherapy, 11(1), 57-62.

Hammond, D. C., & Kirk, L. (2008). First, do no harm: Adverse effects and the need for practice standards in neurofeedback. Journal of Neurotherapy, 12(1), 79-88.

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Hoedlmoser, K., Pecherstorfer, T., Gruber, E., Anderer, P., Doppelmayr, M., Klimesch, W., & Schabus, M. (2008). Instrumental conditioning of human sensorimotor rhythm (12-15 Hz) and its impact on sleep as well as declarative learning. Sleep, 31(10), 1401-1408.

Levesque, J., Beauregard, M., & Mensour, B. (2006). Effect of neurofeedback training on the neural substrates of selective attention in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroscience Letters, 394(3), 216-221.

Monastra, V. J., Monastra, D. M., & George, S. (2002). The effects of stimulant therapy, EEG biofeedback, and parenting style on the primary symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 27(4), 231-249.

Reddy, R. P., Jamuna, N., Devi, B. I., & Thennarasu, K. (2009). Neurofeedback training to enhance learning and memory in patient with traumatic brain injury: A single case study. The Indian Journal of Neurotrauma, 6(1), 87-90.

Schoenberger, N. E., Shif, S. C., Esty, M. L., Ochs, L., & Matheis, R. J. (2001). Flexyx neurotherapy system in the treatment of traumatic brain injury: an initial evaluation. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation,16(3), 260-31.

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Thornton, K. E., & Carmody, D. P. (2005). Electroencephalogram biofeedback for reading disability and traumatic brain injury. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14(1), 137-162.

Thornton, K. E., & Carmody, D. P. (2008). Efficacy of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation: Interventions of QEEG-guided biofeedback, computers, strategies, and medications. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 33, 101-124.

Walker, J. E., Norman, C. A., Weber, R. K. (2002). Impact of qEEG-guided coherence training for patients with a mild closed head injury. Journal of Neurotherapy, 6 (2), 31-43.

Vernon, D., Egner, T., Cooper, N., Compton, T., Neilands, C., Sheri, A., & Gruzelier, J. (2003). The effect of training distinct neurofeedback protocols on aspects of cognitive performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 47, 75-85.

Zorcec, T., Demerdzieva, A., & Pop-Jordanova, N. (2011). QEEG, brain rate, executive functions and neurofeedback training in patients with traumatic brain injury. Acta Informatica Medica, 19(1), 23.