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Clinical trial

Near Infrared Spectroscopy Neurofeedback Training for ADHD (ADHDNTx)

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Last updated:29th Jul 2014

Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequently diagnosed behavioural disorders in childhood that requires treatment(3-5% of children). It is an important health problem because it impairs social, educational and occupational performance, and increases the risk of other psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression and substance misuse. There is no cure for ADHD and standard stimulant medication treatment is at best symptomatic. Moreover, stimulants have side effects and parents are often concerned over the long-term effects. A number of non-drug treatments have been developed but these do not target the brain directly. Neurofeedback Training (NTx) is a new, non-drug treatment that targets the brain directly and that can potentially enhance the control of attention in ADHD. NTx could be a valuable alternative and/or adjunct to standard care.

Aims: Although NTx has gained popularity in Europe and the US, more rigorous studies are required to support its implementation in the NHS. We therefore propose a pilot study to establish tolerabilty and safety, and to develop treatment protocols and collect data to design a follow-on controlled NTx trial in ADHD.

Methods: We plan an open label, single arm, treatment trial of near infrared spectroscopy neurofeedback training of frontal lobe activation in school-aged children with ADHD. 48 participants will be recruited over 1 year and will be offered 20 NTx sessions over 10 weeks. Participants will be recruited from Mental Health Services. Primary outcomes will be safety and tolerability and secondary outcomes will include standard clinical behavioural rating scales and the Test Of the Variables of Attention.

Category Value
Study start date 2014-07-29

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