Neurotherapy treatment of ADHD is mostly about reducing slow-wave Theta activity in the frontal lobe. Excessive Theta, one of the slowest brain waves which only cycles 4 to 8 times a second, is the common finding on brain maps of children and adults diagnosed with ADHD or ADD (the inattentive type). The brain map will show specifically where the Theta is located. It could be frontal but more to the left or to the right. Or it could be front center or from the front center more toward the top of the head. The map will guide us to the best electrode or sensor locations for the most efficient neurotherapy treatment.
I call it tricky because the traditional medication approach is a problem. The stimulant speeds up their slow wave Theta, but now their fast wave Beta is further accelerated causing symptoms of over-arousal such as: nervousness, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, dampening of personality, or tics. Thus the medical approach may require a second medication to calm the anxiety caused by the stimulant. While medications can have a global effect, neurotherapy can be specific, i.e. treating the location that is too slow and treating the location that is too fast. The great thing - side effects are avoided. Again, the brain map will guide our work.
Neurotherapy treatment is gentle and slow, more like dental braces than surgery. No electrical activity comes through the electrodes. The electrodes (not uncomfortable) only read the natural electrical activity coming up through the skull. But because we can read (and measure) the activity, we can reward or inhibit it through reinforcement. For example the child or adult may be watching a game or a movie. When they hit their targets, say reducing Theta wave, then they succeed better at the game or see and hear the movie more clearly. It is called operant conditioning, i.e. the way circus animals are trained. If the animal does a certain behavior, they are rewarded with a treat. Clients are rewarded by succeeding at the game or by seeing the movie more clearly. It's a fun way to get better!
Common ADHD - 80% of those with ADHD
Tricky ADHD: Slow wave and Fast wave - 15%
Anxious ADHD - 5%
Brain maps for the Anxious Type of ADHD don't show slow wave Theta, but rather they show excessive fast wave Beta activity. A stimulant is the last thing they need. But you may not really know that until you have the brain map done. The map will show which locations have the fast Beta and where to put the electrodes for efficient treatment.