Can Neurofeedback Help Down Syndrome?
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that results in some level of learning disability and delayed development, though this varies widely between individuals. It is important to recognise that a child born with Down Syndrome may still acquire many of the cognitive and social skills most other people develop, they simply take more time to naturally develop. The level of the learning difficulties can be mild, moderate or severe and some may suffer additional neurological deficits, such as ADHD and ASD symptoms. Because of these differences, helpful support, guidance and treatment options differ in each individual case. One of the options shown to be effective for Down Syndrome is Neurofeedback. Often people with Down Syndrome also suffer symptoms of conditions that are related to brain deregulation, that Neurofeedback can help to alleviate by using the brain’s own ability to self-regulate to train it to work better and alleviate the symptoms. These symptoms include those of :
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
- Behavioural problems
- Slow language & speech development
A 2007 study demonstrated how a number of children with Down Syndrome showed significant improvements in all areas measured following up to 60 sessions of neurofeedback, i.e. Verbal Communication, Nonverbal communication, Short and Long Term Memory, Behaviour and Physical Balance:
- Sürmeli, T., & Ertem, A. (2007). EEG neurofeedback treatment of patients with Down Syndrome. Journal of Neurotherapy, 11(1), 63-68
Neurofeedback works by providing high quality feedback directly to the brain to allow the brain use its self-regulating mechanism to learn how to work better.
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