Experience with neurofeedback for migraine

Dr. Jonathan Walker at the Neurotherapy Center of Dallas, in Texas, studied patients with recurrent migraine headaches.

First, the details.

  • 71 patients with recurrent migraine headaches completed a quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) procedure.
  • All the patients were classified as migraine without aura.

And, the results.

  • QEEG results indicated an excess of high-frequency beta activity (21-30 Hz) in 1-4 cortical areas.
  • The patients then selected a treatment group.
    • Neurofeedback training: reducing 21-30 Hz activity and increasing 10 Hz activity (5 sessions for each affected site).
    • Continued drug therapy
  • For the neurofeedback group…
    • 54% experienced complete cessation of their migraines.
    • 39% experienced a reduction in migraine frequency of greater than 50%.
    • 4% experienced a decrease in headache frequency of less than 50%.
    • 1 patient did not experience a reduction in headache frequency.
  • Those who continued drug therapy…
    • 8% had a reduction greater than 50%.
    • 20% had a reduction less than 50%.
    • 68% experienced no change in headache frequency.

The bottom line?

The author concluded, “QEEG-guided neurofeedback appears to be dramatically effective in abolishing or significantly reducing headache frequency in patients with recurrent migraine.”

All the patients in this report were treated at the author’s clinic. It will be interesting to see results from other researchers.

3/6/11 19:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.