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Neurofeedback Treatment and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Effectiveness of Neurofeedback on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the Optimal Choice of Protocol

Reiter, Karen MD; Andersen, Søren Bo PhD; Carlsson, Jessica MD, PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 2 - p 69–77
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000418
Review Article

Neurofeedback is an alternative, noninvasive approach used in the treatment of a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many different neurofeedback protocols and methods exist. Likewise, PTSD is a heterogeneous disorder. To review the evidence on effectiveness and preferred protocol when using neurofeedback treatment on PTSD, a systematic search of PubMed, PsychInfo, Embase, and Cochrane databases was undertaken. Five studies were included in this review. Neurofeedback had a statistically significant effect in three studies. Neurobiological changes were reported in three studies. Interpretation of results is, however, limited by differences between the studies and several issues regarding design. The optimistic results presented here qualify neurofeedback as probably efficacious for PTSD treatment.

*Competence Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry, Mental Health Centre Ballerup, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark, Ballerup; †Psychiatric Centre Hvidovre, the Mental Health Services of the Capital Region of Denmark, Brøndby; ‡Research and Knowledge Centre, The Danish Veteran Centre, Ringsted; and §University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Send reprint requests to Karen Reiter, MD, Kapelvej 57, 2 Sal, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark. E-mail:

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