Approximately four to six percent of the college population has ADHD. Most students use medications to help them concentrate, but a noninvasive, drug-free technology called neurofeed- back therapy has proven very successful in college students as well.
ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting how people pay atten- tion, sit still and focus on one activity. According to the National Resource on ADHD, it affects 4.4 percent of adults in the U.S.. Approximately 25 percent of college students with declared disabilities are diagnosed with ADHD.
“As a rough estimate, only one in four students request accommodations through student resources who need them,” said Tom Bellatti, ORU director of student resources. “Students who suffer from ADHD are allowed extended testing time, tutoring support, and in some instances, students may have flexibility on deadlines for major class courses. But the majority of students who need the services do not request them.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, neurofeedback was placed as a Level 1 best support intervention for ADHD. The recognition is a validation of the powerful effects of neurofeedback in providing effective treatment for a wide range of cognitive disorders including ADHD.
Neurofeedback measures brainwave activity through wires covered in wax connected to the patient’s head. The brain waves register on computer monitors where doctors are able to translate the information.
“Everyone’s brain produces electricity that manifests in brainwave patterns such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Theta,” said Barry Gardner, co-founder of RenuYou Neurofeedback Center. “Excessive Beta can produce anxiety, too much frontal alpha wave can result in depression, whereas elevated Theta waves can reflect ADHD.”
Neurobehavioral disorders are due to dysfunctional brainwave patterns. The goal is to retrain the brain to produce healthy brainwave patterns. It has been proven to help cure or manage ADHD, addictions, anxiety, depression, autism, memory loss, sleep disorders and athlete performance.
“We use ‘reward biofeedback’ that features watching movies,” said Cyndie Gardner, co-founder of RenuYou Neurofeedback Center. “As desirable brainwave patterns emerge, the continued playing of the movie reinforces them. When undesirable patterns emerge the screen darkens.”
College students have seen significant improvement through neurofeedback therapy, according to statistics from RenuYou Neurofeedback Center. Approximately 50 percent of college students saw an improvement in their focus, 40 percent in impulsivity, 20 to 60 percent in shifting tasks, 30 percent in short term memory, 30 percent in anxiety due to ADD and 25 percent improvement in insomnia.
Research studies on neurofeedback as nondrug treatments for medical disorders have been ongoing for over 50 years. Three ORU students being treated for ADHD saw improvements as a result of the treatment. Bellatti believes neurofeedback is a better treatment than medication, and he has seen neurofeedback therapy work firsthand.
Many patients from RenuYou claim the treatment has helped their medical situation completely.
“My attention and processing difficulties led to some anxiety about school and sleep deprivation,” said an anonymous ORU student. “RenuYou Neurofeedback has helped both my insomnia and anxiety along with helping me focus and concentrate. It has been an amazing experience and I am so very grateful.”