Neurofeedback

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sat Mar 20 11:17:20 EST 1999


In <921897916mnewsroshicorp at xROSHI.com> roshicorp at xROSHI.com (Chuck
Davis) writes: 
>
>> 
>> One especially must resort to this question when somewhat
controversial
>> claims are being made.
>> 
>> F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
>> New York Neuropsychology Group
>> 
> I'm just an engineer, Frank, but nearly everything I read on these
> lists, MS and ADD, are "controversial". My system seems to be a
> good, drug free attack on these syndromes. 
>

Maybe you should read something besides "these lists".  In some of
these lists, immunization against disease is "controversial".  No doubt
there are lists in which the "round earth theory" is controversial.

That is why my original post (which you truncated) asked for proper
citations (i.e. references to articles in peer-reviewed journals), not
the URL for someone's webpage.

In what sense are MS and ADD "controversial"?  One may debate theories
of their etiologies, proper diagnosis and treatment, or rates of
occurrence (especially for ADD), but the basic reality of their
existence cannot be rationally denied.  Controversies about details of
the aspects I referred to are addressed with published data, obtained
with methods that are carefully described so that readers may replicate
and/or criticize the method oor the conclusions.

I believe much of this is lacking in controversial claims for efficacy
of "neurofeedback" in various conditions.  Please correct me if I am
wrong.  An appropriate correction would be in the form of relevant
citations.   (n.b. self-published books/moonographs do not count any
more than webpages do)

You say your system "seems to be" a "good, drug-free attack on these
syndromes".  In the context it seems you are claiming efficacy in
treating MS.  Given the frequency and unpredicatability of MS symptom
exacerbation and amelioration, the chances of a coincidental
improvement after neurofeedback are great (patients are most likely to
seek treatment during exacerbations, so the chance events are rather
asymmetrical), so considerable sophistication in experimental design is
necessary to identify real effects.

Efficacy in ADD is more plausible, but still in need of actual proof. 
Given that improvement is likely to be measured by self-report or by
observation by interested third parties (e.g. parents), the few
objective measures available being rarely used clinically, careful
attention to double-blind protocols are especially important.

If you are not sophisticated in these areas, submit your findings for
reiew in an appropriate journal; deficiencies will be readily pointed
out, and you will then have an opportunity to improve your experimental
procedures for a second attempt.

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New Yoork Neuropsychology Group





More information about the Neur-sci mailing list