The Efficacy of Neurofeedback for Pediatric Epilepsy
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Approximately 470,000 children (birth to 18 years old) are affected by Epilepsy (CDC in Epilepsy. https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/index.html, 2018). Since the initial findings in the 1970s, Sensorimotor Rhythm (SMR) has been continuously utilized for the treatment of seizures. Studies have consistently demonstrated that SMR reduces the frequency and severity of seizure activity. Although a mix of pediatric cases, adolescents and adults have been sampled in previous studies, no age effects have been reported. There continues to be a lack of research in the area of neurofeedback for the treatment of epilepsy in the pediatric population. To date, no randomized control trial specific to pediatric epilepsy has been published. The existing research regarding the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of epilepsy provides strong evidence that neurofeedback training might be an effective treatment for pediatric epilepsy. However, existing studies are not specific to the pediatric population. Moreover, there is a lack of rigor in the studies in which the effects of neurofeedback in children and adolescents with epilepsy are documented. Therefore, based on the current literature, there is not enough evidence to state that neurofeedback is efficacious for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. However, the APBB criteria for evidence-based practices indicate that neurofeedback for pediatric epilepsy is Possibly Efficacious (Level 2). Future research in which a randomized controlled trial approach is utilized will greatly help to increase support for the use of neurofeedback as an efficacious treatment for epilepsy.
KeywordsEpilepsy Neurofeedback Pediatrics Evidenced-based practices Intervention
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