Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a neuropsychiatric affective disorder that can develop after traumatic life-events. Exposure-based therapy is currently one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. However, exposure to traumatic stimuli is so aversive that a significant number of patients drop-out of therapy during the course of treatment. Among various attempts to develop novel therapies that bypass such aversiveness, neurofeedback appears promising. We reviewed current status of neurofeedback trials for PTSD amelioration. As a result, despite promising results are derived from both EEG and fMRI neurofeedback, the efficacies of these approaches have not yet been warranted.
In addition to review of previous neurofeedback trials, we show preliminary data indicating that Decoded Neurofeedback (DecNef) might be more promising approach. We show that DecNef ameliorated PTSD symptoms through 3 days of feedback training. Although tentative, this result was comparable to conventional exposure therapy and conventional neurofeedback approach. Together with a short intervention period required, the results so far are encouraging to suggest that DecNef could be a promising procedure to alleviate actual PTSD symptoms. In the future, a larger sample of participants and a double-blind placebo control design are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of this novel method for treating PTSD.
Current status of neurofeedback for Post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review and the possibility of decoded neurofeedback
DOI : 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00233
Toshinori Chiba, Tetsufumi Kanazawa, Ai Koizumi, Kentarou Ide, Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Shuken Boku, Akitoyo Hishimoto, Miyako Shirakawa, Ichiro Sora, Hakwan Lau, Hiroshi Yoneda and Mitsuo Kawato
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience