Neurofeedback Treatment for Stroke

Have you or a loved one suffered from a stroke?

Neurofeedback is clinically proven effective in treating symptoms following a stroke, helping many patients increase independence and improve quality of life.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can often leave the brain with abnormal and irregular brain waves.  These types of injuries typically have no treatment options as the brain generally needs to repair itself, and injured brains are far more likely to experience trouble with this natural healing process.

Neurofeedback can help decrease the severity of stroke symptoms

Stroke is a disorder that affects millions of Americans each year and occurs when the blood supply to any part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced.  This disruption prevents the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients, and can kill (brain) cells within minutes.  When brain cells die during a stroke, bodily functions and abilities controlled by that area of the brain can be lost, sometimes temporarily but many times permanently.

Although some people can recover completely from a stroke, approximately 2/3rds of stroke victims live with some type of disability after the event. The degree of severity of stroke symptoms depends largely on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged.

How can neurofeedback help?

By measuring and mapping the abnormal brainwave activity in a post-stroke brain, qEEGs have been shown to have a highly prognostic function in predicting recovery in cerebral, ishemic, and hemorrhagic stroke victims.  Neurofeedback promotes self-healing by slowly retraining the brain to return to normal functions using operant conditioning and the brain’s neuroplasticity.  It helps return brainwave functioning to optimal levels and therefore improve post-stroke symptoms such as:1,3

• confusion and memory loss

• trouble producing/understanding speech

• executive functioning

• trouble with gross motor skills such as ambulation, self-care, and ADL’s (activities of daily living)

• headaches/convergent issues

• numbness/weakness in arms or legs

• feelings of depression/anxiety

Jane’s Story

“I had two strokes before I came here and my memory, concentration, and my focus and attention span were bad.  I couldn’t remember much at all.  After a few sessions I started to notice a difference in the way I was at home.  After neurofeedback I’m doing much better, I am driving and I wouldn’t drive before. I wouldn’t communicate much and now I get out and go to a couple different groups and go into crowds.  I am a teacher and now I am able to go back to work.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two types of stroke?

There are two types of stroke, each caused by a unique event.

An ischemic stroke, which accounts for about 85% of all strokes, occurs when the arteries to the brain are blocked or partially obstructed by a blood clot. The two most common types of ischemic stroke are:

A thrombotic stroke is caused by a blood clot forming in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. A clot may be caused by one of a number of different artery conditions, the most common being plaque build-up.

Embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms from the brain (such as in the heart), travels through the bloodstream and gets lodged in a brain artery.
The second type of stroke, called a hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures. This is a less common type of stroke than ischemic, yet is more likely to be fatal to the victim.

The two most common types of embolic stroke are:

  1. Intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and damages the cells in the surrounding tissue.
  2. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is caused by an artery near or on the surface of the brain bursts, and the blood spills into the space between the brain and the skull.
    Although not technically a stroke, when blood flow to part of the brain is disrupted for a short period of time, it is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The effects of these attacks mimic stroke-like symptoms and may be an important pre-stroke indicator for the patient.

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

The American Heart Associate (AHA) uses the acronym FAST as a recommendation for how to spot signs of stroke. According to the AHA, FAST refers to:

  • F-Face Drooping
  • A-Arm Weakness
  • S-Speech Difficulty
  • T-Time to call 911 (for anyone exhibiting the above symptoms)

Other common stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble with speech or understanding speech
  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Trouble with vision
  • Trouble with gross motor skills such as walking
  • Severe headache

What are the leading causes of stroke?

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol
  3. Smoking
  4. Obesity
  5. Diabetes

Are strokes preventable?

Studies show that 80% of strokes are preventable by living a healthy lifestyle,  despite stroke being the 5th leading cause of death for Americans and the leading cause of adult disability.

Is Neurofeedback Therapy a clinically proven treatment for stroke?

There are many research studies that show positive support for neurofeedback as a treatment for stroke.  Please see a few examples below, and don’t hesitate to contact MyBrainDr for additional information and studies.

Specific effects of EEG based neurofeedback training on memory functions in post-stroke victims.

View Study

“About 70 % of both patients and controls achieved distinct gains in neurofeedback performance leading to improvements in verbal short- and long-term memory, independent of the used neurofeedback protocol. The SMR patient group showed specific improvements in visuo-spatial short-term memory performance, whereas the Upper Alpha patient group specifically improved their working memory performance. Neurofeedback training effects were even stronger than the effects of traditional cognitive training methods in stroke patients. Neurofeedback training showed no effects on other cognitive functions than memory.”

“Post-stroke victims with memory deficits could benefit from neurofeedback training as much as healthy controls. The used neurofeedback training protocols (SMR, Upper Alpha) had specific as well as unspecific effects on memory. Hence, neurofeedback might offer an effective cognitive rehabilitation tool improving memory deficits of stroke survivors.”

Effect of neurofeedback and electromyographic-biofeedback therapy on improving hand function in stroke patients.

View Study

From the Abstract:

“This study was designed as a preliminary clinical trial. Thirty patients with stroke entered the study. Hand function was evaluated by the Jebsen Hand Function Test pre and post-intervention. Neurofeedback training was aimed at enhancing sensorimotor rhythm after mental motor imagery.”

“Hand function was improved significantly in the 3 groups. The spectral power density of the sensorimotor rhythm band in the neurofeedback group increased after mental motor imagery. Maximum and mean contraction values of electrical activities of the APB muscle during voluntary contraction increased significantly after EMG-biofeedback training. Patients in the neurofeedback and EMG-biofeedback groups showed hand improvement similar to conventional OT. Further studies are suggested to assign the best protocol for neurofeedback and EMG-biofeedback therapy.”

Review our Sources

  1. Quantitative Electroencephalogaphy (QEEG) and Neurofeedback Training (NFT) for Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
  2. The Use of EEG-Neurofeedback in Rehabilitation for Speech Disorders in Patients After Stroke
  3. Upper Alpha Based Neurofeedback Training in Chronic Stroke: Brain Plasticity Processes and Cognitive Effects

How do you know if this can help me or my loved one?

The first step is always a FREE Evaluation. During this one-on-one consultation, we will discuss your unique health history, current treatments, and if neurofeedback could be an effective treatment for you. No obligation. Call us at (919) 721-4800 or select the ‘FREE Evaluation’ button to schedule your FREE Evaluation today!