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Treatment of Fibromyalgia Incorporating EEG-Driven Stimulation: A Clinical Outcomes Study
By: Horst H. Mueller, Stuart Donaldson, David V. Nelson and Mellisa Layman
Myosymmetries International Inc., Edmonton, Alberta

Thirty patients from a private clinicai practice who met the 1 990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) were followed prospectively through a brainwave-based intervention known as electroencephalograph (EEG)-driven stimulation or EDS. Patients were initially treated with EDS until they reported noticeable improvements in mental clarity, mood, and sleep. Self-reported pain, then, having changed from vaguely diffuse to more specifically localized, was treated with very modest amounts of physically oriented therapies. Pre- to posttreatment and extended follow-up comparisons of psychological and physical functioning indices, specific FS symptom ratings, and EEG activity revealed statistically significant improvements, EDS appeared to be the prime initiator of therapeutic efficacy. Future research is justified for controlled clinical trials and to better understand disease mechanisms.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is a common rheumatologic disorder seen disproportionately in females that is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal aching, the presence of multiple tender points at specific soft tissue sites, and often by morning stiffness, persistent fatigue, and nonrestorative sleep. It also is frequently seen in association with various other physical complaints such as auditory and photo sensitivity, dysmenorrhea, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and neurovascular disturbances as well as psychological distress and cognitive complaints. In addition, FS is frequently associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in that over 60% of persons diagnosed with primary CFS also will meet the classification criteria for FS.

The cause of FS is unknown, and the onset may or may not be preceded by an identifiable illness or other physical or emotional trauma. Explanations that focus on hypothesized central nervous system (CNS) mechanisms (e.g., electroencephalograph [EEG] abnormalities detected during sleep studies associated with nonrestorative sleep, generalized hypervigilance and perceptual amplification of pain, neuroendocrine deficiencies, neurosensitization) have been increasingly prominent. The efficacy of available treatments (e.g., pharmacologic, aerobic exercise, bioleedback, hypnosis, physical therapies, multimodal/multidisciplinary, and so on) have typically demonstrated only moderate success, and large numbers of patients remain very impaired and even disabled.
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