• Users Online: 412
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 161-162

Role of EEG biofeedback in the treatment of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the era of COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Date of Submission04-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance09-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome.
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_61_20

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Okechukwu CE. Role of EEG biofeedback in the treatment of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the era of COVID-19 pandemic. MGM J Med Sci 2020;7:161-2

How to cite this URL:
Okechukwu CE. Role of EEG biofeedback in the treatment of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the era of COVID-19 pandemic. MGM J Med Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Jul 6];7:161-2. Available from: http://www.mgmjms.com/text.asp?2020/7/3/161/292380

Dear Editor,

There have been reports of an increase in depression, panic, suicide ideation, and anxiety in the time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among healthy adults, such could be more severe in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that is usually characterized by the inability to pay attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.[1] Inattentiveness usually shows when an patient with ADHD is engaged in specific duty or tasks that involve continuous and logical reasoning, concentration, and alertness.[1] ADHD is more prevalent in men than in women, impulsivity in ADHD manifest in actions which are quick and have the possible risk of adverse consequence such as not paying attention to cues, quitting one’s careers or studies without carefully contemplating on the outcomes.[1] Hyperactivity in ADHD is basically detected in excessive motor function. Adults with ADHD usually talk too much, feel restless, or agitated most at times, irritating other people in the process. Impulsivity and inattention hinder academic progress, reasoning approaches, proficiencies, and adapting to rapid changes.[1]

Adults with ADHD are very vulnerable to the psychological distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures, and they might exhibit increased behavioral problems and maladaptation.[2] While applying long period of social distancing measures, individuals such as adults with ADHD that would find it hard to adhere to the instructions should be distinguished and special attention should be given to them.[2]

ADHD in adults is mainly treated using pharmacological agents, mostly stimulants like atomoxetine, and psychosocial interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness training, and cognitive remedy.[3] Electroencephalograph (EEG) is a machine used to measure the electrical activity emitted in waves by the human brain. When the findings from an EEG measurement are evaluated, neurologists can detect certain brain wave patterns recorded by the machine.[4] There are frequencies of brain waves that are emitted when a human being is awake; these are alpha (medium), beta (fast), and theta (slow) waves. Alpha waves are seen when a person is in a calm state, and not actively contemplating or interacting with one’s environment. Beta waves are present when a person is intermingling with the surrounding environment, either by concentrating, thinking, or solving problems.[4] Theta waves manifest during times of drowsiness, daydreaming or during light sleep, but can also occur during thoughtless, and restless overactivity. Another type of brain wave, called the delta wave, is observed during deep sleep.[4]

EEG biofeedback is an adjunct therapy for ADHD based on findings that several patients with ADHD show low levels of arousal in frontal brain areas, with an excess of theta waves and a deficit of beta waves.[4] During EEG biofeedback therapy the brain can be trained to increase the levels of arousal, which increases beta waves and reduce theta waves, and consequently, reduce ADHD symptoms, EEG biofeedback therapy entails placing electrodes on a patient’s head to monitor brain activity.[4] Feedback is given to the patient with signals that can be as uncomplicated as an audio beep or as intricate as a video game when the brainwaves are of the desired frequency, the beep may inform the patient, or the character in the game will move in the proper direction.[4] When the patient has learned how to increase these arousal levels, neuroscientists believe improvements in attention will result and that there will be reductions in hyperactive and impulsive behavior.[4] However, EEG-biofeedback techniques mainly alpha, theta, and alpha–theta enhancements are effective treatments of anxiety disorders in adults, and they are beneficial for adults with ADHD.[4]

In conclusion, the application of EEG biofeedback in the management of ADHD could help adult patients with ADHD to improve their mental performance, which manifests in the form of listening patiently and remembering what was said or staying focused and following through on tasks and it could also minimize stress-related problems and anxiety in the era of COVID-19.[4] However, an ideal state of mental functioning via biofeedback will widen social competences and perception, decrease fatigue, improve calmness, and reflection on alternate tactics to tasks, enhanced reaction time, improve response accuracy, increase mental flexibility, and resilience in adults with ADHD.[4] Using EEG biofeedback in ADHD treatment will be an important approach in improving the mental health and quality of life among patients with ADHD in the era of COVID-19. However, a combination of EEG-biofeedback and psychosocial interventions may yield a better outcome. Hence, further studies are needed to investigate the combined effects of EEG-biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy on anxiety among patients with ADHD.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Matthews M, Nigg JT, Fair DA Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 2014;16:235-66.  Back to cited text no. 1
Cortese S, Asherson P, Sonuga-Barke E, Banaschewski T, Brandeis D, Buitelaar J, et al. ADHD management during the COVID-19 pandemic: Guidance from the European ADHD Guidelines Group. Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020;4:412-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Volkow ND, Swanson JM Clinical practice: Adult attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. N Engl J Med 2013;369:1935-44.  Back to cited text no. 3
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Available from: https://chadd.org/about-adhd/neurofeedback-eeg-biofeedback/. [Last accessed on 2020 Jul 26].  Back to cited text no. 4


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded167    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal