Neurofeedback in Europe for Aspergers is a focus of research and development of treatments for autism spectrum disorders.
Brain Activity in the Autism Spectrum
Brain activity in people with autism is different, as researchers note. It appears that abnormal connections between the neurons prevent the regions of the brain to function normally.
Individuals with pervasive developmental disorders like Asperger's syndrome experience brain connectivity differences that affect behavior and perception. Some regions of the brain may become overactive while other relevant areas are not receiving the necessary information to process information as it does in typical brains. Problems with brain connectivity can lead to deficits in mental processing that show up in behaviors and responses. For example, a child on the spectrum may understand what objects are and how they function but is unable to answer a simple question:
"What do you wear on your feet?"
The child replies, "Feet," while lifting his foot and pointing to it.
"That's your foot. Now, what do you put on your foot."
"Do you wear a hat on your feet or shoes on your feet?" (Using a picture of each as prompts)
"Shoes," he says, pointing to the picture of a shoe.
The child understands what feet are and he knows that people wear shoes on their feet but he is unable to answer the question correctly. This indicates that areas of the brain are not communicating well enough to produce the desired response. Neurofeedback for Aspergers seeks to help the brain make the appropriate connections.
Neurofeedback in Europe for Aspergers
Neurofeedback is a therapeutic technique that measures brainwaves to help the individual monitor his or her responses to sensory input. Electrodes are placed on the patient's scalp so they can monitor brainwaves while providing instant feedback about the changes the brain as the patient responds.
The information may be beneficial to AS patients because they can recognize the brainwave patterns and adjust accordingly. Self-regulation and a heightened awareness of the brain's responses are important factors in this type of treatment.
Those interested in learning more can find organizations, research and clinics offering information and therapy for people on the autism spectrum.
Biofeedback Foundation of Europe
The Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (BFE) funds research, promotes education and provides training for people interested in biofeedback. The nonprofit organization is funded by charitable donations and through funds raised through affiliated activities and products:
- Course supplies
- Online courses
The specific area of interest in autistic disorders through the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe is EEG biofeedback, another term used for neurofeedback. Leading clinicians and researchers serve on the BFE's advisory board and the organization sponsors activities in Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Europe.
Biofeedback Foundation of Europe Research Project
An ambitious research project is in development through the BFE. The project would collect data from individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum of disorders and their parents. The data includes:
- Electroencepalography (EEG) measurements
- Heart rate variability (HRV)
- Contact patterns in families
The data would help researchers evaluate the effect that brainwave training in neurofeedback and HRV training has on individuals on the autism spectrum. The focus is to detect changes in neural activation patterns after neurofeedback training as compared to individuals not trained. The research would track contact patterns and emotional regulation through three generations of families with autistic members.
Learning With Neurofeedback Clinic
The Learning With Neurofeedback Clinic is based in Wimbledon Village in London. Those interested in scheduling appointments for neurofeedback in Europe for Aspergers may benefit from exploring this option. The clinic is run by Melissa Foks, who has experience in this field:
- Trained in neurofeedback at Groningen University Hospital
- Masters degree in the psychology of education
- International Society for Neurofeedback & Research
- Society for Applied Neuroscience
- British Psychological Society
The Learning With Neurofeedback Clinic focuses on improving brain function by helping it regulate brainwaves. In essence, the brain uses the mind to correct the irregular patterns in patients with Aspergers as well as other conditions.