Research on Brain Improvement

Research on Brain Improvement through EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback)

Effectiveness of Neurofeedback in Treating Psychological Problems

Dennis A, Romig, Ph.D.

Neurofeedback or EEG brain wave biofeedback is gaining recognition as a useful treatment alternative for a variety of psychological problems.

The EEG (electroencephalogram) has been used in medicine for over 80 years to measure brain wave activity (Hans Berger, 1924).

In 1969, biofeedback methods like hand temperature warming and neck muscle tension feedback were proven to be effective for relaxation. Dr Barry Sterman made the leap of combing EEG brain wave measurements with biofeedback procedures to effectively reduce epileptic seizures in 1986. Since that time neurofeedback has been used to treat seizure disorders.

Neurofeedback treatment is a non-invasive option for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. In November 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics approved biofeedback and neurofeedback as a Level 1 or “best support” treatment option for children suffering from ADD and ADHD.  Neurofeedback is an alternative for individuals who do not like taking medications or for whom the medications do not work in treating ADD and other psychological problems.

Brain Wave Biofeedback as an Effective

Treatment for Depression

Dennis A. Romig, Ph.D.


Depression is a serious and complex mental health problem.  One out of every five Americans will have the problem sometime during their lifetime.  There are many contributing factors to depression including: physical illness, disease, and mononucleosis, head injuries including minor ones, poor nutrition, traumatic life experiences, and family and genetic factors.  It is often not possible to know how a particular individual came to have this serious problem.

Persons with depression are very sad, have little or no energy, and lack motivation for most complicated activities. They are easily frustrated and will give up trying to do even medium hard tasks.  The depressed person may have spurts of high non-stop energy when they talk or work fast and then swing back into the sad, lethargic and non-talkative state.

There is a common misunderstanding about depression: that the person has control over their depression.  It is popularly thought that all someone must do is simply try hard to think positive and be motivated to do their work or family responsibilities.  This is wrong.  In severe depression the individual’s brain functioning is out of balance.  No matter how much you tell the person to be happy and get up and do something, it is impossible for them.  There is no energy available in the parts of the brain for positive motivation, thinking, and acting.  The severely depressed person’s brain is like a car out of gas.

Brain Improvement Center’s system of Neurofeedback is a unique treatment method for effectively treating depression.  It works directly on the brain through the skull. The neurofeedback therapist assists the client in directly changing his or her brainwaves to achieve control and energy over their thinking and actions.  The therapist places sensors on the specific parts of the head which are above the areas of the brain that are out of balance.  A computer screen shows the client when their brain waves are out of balance.  The therapist teaches the client how to directly improve the balance of their brain waves and the client can immediately see the changes on the computer screen.

The healthy balancing of brain waves requires gradual energy shifts in the most important brain waves that contribute to depression.  Individuals who have been successfully treated for depression see the therapist once or twice a week for a total of 15 to 30 sessions.  The number of total sessions required is based upon the severity of the depression and whether there are other brain challenges like anxiety, attention deficit disorder, addiction, and problems with the body’s immune system.

A main advantage of neurofeedback for the treatment of depression is that it changes the underlying brain imbalances that produce sadness, lack of energy, and inactivity.  In turn this provides the huge benefit to the client and their family of eliminating severe depression from the person’s life.  One study that the brain improvement center conducted of our neurofeedback combined with cognitive behavior methods with 20 severely depressed clients had a relapse and reoccurrence rate of 5% after one year and 10% after two years.

Other forms of treatment for severe depression have high rates of relapse and reoccurrence after treatment is stopped:

  • Prescription Drug treatments: Relapse recurs approximately 50% within 1 year and 70% within 2 years
  • Cognitive Behavioral therapy: Relapse recurs 29% within 1 year and 54% within 2 years.
  • Other Counseling therapies: Relapse recurs approximately 30% within 1 year and 55% within 2 years.

Brain Improvement Center Cognitive Behavior Therapy combined with EEG Brain Wave Biofeedback:  Relapse was only 5 % after one year and only 10% after two years- a 90% success rate.

Prescription drug treatments do provide relief of depression symptoms for some people, especially in the first few months of taking the medication as prescribed. As Brain Improvement Center clients taking medication progress in balancing their brain through brain wave biofeedback, they can gradually reduce the amount of medication and ultimately eliminate the need for the medication.

For our clients on medications for depression we work with them and their physicians to coordinate the careful withdrawal of the medication as the brain, the person’s moods, and their behaviors all improve.


  1. Jeffrey R. Vittengl; Lee Anna Clark; Todd W. Dunn and Robin B. Jarrett.  Reducing Relapse and Recurrence in Unipolar Depression: A Comparative Meta-Analysis of Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy’s Effects Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology   2007, Vol. 75, No. 3, 475–488
  2. Corydon Hammond, PhD Professor & Psychologist, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of Utah School of Medicine Neurofeedback for Depression (2006) – International Society for Neurofeedback & Research
  3. Angelo Bolea, PhD and Dennis Romig, PhD. Immediate and Follow-up Success of Neurofeedback Treatment for 20 Severely Depressed Clients: Quadrant Brain Theory and Application. Proceedings of the International Society of Neurofeedback and Research 2013 Conference, Carrollton, Texas

Successful Treatment of 25 Consecutive Clients with Post-Concussion Syndrome using Neurofeedback and a Variety of Adjunctive Interventions

Dennis Romig, PhD and Angelo Bolea, PhD.

Proceedings of the International Society of Neurofeedback and Research 2014 Conference, San Diego California

In 2013, the National Football League agreed to a $765 million settlement to pay for pro football player post-concussion brain injuries. The recognition that all head injuries can have delayed, sometimes decades of delay, impact on cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning. Head injuries from all sports, traffic accidents, and military service are being more closely scrutinized for the delayed symptoms of post-concussion syndrome disabilities.

This presentation offered proven assessment and treatment methods for post-concussion syndrome and other head injuries. It applied the Quadrant Brain Theory of individualized Brain Quadrant EEG assessment and other neuropsychology assessments as the basis for treatment. Post-Concussion Syndrome and most head injuries are not a unitary condition, but instead are multifaceted with various constellations of symptoms. This necessitates careful assessment protocols that are linked with specific treatment methods that address the symptoms and clusters.

The results of a study of 25 consecutive clients with Post-Concussion Syndrome brain injuries were presented. The application of the Quadrant Brain Theory was previously demonstrated as successful in the neurofeedback treatment of chronic inpatient schizophrenia (Bolea, 2010) and severe, suicidal depressed outpatient clients (Bolea and Romig, 2013).

Twenty-one (21) of the 25 clients were completely rehabilitated, while the other four clients went from total disability to only partial disability.

Immediate and Follow-up Success of Neurofeedback Treatment for 20 Severely Depressed Clients:

Quadrant Brain Theory and


Angelo Bolea, PhD and Dennis Romig, PhD

Proceedings of the International Society of Neurofeedback and

Research 2013 Conference, Carrollton, Texas

The application of the Quadrant Brain Theory was previously demonstrated as successful in the neurofeedback treatment of chronic inpatient schizophrenia (Bolea, 2010). The Quadrant Brain Theory and Rationale was since applied with a cohort of 20 suicidal and severely depressed physician referred out- patients. The initial treatment success was 95% with only one client dropping out of treatment. The 12-month follow-up had 0% relapse of all clients completing treatment. These results compared to 50% relapse for prescription drug only treatment for depression study groups. The Quadrant Brain Theory and Methodology’s utility extends beyond success in treating depression and schizophrenia. The theory was presented as well as its application in the treatment of depression.