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2007 Grant - Martino
Efficacy of qEEG Neurocognitive Training in Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease
Elena Festa Martino, Ph.D.
Providence, Rhode Island
2007 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Much research on Alzheimer's disease has focused on how to best treat individuals that already have the disorder in order to improve their quality of life. One newly developed approach has shown great potential. It involves the use of quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) neurofeedback training. People with Alzheimer's disease develop abnormal electrical activity in their brains. They typically show an increase in lower frequency brain waves and a decrease in higher frequency brain waves.
Neurofeedback therapy is designed to help people consciously control attributes of their brain wave activity. A neurofeedback therapist will electronically monitor an individual's brain waves, and then "train" the individual — often through relaxation techniques — to produce more desirable brain wave patterns. Such training has proven effective with people that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition that produces brain wave abnormalities similar to those in Alzheimer's.
For their proposed grant, Elena Festa Martino, Ph.D., and colleagues will use qEEG neurofeedback training on participants with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, a condition that may precede Alzheimer's. The researchers will analyze any changes in electrical brain activity produced by the training, and they will administer tests to determine any changes in cognitive function among the participants. Results should provide information about this therapy's ability to delay the symptomatic progression of Alzheimer's disease.