Objective: Persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) often include attention deficits, particularly orienting and executive attention. Research in other clinical populations has demonstrated that neurofeedback therapy (NFT) is effective at improving orienting and executive attention, although its effects on attentional networks in patients with PPCS are unknown.
Method: In this single-group pilot study, we examined attention-related event-related potentials (ERPs) – N1 and P3 – and cognitive outcomes following Live Z-score training (LZT), a variant of NFT.
Results: No changes in early selective attention, as indexed by N1 amplitude, were observed; however, P3 amplitude, which indexes neural resource allocation, increased following LZT and returned to baseline by 3 months. Cognitive performance improved following treatment, which was sustained at 3 months. The magnitude of change in P3 and ANT performance did not differ between orienting or executive attention, suggesting LZT improved general attentional processing efficiency.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that LZT may positively affect attention globally, but does not target specific attention networks. These pilot data warrant the initiation of a clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of LZT for treating attention deficits in patients with PPCS.
Keywords: ERP; Traumatic brain injury; attention; attention network task; persistent post-concussive symptoms.
Hershaw J, Hill-Pearson CA, Arango JI, Souvignier AR, Pazdan RM. Changes in attentional processing following neurofeedback in patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms: a pilot study. Brain Inj. 2020 Dec 5;34(13-14):1723-1731. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2020.1812720. Epub 2020 Nov 16. PMID: 33196305.