In normal elderly subjects, the best electroencephalogram (EEG)-based predictor of cognitive impairment is theta EEG activity abnormally high for their age. The goal of this work was to explore the effectiveness of a neurofeedback (NFB) protocol in reducing theta EEG activity in normal elderly subjects who present abnormally high theta absolute power (AP). Fourteen subjects were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group; the experimental group received a reward (tone of 1000 Hz) when the theta AP was reduced, and the control group received a placebo treatment, a random administration of the same tone. The results show that the experimental group exhibits greater improvement in EEG and behavioral measures. However, subjects of the control group also show improved EEG values and in memory, which may be attributed to a placebo effect. However, the effect of the NFB treatment was clear in the EG, although a placebo effect may also have been present.
Becerra J, Fernández T, Roca-Stappung M, Díaz-Comas L, Galán L, Bosch J, Espino M, Moreno AJ, Harmony T. Neurofeedback in healthy elderly human subjects with electroencephalographic risk for cognitive disorder. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;28(2):357-67. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111055. PMID: 22002790.