A pre-post design including 22 females was used to evaluate the effectiveness of neurofeedback in the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. Resting EEG measures and a psychological test-battery assessing eating behavior traits, clinical symptoms, emotionality, and mood were obtained. While both the experimental (n = 10) and control group (n = 12) received their usual maintenance treatment, the experimental group received 10 sessions of individual alpha frequency training over a period of 5 weeks as additional treatment.
Background: The clinical picture of anorexia nervosa represents a severe disease, during which serious physical and mental complications can occur. Girls and young women are most affected, the aetiopathogenesis is usually multifactorial.
Theoretical Background: Current literature shows that patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) exhibit reduced relative alpha power and increased beta power in the EEG (Hatch et al., 2010). Neurofeedback as operant conditioning technique is supposed to lead to an increase of positive therapy outcome by changing long-lasting EEG frequency patterns and by regulating the “hyperarousal” found in AN patients (Gunkelman & Johnstone, 2005).