The Challenge of ADHD


Consumers, families and health care providers are all searching for better ways to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anyone who deals with this baffling condition knows that our current treatments do not work well enough. ADHD comes in many forms, with many genetic variations affecting how the symptoms emerge, and how various brain areas are affected.

There is no one magic silver bullet that will fix ADHD. Our approach is to use multiple treatments that target specific aspects of brain dysfunction and behavior found in ADHD. By enhancing these aspects of brain function, we can help improve attention, memory, planning, organization, impulse control, emotion regulation, hyperactivity, academic and work performance, and behavior.

Many people with ADHD need to be on medications in order to function. However, in many cases, it is possible to reduce the dose of medication required, thereby reducing side effects. In other cases, complementary treatments can help improve symptoms that are not adequately controlled by medication. Complementary treatments have a vast array of mechanisms of action that treat specific ADHD symptoms by improving overall brain function, cellular metabolism, energy production, autonomic nervous system activity and stress response system balance.

Mind-body practices help by calming down the over-reactive stress response system and improving mental focus, body awareness and emotional regulation. Yoga practices improve alertness, attention, mental clarity, calmness, emotional self-regulation, physical self-control and awareness of oneself and others. For example, specific breathing practices can be used to calm the mind, quiet distracting thoughts, reduce anxiety and improve memory.

Mother Nature provided us with plants, for example, Rhodiola rosea, whose stimulating compounds do not cause addiction, or the many side effects that occur with prescription medications. Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone produced by a small brain structure, the pineal gland, to regulate sleep and other natural body rhythms. Melatonin is safe and effective for treating sleep problems that are commonly found with ADHD. Mild brain stimulation techniques, such as cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) and neurofeedback can correct brain wave imbalances, thereby facilitating calmer mental states.

The treatments we describe include nutrients, mind-body practices, brain stimulation and neurofeedback techniques - all of which can help people with ADD live, love and work more successfully.

Adapted from:

Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD
New Options for Kids, Adults & Clinicians (WW Norton)
Richard P. Brown, MD , Patricia L. Gerbarg, Md

Neurofeedback and ADHD

Neurofeedback, or neurotherapy, a subspecialization of biofeedback, is based on learning theory. It is best administered by a qualified or licensed professional who has received training in one or more subspecializations. Neurofeedback is often used in combination with other treatments such as medication or psychotherapy.

Neurofeedback has been shown to be helpful for epilepsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and anxiety disorders. It is may also be useful in the treatment of for traumatic brain injury (TBI), alcoholism and other substance abuse and insomnia.

Adapted from:

Neurofeedback: An Emerging Technology for Treating Central Nervous System Dysregulation
Stephen Larsen, PhD, Leslie Sherlin, PhD
Psychiatr Clin N Am 36(2013) 163-168

Click here to read the complete paper

Learn more:

International Society for Neurofeedback and Research

The ISNR is a non-profit member organization for professionals pursuing research and the promotion of self regulation of brain activity for healthier functioning. Their site includes educational materials and a comprehensive neurofeedback bibliography.


Cranial electrotherapy stimulator that enhances alpha waves

Fisher Wallace
Cranial electrotherapy Stimulator

Products and programs that reduce stress

International Society for Neurofeedback and Research
Information, conferences, training, research and referrals

Stone Mountain Center for Counseling and Biofeedback
Dr. Stephen Larsen provides evaluation, neurofeedback and other treatments.


Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Provides information and networking to help adults with ADHD. Active in raising awareness, advocacy, outreach and education.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
(800) 233-4050
Provides education, advocacy and support for both children and adults with ADHD

Journals and Magazines

Excellent newsletter covering many topics relevant to home, work, school, parenting and relationships.

ADHD Report
Expert coverage of current developments in ADHD.

Journal of Neurotherapy
Research on the latest developments in neurotherapy.


The Healing Power of Neurofeedback
The Revolutionary LENS Technique for Restoring Optimal Brain Function

Stephen Larsen, PhD
Healing Arts Press 2006

The Neurofeedback Solution:
How to Treat Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Brain Injury, Stroke, PTSD, and More

Stephen Larsen, PhD
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company 2012

What is Neurofeedback?
D. Corydon Hammond, Ph.D.
Journal of Neurotherapy
Vol 10(4) 2006
Click here to read article