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Seizure Disorders - Quick Facts

  • Brain training can reduce the frequency of seizures.
  • Brain training can increase resiliency to seizures.
  • Brain training is the 1st line of intervention for seizure disorders.

There is a large body of evidence supporting EEG training for seizure disorders dating back to Dr. Sterman’s seminal research in the 1960s. It is now a first-line intervention. Results are highly individualistic and, as such, can vary from slight reduction to full elimination. Many neurologists who work with seizure disorders are not fully schooled on EEG therapies for seizure disorders, still relying on pharmaceutical intervention and invasive surgeries.

Non-pharmaceutical EEG training is a safe treatment option for women who wish to become pregnant or for women who wish to avoid the risks associated with pharmaceuticals with known (negative) fetal impact during pregnancy.



For diagnosed or suspected seizure disorders, please book a combined 5 point ClinicalQ and 19 channel Normative intake with Dr Swingle.

About the Conditions

Seizures are temporary changes in the normal and continuous electrical functioning of the brain, which can cause sudden changes in behavior. There are many different types of seizures. Some seizures, considered “primary generalized seizures,” are more widespread in the electrical discharges across the brain, while “partial seizures” are more limited in the area of the brain they affect. If seizures start in a specific area of the brain, then the early symptoms of the seizure often reflect the functions of that area. For example, if a seizure starts from the part of the brain that controls movement in a body part, then the seizure may be seen as jerking of that body part.

Seizures have many different causes, including epilepsy, brain injuries, infections, stroke or tumors, and substance use or withdrawal. Other factors that may increase the risk of seizures include exposure to flashing or strobe lights at specific frequencies, low blood sugar, stress, sleep deprivation, and changes in medications. Seizures are always a significant medical concern, as they can lead to irreversible brain damage and even be potentially life-threatening.

Recommended Neurofeedback Treatment

The treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy was one of the first applications of Neurotherapy. Discovered by Dr. Sterman of UCLA School of Medicine, early Neurofeedback researchers found that increasing the amplitude of a specific brainwave (the Sensory Motor Rhythm) over a specific brain area (sensory motor cortex) increased resistance to seizures. Since his discovery more than five decades ago, increasing the amplitude of the SMR has become a basic treatment for many involuntary movement disorders, including seizures, tics, and tremors.

Treatment for seizures is important, but approximately a third of seizure disorders are not effectively managed by medications. Furthermore, the medications available often have unpleasant side effects. The ketogenic diet can be helpful but is hard to adhere to, and only about 10-15% of people become seizure-free with ridged adherence.

As the fields of neurology and Neurofeedback have developed, so have procedures for identifying and treating the brainwave patterns associated with seizures. Given the medical vulnerability of people experiencing seizures, a 19 channel Normative QEEG and consultation with a Neurofeedback trained neurologist are required for all clients with seizure disorders.

Additional Recommended Psychological Services

Diagnosis of any life-threatening condition can be traumatic, as can experiencing a severe seizure. In addition, stress management and lifestyle factors such as diet and sleep hygiene are important in reducing the risk of seizures. Psychological counseling can be helpful in addressing these issues. Life with a seizure disorder can also impact couples and families, so specific supportive couples and family therapy can be important in preventing and addressing burnout and other impacts on relationships.

Recommended Reading

Biofeedback for the Brain

Further reading...

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Birbaumer, N., Elbert, T., Rockstroh, B., Daum, I., Wolf, P., & Canavan, A. (1991). Clinical psychological treatment of epileptic seizures: A controlled study. Chapter in A. Ehlers et al. (Eds.), Perspectives and Promises of Clinical Psychology. New York: Plenum Press.

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