Tardive Dyskinesia and Neurofeedback
Examines the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of tar dive dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a heterogeneous syndrome of involuntary hyperkinetic movements that persists and occurs during long-term treatment with antipsychotics. TD is a pervasive yet often misunderstood and under-researched subject matter. Fortunately, there are a few EEG studies which examine TD and its disturbances and give Creedence to the notion that EEG and neurofeedback studies may be used to help control symptoms in the future. According to the Kaaritinen and Vaisanen study, the dyskinetic sample patients, especially the men, had slightly more EEG abnormality, which included theta waves, local disturbances and asymmetry. While informative, this study lends to the question of whether or not NFB can be used to control these abnormalities.
One promising form of treatment, other than neuroleptic medications, is behavioral therapy, which frequently lends itself fo EMG Biofeedback training. The Johnson article mentions that “Biofeedback training is an operant conditioning technique thatuses instrumentation to record, amplify, and immediately feed back information in theform of a signal (typically a tone or a light) to a trainee regarding the strength of a subtlephysiological response over which he or she seeks to gain control (e.g., blood pressure,muscle contractions, heart rate).” That being said, biofeedback could prove to be very useful in future research and training to reduce TD symptoms. Other articles mention relaxation training, which in turn can be modulated by EEG monitoring and feedback.
To date, neurofeedback has been used in several psychiatric disorders, including autism, ADHD, and depression. However, neurofeedback has also been proven to be effective in nonclinical populations, such as targeting attentional focus, memory, and emotion regulation, all of which are affected by TD. Many newer studies are examining this possibility and application. This is based on changes to baseline neural activity, which are also manifested examples of social behavior, thought, perception, and experience. Early uses of neurofeedback focused on the current physiological state, where patients and participants were asked to meet a goal, such as autonomic balance. This can be applied to TD and correcting the many neurological imbalances that result from these psychiatric medications. However, it is important to note that oftentimes with a lifetime diagnosis of TD, there is often comorbid anxiety and depression, for which neurofeedback would also prove to be effective, if not in the actual diagnosis of TD, and certainly in the comorbitities.
In conclusion, TD is a difficult and often misunderstood diagnosis. However, early studies exist which prove to be promising in the implementation of Neurofeedback/EEG monitoring in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychopharmacology. Together, the combination of these treatment approaches can help alleviate the internal and outward turmoil that is so often experienced by this population.