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).
Methods: Adolescent women (n=8) treated at the Psychosomatic Department of the University Children´s Hospital Graz received 10 sessions of alpha feedback over a period of five weeks. Additionally, a psychological test battery including DIKJ for depression and Bf-S for mood was examined at a minimum of three points of measurement (pretraining, posttraining, follow-up after 10 weeks).
Results & Conclusions: Neurofeedback might be a promising tool in the treatment of eating disorders, by regulating the patients cortical arousal and influencing psychological wellbeing. Although the cohort was small and the data are still preliminary, the results demonstrate positive changes in well-being during neurofeedback therapy.