The effects of alpha asymmetry and high-beta down-training neurofeedback for patients with the major depressive disorder and anxiety symptoms

San Yu Wang, I. Mei Lin, Sheng Yu Fan, Yu Che Tsai, Cheng Fang Yen, Yi Chun Yeh, Mei Feng Huang, Yu Lee, Nien Mu Chiu, Chi Fa Hung, Peng Wei Wang, Tai Ling Liu, Huang Chi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Alpha-asymmetry neurofeedback (ALAY) was applied to patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) based on the theory of frontal alpha asymmetry. Neurophysiological studies have found a higher high-beta activity of electroencephalography (EEG) at the posterior cortex among patients with comorbid MDD and anxiety symptoms. The present study examined the effects of ALAY and high-beta down-training (Beta) neurofeedback in symptoms of depression and anxiety and EEG parameters. Method: Eighty-seven patients with comorbid MDD and anxiety symptoms were allocated to the ALAY, Beta, or control groups. Both neurofeedback groups received ten-session neurofeedback. All participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and five minutes resting EEG recording at pre-test and post-test. EEG raw signals were transformed into an A1 score [log (F4 alpha) - log (F3 alpha)], P3 and P4 high-beta power. Results: BDI-II and BAI scores decreased at post-test in both ALAY and Beta groups, but no significant difference between the two groups. No significant interaction effect in A1 score at pre-test and post-test between the ALAY, Beta, and control groups. The P3 high-beta was significantly decreased in the Beta group, an increase in the control group, and no change in the ALAY group at post-test compared to the pre-test. Conclusions: Both neurofeedback groups decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. The Beta group was more effective in decreasing high-beta power at the parietal cortex compared to other groups. This non-invasive psychological intervention can be used in the future for patients with comorbid MDD and anxiety symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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