Len Ochs, Ph.D.
Flexyx, LLC
106 La Casa Via Suite 110
Walnut Creek, CA 94569
Telephone: 510.906.0422
FAX: 510.906.0419

EEG-DRIVEN STIMULATION AND HETEROGENEOUS MILD HEAD INJURED PATIENTS: EXTENDED OBSERVATIONS


Len Ochs, Ph.D.

This is a replication and extension of previous work. Twenty consecutively-admitted outpatient mild-to-moderate traumatic closed head injury patients, with heterogeneous secondary psychiatric diagnoses, 3 years post accident, were given an average of sixteen 20-minute sessions of EEG-driven photic stimulation following a flexibility-re-establishment (disentrainment) paradigm. The average of 16 sessions was needed to complete treatment. Treatments consisted of 20-minute exposures of EEG-driven photic stimulation. The dominant EEG, between 1 and 40 Hz was extracted 128 times a second and used to reset the strobe frequency 128 times a second. The strobe frequency was always offset from the dominant frequency. Session were given daily.

Pervious findings were replicated and improved. After treatment, ninteen of the twenty were self-described as having more energy during the day, better sleeping at night, much less depression, irritability, and explosiveness, better sense of humor and assertiveness, better concentration, much greater ability to get things done (without ambivalence), and increased ability to absorb written and verbal information. Their sensitivity to the intensity of the light stimulation and premorbid personality were best predictors of speed of recovery: others more hypersensitive took longer by a factor of more than three-to-four to reach the same results. In contrast to the earlier findings based on six sessions, more subtle neuropsychological skill recovery was observed during these sixteen sessions. Attention, concentration, ability to accurately judge social situations and cues, and academic performance were markedly improved. Consistent with previous results, no seizure activity was reported or observed. Side effects were transient (average 3 days) and consistent with prior symptomatology. Two of the 20, with CD issues, found that they became physically intolerant to the drugs they were abusing; one described psychotic episodes as she tried to abuse drugs, which abated with abstinence.

This treatment is non-cognitive and non-psychotherapeutic, as compared to traditional EEG biofeedback treatment methods, which involve operantly increasing the presence of higher frequency EEG activity while inhibiting lower frequency activity predominant in head injury. Group support for subsequent social changes is recommended. This method follows a flexibility-induction paradigm rather than specific-frequency enhancement and inhibition. While non-contingent stimulation rather than operant conditioning was used, EEG activity results were similar to those obtained in EEG biofeedback, except obtained in 20% the typical treatment time. The patients in this sample with heterogeneous diagnoses required almost three times the six session treatment of the homogeneous head injury patients in the first study.

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