Jonathan Walker, MD
Dr. Walker has included Neurofeedback as a modality in his practice for five years. With at least 50% of his patients, he uses Neurofeedback.
From an interview with Mike Cohen,
Southern Institute of Psycho-Physiology, August 1996.
What kind of problems does this help with?
It improves seizures, depression, low self esteem or congenital head injuries, and it helps the ‘craziness’ that often comes with these . . . Patients report they sleep better, feel better, they don’t have seizures, they are more in control, and that they get more work done.
It helps with closed head injury patients. It helps with chronic neurologic disease, where there is no active injury but there are problems with normal functioning. We’ve had success with multiple sclerosis, with toxic encephalopathy (for example, chemical poisoning interfering with neurologic functioning). With chronic pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia. And of course, ADD we get very good results with.
Neurofeedback has transformed my practice. I believe this represents the future of Neurology.
Here’s virtually a cure for tinnitus — there is no other effective treatment, and this really helps.
How does it help the patient?
In the long run, it puts the patient in control. They are not at risk (because it’s non-invasive and it helps reduce or eliminate prescription drugs). It saves money, it saves the school district’s money for dealing with problem kids, and it complements the educational side, because it helps improve the ability to learn.
Do insurance companies consistently pay for it?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Many of them, particularly HMO’s, are not interested in case results.
Why do you believe so few Neurologists are using it?
Neurologists are unfamiliar with the new technology and protocols that exist, and how powerful it is. Some of the earlier studies done on technology from the 60’s that they read about in school, did not achieve close to the results we are now getting (with fast PCs and other hardware, new software, and newly developed protocols)
Few realize the effects are neurological and physiological. Real changes occur in the brain. It’s not psychologically based. Neurofeedback research and articles show up in journals that Neurologists don’t read, and thus few are familiar with the impact this technology offers.
The clinical results and case histories that exist are powerful and clear. The underlying research that is the basis for clinical work is excellent. In Neurofeedback, clinical practitioners are evolving treatments and protocols faster than any research studies which typically take years and lots of money could possibly keep up with. Thus the best research is being driven by clinical results. There is often no forum for good clinical results. As a result, many medical people now act as if clinical research (which American medicine was built on) is not valid. They are in essence saying that even though I have many tough cases who are getting well, they don’t count. This defies logic. Fortunately, there are many physicians and other health providers, as well as patients, who recognize that the real innovation and success often comes from clinical practice. And success will drive this treatment. It works, and it gets patients better.
I have some rather dramatic success stories that aren’t supposed to happen.