Two studies aim to bring funding and attention to neurofeedback in the treatment of PTSD

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“Almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma, according to a new survey on adverse childhood experiences by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). This translates into an estimated 34,825,978 children nationwide, say the researchers who analyzed the survey data. Jane Ellen Stevens, ACEsTooHigh.com

Research from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) shows that people who suffer early childhood neglect and abuse get sick more often throughout their lives and with more serious illnesses than the average population. They also become addicted at much higher rates and are far more likely to attempt and commit suicide. As a result of all of these factors, as a cohort, people who have experienced an overwhelming amount of abuse and neglect as children will die 20 years ahead of their peers.

According to the CDC, “Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence, victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue.” The CDC and Kaiser Permanente launched the first study on this topic from 1995 to 1997, as part of an effort to better understand how childhood abuse and neglect affect later-life health and well-being.

There are numerous treatments available to those who have suffered trauma. However, PTSD, and particularly developmental trauma often leads to chronic, treatment-resistant psychological and physical conditions that ruin lives and strain communities.

Abuse and neglect in childhood lead to disorganized brains that are typically overrun by the limbic eruptions of fear, shame and rage. Medications and talk therapy have not yielded much help. In fact across the board, mental health statistics are worse in the last 30 years — after the introduction of psychotropic medications, according to Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Neurofeedback offers a new approach to regulating the brain and, in turn, to quieting the minds of those so injured in early childhood.

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