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Bio/Neurofeedback Equipment in SA Context

What’s out there – how to pick the optimal device for your needs:

 

There are many devices available.

See www.AAPB.org or www.BCIA.org for guidance or speak to a certified SA clinician for guidance.

 

AAPB surveys the major manufacturers of biofeedback equipment every few years. They provide descriptive information about each of the devices. Manufacturers can update the information at any time by contacting AAPB. They ask questions such as:

  • how many channels does each device have

  • what it is used for

  • which physiological signals can it measure etc.

 

Current information is dependent on the frequency of information updates by the manufacturer.

Regulation of Biofeedback Devices: 

Clinical biofeedback devices are regulated by the US Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in SA such devices need to approved by the SA Department of Health (EC Declaration of Conformity by the manufacturer in terms of EC Directive 93/42/EEC or 90/385/EEC).

 

You should not use any biofeedback device for clinical applications that is not labelled as safe and effective by the FDA unless you are using it for approved research. Look at research papers in the field to identify the superior quality manufacturers of equipment that have effective sampling of signals capacity to meet the stringent research markers.

 

Each device approved by the FDA has a “label” stating those uses that the FDA is of the opinion   have been sufficiently well demonstrated to be efficacious.

You must inform your clients in writing if you use the device off label, in other words for a purpose other than uses listed by the FDA.

For a more complete discussion of FDA considerations including who can prescribe the use of biofeedback devices, please see the discussion at  “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Biofeedback Equipment Labeling and Approval Issues” – aapb.org

How to Distinguish between Legitimate Biofeedback/Neurofeedback Devices (January 2009 Report – BCIA)

The market of therapeutic biofeedback devices has become flooded with a number of machines purporting to be biofeedback machines when, in fact, they either operate on different principles or otherwise provide an unconventional form of “feedback” to the individual.

This document is meant to offer distinctions from a laboratory research perspective.

Traditionally, biofeedback machines make use of any of a number of sensors that can quantify specific physiological parameters in the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, muscle tension, sweat gland activity…, etc. Neurofeedback is similar in that it employs electrodes attached with a conducting gel to certain areas of the scalp to monitor EEG (brainwave) patterns. These quantifiable parameters are all indicative of the unconscious state of the autonomic nervous system (for biofeedback) or of brain function (for neurofeedback). The devices typically utilize blinking lights, audible tones or computer software images that alert the individual to their state of being, bringing it into their conscious mind, and providing them with a means to gain control over these otherwise unconscious bodily or cognitive functions. Sensors for biofeedback include: galvanic skin response (skin voltage is very sensitive to moisture levels from sweat glands), thermistors (to measure skin temperature), photoplethysmography (or PPG’s for measuring peripheral blood flow and heart rate), electromyographs (for measuring muscle tension) and others. Wikipedia and other online sources provide ample examples.

Biofeedback has enjoyed great success in training numerous conditions including those related to muscle tension (temporomandibular-joint disorder, back pain, tension headaches/migraines, tendonitis, incontinence), plus anxiety, hypertension, epilepsy, some chronic pain conditions, certain breathing disorders, some types of cardiac arrhythmias, and substance abuse.

Neurofeedback can also address a number of these but is more commonly used to address learning and psychological disorders such as ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression, to name just a few.

Equipment currently used by Clinicians in SA and contact details of representatives:

Bio and Neurofeedback capabilities combined in unit:

  • Thought Technology -  

  • Brain Master  

  • Nexus 

Neurofeedback training units:

  • Brain Master (single channel/4 channel /19 channel training/Zscore/ISF/S-Loreta)

  • Thought Technology (single channel / 2 channel training /Zscore training)

  • Mitsar (for EEG acquisition) in combination with Neuroguide  

  • Nexus

  • EEG Spectrum  

Heart rate Variability training equipment:

19 Channel EEG Assessment capability:

  • Mitsar (for EEG acquisition) in combination with Neuroguide database

  • Brain Master Discovery Unit

PhotoBioModulation:

  • Vielight (Photo Bio Modulation)  

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Thought Technology provides equipment for the full range of biofeedback. They also offer Neurofeedback training – specifically power training and z-score training. TT offers equipment with various capabilities. Please ensure you are aware of what the device you purchase is capable of providing.

Contact Johan Meyer: drjohan@adhdsolutions.co.za

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EEGER specializes in Neurofeedback and provides various types of power and coherence training.

Contact Mitzi Hollander: mitzi@addlab.co.za

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BrainMaster specializes in Neurofeedback and QEEG’s. Their Atlantis device can provide up to 4 channel power, ISF and z score training. The Discovery Device is capable of power training, up to 19 channel z-score training, coherence training, ISF training,  s-Loreta training with ROI training, as well as EEG acquisition for usage with databases giving QEEG results.

Contact McGill Scott:

mcgill@brainwaves.co.za  

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Nexus also specializes in neurofeedback and is capable of power training, up to 19 channel, z-score training, coherence training, s-Loreta training with ROI training, as well as EEG acquisition for usage with databases giving QEEG results which are used for Neurofeedback training.

No South African Provider

 

Contact:

NeXus for Neurofeedback - Mind Media

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Mitsar specializes in EEG acquisition which, in conjunction with the Neuroguide database, can provide QEEG data used for training Neurofeedback.

No South African Provider

 

Contact:

https://mitsar-eeg.com/contact/