Siegfried Othmer responds to Papolos regarding childhood bipolar disorder. While accepting much of what Papolos describes as bipolar disorder he proposes using neurofeedback to correct what he simply calls various brain instabilitities:
Bipolar Disorder is simply a shorthand descriptor for a certain kind of brain instability, and neurofeedback is fundamentally a strategy for enhancing brain stability. It rewards the maintenance of continuity in brain state. This accounts for its efficacy in all those conditions for which anti-convulsants have been historically prescribed: seizures, migraines, mania, Bipolar Disorder, schizophrenia, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, and trigeminal neuralgia.Neurofeedback compares favorably in terms of research history to the use of anti-psychotics and anti-convulsants (in combination) with young children. It is now our turn to ask, where are the controlled studies on such poly-pharmacy? What are the long-term outcomes? We, on the other hand, can point to a thirty-year history of research on neurofeedback with no negative findings for seizure-like phenomena. Contrast that with the state of research on anti-depressants in children, where only a single study has thus far even hinted at a positive outcome among children.
There is one other significant advantage to neurofeedback. It is now becoming known that all these profound behavioral instabilities are characterized by hemispheric differences. Pharmacology can only address the brain as a whole. It cannot minister to one hemisphere preferentially. Neurofeedback, on the other hand, can be tailored to the demands of each hemisphere, and it can address specifically the issue of inter-hemispheric communication that appears to be a central issue in the entire instability category, or at least central to its clinical resolution.
I’ve mentioned before that neurofeedback has been a very useful adjunct to my withdrawal regimen and seems to offer considerable mood stabilization. So as not to discourage anyone if they cannot find or afford neurofeedback, most of the people I know withdrawing or treating their “disorders” naturally do not use neurofeedback and do just fine. I feel like it’s a luxury for me and it makes the journey a bit easier.