Electroencephalogram neurofeedback appears to be effective at alleviating symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy among cancer survivors, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Although chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a debilitating problem for many patients with cancer, there are limited treatment options for this condition. Neuromodulatory interventions may be an effective, non-invasive strategy for managing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Neurofeedback training uses an electroencephalograph (EEG) and a computer software program to measure brain wave activity. To determine whether neurofeedback training can help teach patients with peripheral neuropathy how to change their own brain waves to lower their perception of neuropathy and help improve their overall quality of life, investigators evaluated the efficacy of neurofeedback training in a double-blind, controlled trial.

For the study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02573766), investigators randomly assigned 62 cancer survivors experiencing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy to undergo neurofeedback training or a wait-list control group.

Patients in the neurofeedback group underwent 20 sessions of neurofeedback training, which involved receiving visual and auditory rewards for voluntary changes in electroencephalograms. Participants underwent an electroencephalogram at baseline, during each neurofeedback session, and within 7 days of finishing treatment. Patients completed 7 questionnaires regarding symptoms and quality of life completed at baseline, 1 week after neurofeedback sessions, and again in 1 month.

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Cancer survivors who underwent neurofeedback training had a significantly greater improvement in Brief Pain Inventory worst-pain item score compared with those in the control arm.

Investigators observed neurologic changes in the cortical region and in the bandwidth targeted by the intervention. Changes in electroencephalogram activity were predictive of peripheral neuropathy symptom reduction.

Reference

  1. Prinsloo S, Novy D, Driver L, et al. Randomized controlled trial of neurofeedback on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a pilot study. Cancer. 2017 March 3. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30649 [Epub ahead of print]