How Neurofeedback Can Reduce Misophonia

If you are trying to reduce Misophonia using Neurofeedback Therapy, then you need to check out two articles that shed light on the areas of the brain and the EEG (Electroencephalogram) patterns associated with Misophonia. A recent article in the Journal of Biology shows that Misophonia is grounded in the Anterior Insular Cortex (AIC), that area folded deep within the lateral sulcus separating the temporal lobe from the parietal and frontal lobes of each hemisphere. Check out the article here: https://leighbrainandspine.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Misophonia-Brain-Patterns.pdf.

Why do you need to know this? Because, you want to look for “hot spots” on a person’s qEEG Brain Map. In my mind, I don’t help people with conditions, per se, I help optimize their brain map findings from a neurologically dysregulated pattern, to a more regulated pattern. In the ideal situation, the optimal “perfect” pattern. Of course their history and symptoms are a large part of my decision making process, but my plan of attack is based primarily on their brain ma findings. To locate primary areas of concern, I want to look for hot spots in the main areas based upon what I know about the EEG patterns associated with a condition. This doesn’t mean you always find this pattern, but it is a good place to start looking.

The study showed that people who suffer from Misophonia show a heightened response in the AIC that then had a cascading effect of hyperactivity of the brain areas within the network of that area. On fMRI a BOLD (blood-oxygen-level dependent) response within the AIC was found which is a hub in the “salience network” of the brain. This heightened response to the trigger sound then impacted functioning of the prefrontal cortex, the posterior cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. This brain response creates feelings of hyper-salience of the impacting trigger sound and a reaction that goes along with it.

Back to how to help the person. Based upon the dysregulation pattern of over or underactivity within the brain map then I decide how I will proceed in regulating brain function. Another study showed that Misophonia is associated with anxiety that impacts the auditory processing areas of the brain and the flight or fight system.

This is congruent with what I have anecdotally found with many people I serve. EEG patterns of excess fast brain processing speed (high Beta) are found in the areas of concern. To regulate these areas, reduction in high beta, fast speed, and an increase in slower, more medium speed (Alpha) is necessary to calm the brain and take the edge off the fight or flight response.

What can you expect as the brain pattern changes and improves? Reduction in symptoms, increase in interpersonal skills and socialization, improved mood, and happier life overall.

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