Mental disorders ranging from depression to substance abuse can completely change the direction of an individual’s life. For those who want to make a change, the challenge can sometimes put it out of reach as a complete understanding of the disorder may be lacking. A recent Tufts Daily article provides an option for those who want to better understand their condition. Neurofeedback provides better control over the brain, demonstrating the brain can be trained and molded just like a muscle. Neurofeedback actually provides an innovative, drug-free treatment environment where patients suffering from something like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and other types of emotional and behavioral problems can gain the power to change their brain activity patterns at will. The environment provides repeated training in monitored and age-appropriate videos or video games. Patients use this platform to improve their ability to alter brain activity. In roughly 80 percent of cases, this activity produced an improved mood and motivation. Patients involved in neurofeedback sit in a chair in front of a computer that is attached to their head through electrodes. Software then detects brain activity and then identifies the patient’s brainwaves as either desirable or undesirable. When brain activity is desirable, the patient is rewarded with pleasant video images. Brains that are not behaving according to the rules will receive bleak and disagreeable images. Over time, this procedure will train the mood centers in the brain to associate certain brain patterns with positive or negative images and eventually provide the individual with the power to take control of their brain activity. It is believed this process can treat ADHD, depression, anxiety and more.