The Crisis in Psychopharmacology Provides an Opportunity for NeuroRegulation Treatments to Gain Widespread Acceptance

Ed Pigott


Psychopharmacology is in crisis due to the increasing recognition that it does not work as claimed and has failed to meaningfully improve outcomes over what they were in the 1950s and ‘60s.  Though still widely promoted to the public, the chemical imbalance theory of major mental health disorders is now openly acknowledged as not accurate by leading psychiatrists, thereby undermining the rational for this approach to care.  A series of large comparative effectiveness studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) were each essentially failed trials with disappointing results and found that second-generation psychotropic medications were no more effective than their first-generation cousins.  The evidence from several of these studies are reviewed within the scope of major depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders, and then compared to research on promising neuroregulation treatments.  The author then makes recommendations for neuroregulation clinicians to avoid a crisis similar to that experienced in psychopharmacology today.


psychopharmacology; neurofeedback; depression; STAR*D; MTA cooperative study; ADHD

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