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Cannabis Alert – Latest News

Cannabis Alert – Latest News

Posted on: 2019-05-21 15:18:15

Research has shown that nine percent of individuals who experiment with cannabis will become addicted to it. This number increases to 1 in 6 when use starts during adolescence, according to the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP).

In response to the recent legalisation of cannabis for personal use, SASOP noted with concern a growing public perception of cannabis as a ‘harmless’ plant, and that few measures have been instituted to address this.

According to Dr Abdul Kader Domingo, member of the SASOP Special Group on Addictions, it is estimated that 1 in 6 teenagers using cannabis will become addicted to it.

“Human brain development and maturation is a process that is guided by the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system and occurs until the early 20’s. Exposure to phyto-cannabinoids (cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant) during this vulnerable period may disrupt the process of brain maturation and affect aspects of memory, attention, processing speed and overall intelligence. Cannabis use during the adolescent period may cause lasting cognitive deficits, even after sustained abstinence,” he said.

The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) reports that, during the 2nd half of 2016, cannabis was the most common primary substance of abuse for persons younger than 20 years presenting to treatment facilities in all areas across South Africa, except for the Free State, Northern Cape and North West.

A review article by the World Health Organization in 2016 concluded that current evidence points to a modest contributory causal role for cannabis in schizophrenia and that a consistent dose-response relationship exists between cannabis use in adolescence and the risk of developing psychotic symptoms or schizophrenia.

Dr Domingo says that any change to the legislation regulating cannabis use should have been undertaken in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders, be based on good quality scientific evidence and take into consideration the availability and accessibility of current drug addiction prevention and treatment resources in South Africa.

“SASOP concurs with the Executive Committee of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) of South Africa that the approaches to combat the use and abuse of psychoactive substances should include harm reduction (interventions aimed at reducing the harmful consequences associated with substance use), supply reduction and demand reduction/preventative strategies.

“We agree with the Executive Committee of the CDA that there is currently insufficient evidence to predict the long-term consequences of the legalization of cannabis.

“The ease of accessing an intoxicating substance may have an underestimated impact on the initiation, frequency and amount of use, and the subsequent risk of developing a substance use disorder. Legalization should therefore not have been considered at this point.

“The decriminalisation of cannabis removes the criminal penalty related to the use of cannabis; it allows for a distinction between a drug dealer and an individual experimenting with or addicted to a drug. While SASOP supports the human rights of all individuals, we argue that a decision to protect those addicted to substances should not be viewed as a simple binary decision based on criminal penalties.”



What Physicians Should Know About Biofeedback

What Physicians Should Know About Biofeedback

Posted on: 2019-05-21 15:24:49


Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback

Volume 45, Issue 1, p. 1


DOI: 10.5298/1081-5937-45.1.06


Special Issue: What Physicians Should Know About Biofeedback

Guest Editor: Gabriel E. Sella, MD, MPH, MSc, PhD (HC), FAAFP, FACPM, DAAPM, BCIA

Biofeedback is an objective, computer-aided modality of investigation and treatment of a number of health-related conditions.

The conditions comprise several pathologic conditions described in the International Classification of Diseases and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders systems.

Biofeedback offers an objective and measurable investigation of several components of the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and skeletal muscle. It also offers an objective and measurable means of rehabilitation or re-education for the treatment of a large number of conditions.With proper protocols, the treatments offer generally long-term results—either complete remission or major improvement of symptoms. It is noninvasive and nonharmful, closely corresponding to the Hippocratic dictum, ‘‘first, do no harm.’’ Unlike many medical modalities that address only diagnostic investigation or treatment, biofeedback encompasses both. Biofeedback is a work in progress. It faces a fast process of evolution in its many aspects, being a function of comprehensive research and development of ever more advanced electronic equipment and computer memory, speed, and integration. Physicians have generally been trained to follow the medical model.

The model generally involves:

1. Presentation of symptoms by a patient,

2. Diagnostic process of investigation,

3. Reaching of diagnostic conclusions, and

4. Treatment of medical type, physical rehabilitation type, or surgical option.

The diagnostic process has two components: the physical examination and testing. In terms of the testing, the more measurable and objective the testing modality, the greater the help it can give to the physician in reaching the diagnosis, and to the patient in terms of understanding his or her condition and proceeding to treatment, such as consistently required by evidence-based medicine. The medical model has many roots and many branches. In the Western medicine model, pharmaco-therapeutics have consistently held a preponderant role. Their relevance is not to be diminished. However, taking medicines, whether prescribed by a physician or over the counter, confers to the person a passive role. Human nature is more complex than that. Our brains and bodies seek autonomy and self-help to bring back health—that is, an active role.

If offered a choice, many people would choose a treatment modality that does not include medications and submissiveness to a system that fosters that. It behooves the wise physician to learn about such modalities and apply them where they can be most successful. As an example, after all is said and done with examination and investigations for headaches, the patient may be given the choice to take the usual analgesics or to learn biofeedback to control the intensity and frequency of headaches. Many patients would prefer to choose an active modality of dealing with their symptoms. Whereas physicians know all too well about the extent that analgesics work for headaches and their side effects, much is to be learned by physicians about the effectiveness of neurofeedback or surface electromyography/biofeedback for tension headaches or neurovascular feedback for migraines.

Should physicians learn about biofeedback and become able to offer their patients an investigative and therapeutic choice? The answer should be an unequivocal YES. This special issue aims only at an introduction of the topic to the enlightened physician, is limited to a number of salient topics, and does not purport to encompass every aspect of its involvement in the health field. A comprehensive description would be the subject of a very large textbook. As stated above, the number of topics where biofeedback has a documented and proven value is large.

A number of academicians and clinicians have contributed articles to this issue on their topics of current interest related to what physicians should know about biofeedback. Physicians are invited to respond to this issue with questions, queries, and requests on topics of interest. Let’s hope for the development in our century of a more comprehensive medical model that acknowledges a relevant role for the biofeedback modality. Gabriel Sella

Correspondence: G.E. Sella, MD, 92 N. 4th Street, Suite 12 Martins Ferry, OH 43935, email: paris10@aol.com

Resource Books and Articles

Resource Books and Articles

Posted on: 2019-05-21 16:17:27

Resource Books & Articles

The following books offer an in-depth understanding of Neurofeedback:

  • Coben, R., Evans, J.R. 2010 Neurofeedback and Neuromodulation Techniques and Applications

  • Kropotov, J. 2008 Quantitative EEG, Event-Related Potentials and Neurotherapy

  • Collura, T. 2016 Handbook of Clinical QEEG and Neurotherapy

Gives useful current clinical information. Contributions by 34 authors with significant clinical experience

  • Collura, T. 2014 Technical Foundations of Neurofeedback

This book, first published in 2013 offers an authoritative and complete account of the scientific and technical basis of EEG Biofeedback

(Dr Thomas F. Collura is the Clinical Director of the Brain Enrichment Center in Ohio and Past President of ISNR)

  • Fisher, S. 2014 Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear Driven Brain

Research Articles


  • In-school neurofeedback training for ADHD: sustained improvements from randomized control trial. Journal: Pediatrics, March 2014
  • Efficacy of neurofeedback treatment in ADHD: The effects of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity:: A media-analysis. Journal: Neuroscience, 2009

"Therefore, in line with AAPB and ISNT guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, we conclude that neurofeedback treatment for ADHD can be considered "Efficacious and Specific" (Level 5) with a large ES for inattention and impulsivity and a medium

ES for hyperactivity." Arns M, et al. (Response rate 76% and effect size 1,78)

  • Neurofeedback in ADHD and insomnia: Vigilance stabilization through sleep spindles and circadian networks. Journal: Neuroscience Biobehavioral Review, 2014


  • Enhancing sleep quality and memory in insomnia using instrumental sensorimotor rhythm conditioning. Journal: Biological Psychology, 2014


  • Effects of salience-network-node neurofeedback training on affective biases in major depressive disorder. Journal: Psychiatry Research, Jan 2016
  • A pilot study of Neurofeedback for Chronic PTSD, positive findings in treatment. Journal: Applied Psychophysiology, Jan 2016


  • Neurorehabilitation of social dysfunctions: A modal-based neurofeedback approach for low and high-functioning autism. Journal: Frontiers in, Aug 2014


  • Foundation and Practice neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy. Journal: Applied Psychophysiology, Mar 2006


  • QEEG-guided neurofeedback for recurrent migraine headaches. journal: Clinical EEG Neuroscience, Jan 2011


  • Working memory training using EEG neurofeedback in normal young adults. Journal: Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering, Jan 2014
  • Effect of Beta and Gamma neurofeedback on memory and intelligence in the elderly Journal: Biological Psychology, Jan 2014

Presentation March 2018 Neurofeedback EEG

Presentation March 2018 Neurofeedback EEG

Posted on: 2019-05-09 21:03:47