pirHEG - An Effective Alternative Treatment for the Chronic Distraction of ADHD


Question: What do migraine headaches, reactivity and distractibility have in common?

Answer: They can all be reduced with pirHEG (Passive Infrared Hemoencephalography).


Hallowell Center Alternative/Complementary Services typically attracts patients who have had a poor response to medication or have concerns about possible side effects. One of the therapies we offer is pir HEG. This system was originally developed as an alternative intervention for migraines. It increases prefrontal brain activity, which can significantly reduce headache symptoms for 90% of patients in less than 10 sessions. The pirHEG responds to blood flow dynamics via a forehead sensor, making the system also well suited for exercising brain activity in the key area of interest to those with ADHD and emotional reactivity - the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is the primary site of executive functioning and is typically sub-optimized in patients with ADHD. Within the last 10 years the administration of pirHEG has increased as a treatment for ADHD.


pirHEG works by providing feedback that helps patients increase control over the inhibitory effects of the prefrontal cortex. This allows for easier and smoother sustained attention to tasks, and changes in emotional responses so that they are less rapid and strong for those responses that don't call for a rapid or strong response. Research on its effects can be found here.  


The improvements the treatment creates remain in effect after treatment is completed, barring any trauma or head injury. Patients who choose pirHEG sometimes use it as a first link treatment instead of medications, while others also try medication.  


For FAQs on pirHEG, please visit the Sudbury Hallowell Center or contact Rebecca Shafir, M.A. CCC at 978-287-0810 x117