Brain Balance Program
What is Brain Balance®?
Brain Balance® is a non-medical cognitive training program designed to help improve focus, behavior, hyperactivity, social skills, anxiety, and academic performance in children.
The Brain Balance® program is available onsite and at-home with virtual coaching. It comprises one hour of daily cognitive training activities, paired with a nutrition plan. Program length is based on each child’s unique needs and goals.
How does Brain Balance® work?
Brain Balance® is designed to strengthen weaker areas of the brain through sensory engagement, physical development, and cognitive exercises paired with nutritional guidance. An initial assessment identifies individual strengths and weaknesses, then the program is personalized to a child’s needs and development level, building progressively as they advance. A coach supports the child and their caregivers through the program.
Who is Brain Balance® for?
Brain Balance® is intended for children 4 years and older, teens, and adults striving to improve focus, keep organized, control impulses, and stay calm.
Brain Balance® does not require a medical diagnosis nor does it clinically diagnose medical conditions, but it may benefit children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, processing disorders, or learning disorders.
How much does Brain Balance® cost?
Brain Balance® is a customized program, so the total number of recommended sessions varies from person to person. For a quote, contact a local Brain Balance® Center or call the national line at 800-877-5500.
What studies have been done on Brain Balance®?
A small, exploratory study from McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, referenced on the Brain Balance® website, found that Brain Balance® could have clinical, behavioral, and neurobiological effects similar to stimulant medication in alleviating some ADHD symptoms in children. These findings were based on subjective parent reports, as well as clinician ratings, and brain imaging and Quotient test results. However, this study included just 16 children with ADHD and eight children without ADHD — a small sample size — and noted improvement after 75 Brain Balance® sessions conducted over 15 weeks, which assumes five sessions per week.
Cambridge Brain Sciences, a private brain health assessment company, collaborated with Brain Balance® on a study that found children who completed three months of the program displayed significant improvements in cognition, particularly in areas of memory, reasoning, verbal ability, and concentration. The study followed 478 participants (aged 4 to 18) as they completed three one-hour sessions every week for three months or fewer. Researchers found improvements in attention and concentration among 4- to 6-year-old participants; improvements in planning and executive function were noted in participants aged 7 and older. These findings came from participants’ results on 12 tasks completed before and after the three-month Brain Balance® program that evaluated short-term memory, visuospatial working memory, episodic memory, deductive reasoning, mental rotation, feature-based attention and concentration, planning and executive function, visuospatial processing, verbal reasoning, cognitive processing, and verbal working memory. Study designer and author Rebecca Jackson works for Brain Balance® and study analyst Conor J. Wild provides consulting services to Cambridge Brain Sciences.
Research published in the Journal of Mental Health and Clinical Psychology found that “75% of [Brain Balance® program participants] showed a 20% improvement or more in panic or anxiety attacks after program participation, and 25% of children demonstrated an 85.7% improvement or more, with an average of 49.4% (SD = 45.6) and a median of 60%.” The study focused on children, aged 4 to 17 years, who were at or below developmental milestones and evaluated the parent-reported changes in their behavior before and after undergoing five to six months of Brain Balance®. These findings were based on archived survey data from approximately 2,200 students enrolled at Brain Balance® Achievement Centers and did not compare participants’ results to those of a control group. Primary study author Rebecca Jackson works for Brain Balance®.
Some research findings shared by Brain Balance® have been met with skepticism. The Association for Science in Autism Treatment published an article titled, “Is There Science Behind That? Brain Balance” that states the following: “The materials that have been published on the efficacy of Brain Balance® show that most involve testimonials, self-reports, and only a few, low-quality research studies. All of these elements of ‘proof’ that Brain Balance® is effective are weak in terms of empirical evidence and should be considered with caution.”
Note: The information published on ADDitudeMag.com is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or another qualified health professional regarding medical conditions and treatments.
Where can I learn more about Brain Balance®?
Visit brainbalancecenters.com/our-program to learn more about Brain Balance® programs for kids, teens, and young adults ages 4 to 24.
Visit brainbalancecenters.com/who-we-help/adults to learn more about the Brain Balance® program for adults.
Visit brainbalancecenters.com/research-and-results to learn more about McLean Hospital’s study of Brain Balance® for kids with ADHD.