The Uniqueness of the Drake Institute

by Dr. David Velkoff

For over 35 years the Drake Institute has made neurofeedback and biofeedback the centerpiece of its treatment programs. It gives us a method to access brain functioning without any negative side effects and restore normalcy, thereby reducing or eliminating symptoms. It is not an “add-on” to other therapies or medications in the Institute’s treatment programs. . It is the central treatment though we may provide adjunctive counseling or treatment of learning disorders secondarily.  Because it has been the central treatment for our patients for over 35 years, it has enabled the Drake Institute to develop leading edge knowledge and clinical experience in its applications for ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related disorders or diseases. All of these disorders have one thing in common : at their core is irregular brain function.

There is a learning curve in developing clinical expertise in utilizing neurofeedback and biofeedback for many different disorders. Very simply, the more patients you help, then the more clinical experience and expertise the clinicians acquire. The treatment programs at the Drake Institute have gone through many evolutions of development for over 35 years as the Institute benefited from its relationships with other leading professionals in the world who helped pioneer this technology.

The Institute has continuously acquired new “state of the art” technology and integrated it into its treatment procedures. Being a medical facility enabled the Drake Institute to develop the applications of this technology through a medical practice. Having treated more than 10,000 patients has produced a level of knowledge and clinical competency that could not have been acquired in any other way.

In addition at the Drake Institute we feel that qEEG brain mapping is essential in being able to provide optimal neurofeedback treatment. The only exception has been in a younger Autistic child whom obtaining an accurate brain map on is rarely not possible. Brain mapping is preferably done “in-house” as opposed to having an outside service come in and do it. It has been an enormous asset that Drake’s patients’ qEEG brainmaps are done by the clinic itself and interpreted by Drake’s doctors for developing the neurofeedback protocols. We feel this is far superior than if an outside service provided this without the benefit of Drake’s enormous clinical data base.

Another invaluable aspect of the Drake Institute is its extensive clinical experience in treating stress related disorders , including anxiety and depression, with stress biofeedback. Many adult ADHD patients and some adolescent ADHD patients need and benefit from Drake’s stress biofeedback treatment in addition to the brain map guided neurofeedback they receive.

It is important to have a physician overseeing a treatment program utilizing neurofeedback/biofeedback when there are patients taking medications. Medical case care is the most comprehensive view of the patient and at Drake, we understand the relationship between neurofeedback care and drug reduction. This is necessary as medications may need to be titrated down as the patient improves with neurofeedback. Having a physician directing the neurofeedback treatments and medication monitoring simultaneously with an understanding of the interaction between the two is preferable to having an outside physician monitoring medication who doesn’t understand the neurofeedback treatment.

Lastly, since 70% of ADHD patients have secondary learning disorders, the Drake Institute developed FullCare in order to provide comprehensive treatment for all of the patients’ needs not just their ADHD symptoms. Once the attentional problems are helped, it is essential to improve or resolve the secondary learning or processing disorders. Otherwise, the patients will never develop to their full capacities to meet life’s challenges.

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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