What is a QEEG or “Brain Map”?
It was in 1875 that a British scientist, Richard Caton, discovered that the brain produces electricity in animals. In 1929, over fifty years later, during his quest to find the physical link between man’s mind and body, Hans Berger showed that human brains also produce these electrical rhythms. He was able to record the brain rhythms of a human and proved that this rhythm came from neurons in the brain, not from blood flow or connective tissue. He also showed that this rhythm changes with age, is vulnerable to sensory stimulation, and is affected by chemistry.
By the 1930s researchers were learning to identify patterns associated with sleep, epilepsy, coma, brain infection and other conditions. Despite the invention in the late 1900s of other types of scans (MRIs, CT, PET and SPECT) the EEG has remained a crucial clinical and research tool, and, unlike other modes of scanning, the EEG does not expose the patient to internal or external radiation.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is the measurement of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp which reflect cortical activity, or “brainwave” activity. Our brains consist of about 20 billion neurons which generate these electrical impulses, or brainwaves. Quantitative EEG, sometimes referred to as “brain mapping,” is a noninvasive assessment tool used to evaluate those brainwaves.
The procedure takes approximately one hour and consists of placing small sensors (sometimes using a snug cap for placement) to measure electrical patterns coming from the brain. This is done while the patient is resting quietly with his or her eyes closed as well as with the eyes open. Using 19 channels of EEG data, the computer is capable of recognizing more subtle patterns among the brainwaves than the eye can detect, making it easy to recognize significant deviations from normal patterns.
The QEEG can identify patterns associated with metabolic dysfunction, cellular degeneration, addiction, stress and anxiety, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter irregularity, inflammation, worry, depression, memory deficits, ADD/ADHD, TBI, PTSD, cognitive decline, cortical perfusion and many other conditions.
The quantitative EEG done in this clinic is used to evaluate the manner in which a particular person’s brain functions. It is widely recognized as being as accurate as an fMRI, SPECT or CT scan. Using the QEEG we gather information on brainwave patterns, relationships and interactions between different parts of the brain, and the efficiency of communication between different parts of the brain. This information is then put into a normative database to determine in a scientific, objective manner whether there are abnormalities in brain function and assists in forming, in collaboration with the client, an individualized treatment plan using neurofeedback.