The Quantitative Electroencephalogram, or qEEG (often referred to as “brain mapping”), is a measurement of the electrical activity in the brain. Most individuals are familiar with the electrocardiogram, or EKG, which measures the electrical activity of the heart. An EEG pattern is similar but less regular. A qEEG is used when the software that analyzes the EEG signal, applies mathematical formulas to the data, and quantifies the amplitude and frequency of brainwaves. This information is then sent to a neurological, normative, database. From this database, we can determine, statistically, how far away from the neurological “norm” the electrical data is. We can then use advanced analyses, such as Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and neuro-imaging techniques such as Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) to map the actual sources of the cortical rhythms. These advanced approaches are changing our understanding of the dynamics and functions of the human brain.
The brain cannot perform optimally when there is excessive or deficient activity in a particular area of the brain. When the eyes are open or closed, certain brainwaves are expected to be present and in certain amounts. The brain functions less effectively when these expected brainwaves are deficient, in excess, not present, or if regions of the brain do not communicate in a timely manner with other regions.
Aside from providing a baseline at a given point in time, the qEEG also provides us with a clinical tool to evaluate and track the changes in the brain due to various interventions such as neurofeedback, biofeedback or even medication (as can be seen with the innovative company Telemynd). It also gives us the ability to view the dynamic changes taking place throughout the brain during cognitive processing tasks. This novel approach can be used to assist us in determining which area of the brain are engaged and processing efficiently.
Retrieving qEEG data is imperative to creating each client’s individualized treatment plan. We start by sitting down with our clients and obtaining their qEEG data. We then look for; statistically significant electrical anomalies, the area of the brain that those anomalies are occurring in, and the cognitive functioning that is governed by those areas. Next, we decide if those three factors can help explain a client’s presenting symptoms. Finally, we complete a very detailed and comprehensive review of our client’s symptoms. With these two sources of information, we can create a Neurotherapy protocol.
We review this protocol and the various applicable treatment modalities with each patient. We explain our reasoning as it applies to our client’s specific issues and how this will help them achieve their treatment goals.