What is QEEG Brain Mapping?
Quantitative Electroencephalography or QEEG is an assessment that measures the brain's bioelectrical activity and quantifies it by comparing it to a normative database in order to determine the underlying causes of the presenting symptoms. The QEEG can be an invaluable tool in determining what is happening diagnostically in the brain. It can reveal if the client has a sleep disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, among other relevant diagnostic considerations.
Brainwave Frequencies Observed on the QEEG:
- Delta 0.5-4 hz (cycles/second) - associated with sleep
- Theta 4-8 hz - dream like state, reflective, creative inward thought
- Alpha 8-12 hz - “in the now” focus, an alert relaxation
- Low Beta 12-15 hz (SMR located in sensory motor strip) - mind/body calmness
- Beta 15-20 hz - mental alertness, processing, analytical
- High Beta 20-30+ hz - over-active brain, anxiety, obsessive or racing thoughts, panic, etc…
How is the QEEG Administered?
The process entails placing nineteen non-invasive EEG sensors onto the scalp and taking two recordings (eyes open and eyes closed). The recordings are then sent to Brain Science International, where they are reviewed by a neurologist and a QEEG expert, who review the raw EEG and compare the findings to a normative database. By assessing where the client's brainwave activity is functioning outside of the norms, we can then develop an individualized neurofeedback treatment protocol in order to train the brain to function in a more optimal way. With the change in the bioelectrical activity, clients often experience a reduction in symptoms.
Why is a QEEG Recommended?
The QEEG is an invaluable tool in rooting out the bioelectrical causes of mood dis-regulation, poor mental performance, and behavioral problems. While many issues can present with the same symptoms, the underlying brain pattern can differ greatly from person to person. There are NFB practitioners who will forego the QEEG in favor of a symptom based approach. This approach focuses on training the areas of the brain that are most commonly associated with various symptoms, and has yielded positive results.
For example, it's been observed that patients who present with ADHD symptoms typically have an excess of slow-wave activity at the vertex and in the frontal part of the brain. A typical symptom-based protocol would involve training those areas to inhibit the slow-wave activity. However, every brain is different and the QEEG could provide more specific protocols for greater effectiveness. Using the same example, a patient with ADHD may have an underlying seizure disorder, which may be causing the symptoms, and by training to increase the beta frequency (commonly associated with focus), one could exacerbate the seizure-like activity. The QEEG also provides a concrete measure of the changes that occur in the brain after training has occurred.
For more information about the QEEG or Neurofeedback training, please contact me for a free phone consultation.