What is qEEG and How Does it Work?
When the cells in the brain are working (which is so as long as we are alive) they produce electrical charges which we can measure from the head using EEG, or Electroencephalogram. Just as if you stand on the shore and watch the waves come in, it can tell you the oceans condition. We can tell how the brain is working by observing these electrical activities that are called brain waves. The first EEG recording on humans was done in the 1920’s by Dr. Hans Berger. He believed the abnormalities in EEG reflect clinical disorders, which we find to be true today.
qEEG or "Quantitative Electroencephalograph"
To find these different abnormalities, we use qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalograph), also known as brain mapping. We record brain waves from many areas of the brain by putting a cap on the client’s head, which looks like a swim cap. It has 19 electrodes on it in different locations. While we are recording their brain waves, the client is able to just sit back and relax without feeling a thing. As the electrodes receive the brain waves, we are able to record the activities from these 19 different locations, which is called Electroencephalogram (EEG). We record the client’s brain activity with their eyes closed, with their eyes open, and while they are performing a task, in order to see how the brain waves are performing during these different conditions. Each brain wave is associated with different states. For example, 0-4 hz, or delta waves, are associated with sleep. Theta waves are 4-7 hz, and are associated with day dreaming. Alpha waves are 8-12 hz, and are associated with a relaxed and calm state. Beta waves are 13-21 hz, and are associated with being focused and alert.
Using qEEG Interpretations for Treatment
Once we have the recording, our doctors analyze the EEG to see if there is any seizure activity or other obvious abnormalities. We then process the EEG by comparing the activity to a database of norm/average brain waves for that age. We are able to determine how the data is different from the average person their age. This is where the word quantitative in qEEG comes in. The EEG data is then used to make topographic brain maps and color coded simulations of the client’s brain activity. We interpret the EEG and carefully analyze the information we received from the database in order to determine where the abnormalities are for each client. Once we have determined which areas of the brain we want to exercise, we start training those areas using Neurofeedback.