Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG)

A Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) is a diagnostic tool that measures electrical activity in the form of brain wave patterns. Brain waves are the rhythmic electrical impulses generated when millions and millions of neurones communicate with each other inside your head; they can reveal important information about your overall brain function, possibly including stress levels, thought patterns, and emotions. A qEEG may reveal brain wave patterns associated with impulsivity, cognitive inflexibility, anxiety, and other symptoms.

The qEEG is a valuable diagnostic tool because it can help to identify patterns of brain function that may be associated with specific symptoms. This can help to identify areas of the brain that may be over or underactive and pinpoint which regions play a role in your specific symptoms. It can also help to guide treatment planning.

If you are considering a qEEG, it is important to work with a qualified professional who can interpret the results. Quantitative EEGs can be affected by a variety of factors including the amount of caffeine or alcohol consumed in the days before, sleep deprivation, stress levels, and head injuries. The results of a qEEG should always be interpreted in the context of your complete medical history and any other tests that have been conducted.

If you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to brain function, a qEEG may be a valuable tool to help to identify possible causes and develop a treatment plan which may include neurofeedback or other treatments.

Here at the Eastern Brain Centre we provide Quantitative EEG assessments and individualised qEEG interpretation for clients who are struggling with symptoms related to brain dysfunction.

What are Brain Waves?

Brain waves as measured by the qEEG are a measure of the activity within the neurones (nerve cells) within your brain. Different frequencies of brain waves correspond to different types of activity within the brain.

Alpha waves are generated when you are awake and relaxed, and they can indicate a state of calmness and well-being. Beta waves are generated when you are concentrating, alert, and focused. They indicate a more active state of thought processing. Gamma waves are generated when the brain is working hard, and they can be associated with states of excitement or anxiety.

Delta waves, the slowest type of activity, are generated when we are in very deep sleep and/or under anaesthesia, and they correlate with a total disconnection from the outside world. Theta waves, between delta and alpha, are associated withsleep and a trance-like state of deep concentration and focus, typically experienced during states of high creativity or when recalling memories.

These different waves occur more commonly in different areas of the brain. Alpha waves for example are more common in the back and right side of the brain, whereas alpha waves are more common towards the front of the brain and on the left.

What do the Brain Waves Mean?

The brain wave patterns that are seen on a Quantitative EEG can tell us a lot about how your brain is functioning. When we see an increase in a certain type of brain wave, it can tell us that that part of the brain is more active. If we see a decrease, it can indicate that the brain is not processing information in this area to the same degree.

A Quantitative Electroencephalogram can also show us which areas of the brain are not communicating with each other. If we see that the left and right hemispheres of the brain are not communicating as well as they should be, it may indicate that the corpus callosum (the part of the brain that connects and allows communication between the two hemispheres) may not be working properly.

We can also look for disruptions in brain wave patterns that occur when regions of the brain are over-activated or under-activated. If the brain is not able to effectively communicate with itself, it may manifest as symptoms of anxiety, impulsivity, cognitive inflexibility, or other problems.

A Quantitative EEG can be a valuable tool for helping to understand the underlying causes of your symptoms.

What to Expect from a Quantitative EEG

When you come in for your Quantitative EEG, we will first take some history and do a physical exam. You may then be asked to complete some cognitive tasks, such as a memory recall task or a problem solving task, in order to help us understand how well you are processing information. We will then place the Quantitative EEG sensors on your head to record electrical activity in different regions of your brain.

The assessment will take about an 45-60 minutes. We will analyse the results of your Quantitative EEG interpretation and combine it with your other history and examination findings. We will discuss the results with you in detail and give you an individualised treatment plan or recommendations for next steps.

The Quantitative EEG is a powerful tool for understanding how your brain is functioning and can provide valuable insight into the specific factors that may be contributing to symptoms such as anxiety, impulsivity, or cognitive inflexibility. If you are experiencing problems in these areas, it may be a good idea to consider getting a qEEG.

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