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Quantitative Electroencephalogram-(QEEG-)informed Neurofeedback










QEEG: What is it?


QEEG/brain mapping is a diagnostic tool that measures electrical brain activity and compares it to a normative database based on age. It assesses power in different brain areas and frequencies, including Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and High Beta, to determine deviations from the norm. It also assesses communication through coherence/connectivity and phase lag between different brain areas and frequencies. 


By analyzing the QEEG results, we can identify any abnormal brain networks and associated symptoms that require correction. This information can then be used to create customized neurofeedback therapy. Additionally, the QEEG can be used to track the effects of medications, supplements, therapy, and other interventions on brain networks by comparing before and after results.


QEEG: Clinical Applications:


Athletes:

Sleep quality is crucial for optimal cognitive functioning, memory consolidation, emotional regulation, and neural repair. Deep sleep plays a vital role in clearing out toxins, strengthening synaptic connections, and enhancing memory and learning.


QEEG can provide a cost-effective way to assess brain functioning during the eyes-closed condition, which can give valuable insight into sleep quality without the need for a full sleep study. QEEG can also assess flow state, which is characterized by a crossover point between alpha and theta brainwave frequencies. This state of heightened attunement and focus can be measured using QEEG. Coherence, which refers to how well different brain regions communicate with each other, is another marker that can indicate a flow state. EMDR also promotes increased coherence with bilateral stimulation.


Reducing the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can help lower inner critic thoughts and reduce anxiety. Optimizing the functioning of the sensorimotor strip can enhance precision timing, which is crucial for athletes and others who require precise motor skills.



Concussions:

QEEG/brain mapping is a valuable tool for measuring electrical brain activity and tracking changes over time. It helps establish a baseline and identify any abnormalities or deviations from the normative database. By analyzing power levels, communication efficiency, and processing speeds, we can gain insights into the healing process and prevent the development of chronic EEG changes.


For instance, post-concussive syndrome often presents with distinctive markers on brain maps. These include high power in Delta and Theta frequencies, which indicate recent injury, as well as lower relative power in Alpha and Beta frequencies. Other markers may include temporal lobe slowing, slower processing speeds, and connectivity issues.


Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in damage to frontal, temporal, and parietal areas. This, in turn, can lead to a variety of post-concussive symptoms such as mood changes, memory problems, difficulties with socialization, fatigue, headaches, ADHD-like symptoms, learning disabilities, and general cognitive decline.


Eating Disorders:

Insomnia is a common feature of eating disorders and can contribute to cognitive decline and a neurobiological similarity to depression. QEEG in the eyes closed condition can provide information about the brain's ability to shut down properly and enter deep sleep, providing insights into sleep quality.


QEEG can also be used to track the effectiveness of interventions like medications, neurofeedback, and EMDR in improving sleep and overall brain function.


In patients with anorexia and bulimia, QEEG markers often show lower amplitude or absolute power in central, parietal, occipital, and limbic brain areas, as well as reduced temporal alpha activity.


Specific abnormalities in the anterior and posterior cingulate regions of the brain are also common in eating disorders. These areas are crucial for error detection, conflict monitoring, and self-reflection. Difficulties in perceiving conflicts or errors, such as distorted body image perceptions, can be associated with abnormalities in these regions.


The frontal-parietal network, responsible for processing and integrating body stimuli, may also show abnormalities in individuals with eating disorders. Increased activity in the insula and premotor cortex, as well as reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, can be involved in comparing oneself with idealized body images or perceiving distorted body images.


Additionally, overactivity in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex when viewing images of oneself as distorted or oversized is another example of how QEEG can provide insight into the neurological correlates of body image disturbances in eating disorders.



 

By understanding these brain-location links and using QEEG, clinicians can better tailor treatment approaches and evaluate their effectiveness in addressing the specific brain dysfunctions associated with multiple medical conditions including but not limited to ADHD, persistent post concussion symptoms, eating disorders, injury, as well as enhahncing


By utilizing QEEG/brain mapping, we can gain important insights into the specific brain networks involved in these conditions and tailor treatment interventions, such as neurofeedback therapy, accordingly. Additionally, QEEG can be used to monitor the effects of interventions, medications, or therapies to assess their impact on brain networks and guide treatment strategies.



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