& Neurofeedback Therapy
The QEEG (Quantitative Electro-Encephalogram) is an electroencephalogram of the brain function. The QEEG in our office is a standard 19 channel Electroencephalogram (Neuropulse NP-Q 10/22). The procedure for doing a QEEG is to put on a cap with 19 electrodes sewn into it. The electrodes are then made to conduct with the scalp by putting a blunt syringe through holes in the cap by each of the wires, and injecting a small amount of paste onto the scalp, making a conductive path between the wire and the scalp. Two electrodes are placed on the ears, and an electrical resistance meter is placed between the ears and each of the scalp electrodes to insure that there is a good connection with the ears and with each of the electrodes. Typically we like to see a connection with a resistance less than 5K ohms. Once this is achieved, the ribbon connector having all 19 scalp and 2 ear wires in it, the ribbon connector is transferred from the resistance meter to the EEG instrument. A computer interfaces with the EEG machine, and a software program called Neuroguide is used to display the traces of the brainwaves generated by the brain, and detected on the scalp. After 20 minutes of sitting with eyes closed, the brainwave traces are cleaned up, artifacts of muscle movement such as coughs, eye movement, and teeth clenching are removed. The resultant EEG trace is then compared to a database of 600 healthy people whose EEGs were averaged. The program then presents a display of “heads” at all the frequencies between 1hz and 30 hz in terms of the power at each frequency in terms of whether the amount of power generated by the brain was high or low compared to the average.
Having diagnosed the locations in the brain that are producing high or low activity, it is now possible to intervene with training the brain to normalize the activity of the various locations in the brain using a neurofeedback therapy. This is done by placing electrodes on the scalp in the various locations that are indicated by the QEEG analysis, and the correlating symptoms and the associated brain areas. The patients watches the dynamic display of the amplitude of the brainwaves in the areas where the electrodes are attached by a gel paste for a period of 10 to 40 minutes. The computer program gives a reinforcement “Ding” each time the goal level of the EEG power is reached. This reward tone is consciously chosen as “good” and the will of the patient is simply to allow the brain to do more of the activity that is deemed desirable. The brainwaves in general cannot be consciously controlled, but the body can learn to follow the desired lead and develop an power profile that more closely follows the healthy “norm”. The sessions can be undertaken 1 or more times per week, depending on the availability of time and finances.