You MUST look inside to better understand what is going on in the brain and improve diagnoses and outcomes. How do you know unless you look? “
Daniel G Amen, MD

What is a Qeeg?

QEEG is a brain map that measures activity in the brain and determines where the deregulations is occurring.
Therapy options are then developed with this scientific knowledge. This also gives us the roadmap for Neurofeedback protocols.

Quantitative EEG, sometimes referred to as brain mapping, is the measurement through digital technology of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp which primarily reflect cortical electrical activity or “brainwaves.” Brainwaves occur at various frequencies. Some are fast and some are quite slow. The classic names of these EEG bands are delta, theta, alpha, and beta.

Beta brainwaves are small, faster brainwaves (above 13 Hz.) associated with a state of mental, intellectual activity and outwardly focused concentration. This is basically a “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed” state of alertness.

Alpha brainwaves (8-12 Hz.) are slower and larger. They are associated with a state of relaxation and basically represent the brain shifting into idling gear, relaxed and disengaged, waiting to respond when needed. If we merely close our eyes and begin picturing something peaceful, in less than half a minute there begins to be an increase in alpha brainwaves. These brainwaves are especially large in the back third of the head.

There are two levels of Theta (4-8 Hz.) brainwaves. The range of 4-6 hz basically represents the twilight zone between waking and sleep. It is a profoundly calm, serene, floaty, drifty state that occurs just before we fall asleep. It is a range where conscious intellectual activity is not occurring. The higher range of theta (6-8 hz.) is associated with mental inefficiency generally, but in the central front part of the brain is associated with a state of very inwardly focused attention such as occurs when we are engaging in complex, inwardly focused problem solving (such as mental arithmetic). This is also the level that people enter when they go into deep hypnotic or meditative state (extremely relaxed but inwardly focused).

Delta brainwaves are the slowest, highest amplitude brainwaves, and are what we experience when we are asleep.

In general, different levels of awareness are associated with dominant brainwave states. Each of us, however, always has some degree of each of these brainwave bands present in different parts of our brain. Delta brainwaves will also occur, for instance, when areas of the brain go “off line” to take up nourishment. If we are becoming drowsy, there are more delta and slow theta brainwaves creeping in, and if we are inattentive to external things and day dreamy, there is more theta present. If we are exceptionally anxious and tense, an excessively high frequency of beta brainwaves is often present. Persons with ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, head injuries, stroke, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, and often post-polio syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia tend to have excessive slow waves (usually theta and sometimes excess alpha) present. When excessive number of slow waves is present in the executive (frontal) parts of the brain, it becomes difficult to control attention, behavior, and/or emotions. Such persons generally have problems with concentration, memory, controlling their impulses and moods, or with hyperactivity. They can’t focus very well, and exhibit diminished intellectual efficiency.

Starting in the 1970’s thru current day, there has been a great deal of experimentation with QEEG. The American Medical EEG Association Ad Hoc Committee on QEEG has stated that QEEG “is of clinical value now and developments suggest it will be of even greater use in the future.” QEEG has scientifically documented ability to aid in the evaluation of conditions such as mild traumatic brain injury (Thatcher et al., 1991, 1998a,b, 1999), ADD/ADHD (Bresnahan & Barry, 2002; Chabot & Serfontein, 1969; Clarke et al, 1998, 2001a,b; Mann et al., 1992; Monastra et al., 1999; 2001, Lubar studies conducted in 1999 ADHD Lo Dopamine production with High Global Theta), learning disabilities (Ahn et al., 1980; Chabot et al., 1996; Flynn & Deering, 1989; Harmony et al., 1990; Harmony et al., 1995), depression (Davidson,1998a,b), obsessive-compulsive disorder (Perros et al., 1992; Prichep et al., 1993), anxiety and panic disorder (Heller et al., 1995, 1997; Weidemann et al., 1999), and a variety of other conditions (Hughes & John, 1999) including autism, schizophrenia stroke, epilepsy, and dementia. QEEG has even been able to predict outcomes from treating conditions such as ADD/ADHD (Suffin & Emory, 1995), alcoholism (Bauer, 1993, 2001; Winterer, 1998), and drug abuse (Prich ep et al, 1996a,b).

What the QEEG is not


It is important to understand that a QEEG is not the same as a “clinical EEG” which is used in medical diagnosis to evaluate epilepsy or to determine if there is serious brain pathology, such as a tumor or dementia. The quantitative EEG evaluates the way a particular person’s brain functions. It is not designed to diagnose tumors, epilepsy, or other medical conditions in a manner like an MRI or CAT scan. The QEEG neuromeric statistical analysis allows us to know, in many cases with a 90% degree of accuracy, that someone has functional brain abnormalities, but it cannot perfectly predict. The QEEG also provides valuable input that assists in the diagnosis of various psychiatric-psychological conditions, but it is a fundamental principle that one method alone should not be used to make a diagnosis or for decision making.