121 Neurofeedback services qEEG acquisition process

When we undertake to record a qEEG of your brain pattern, or brain map, it is a non intrusive measure of micro volts (millionths of a volt) of electrical activity on your scalp. We place what looks like a shower cap, see picture, on your head that contains electrical sensors. It looks a bit intimidating as there is a lot of wires visible on the inside of the “shower cap/Electro-cap”. Please rest assured that no electrical energy will be passed into your scalp, nor will there be any effect on your brain as we are only recording activity. There is not any neurofeedback training at this stage that could change your brain state other than your own anxiety if you are concerned with having a qEEG. (quantitative electro-encephalographic).

The next step of the recording, once all formalities have been performed, for example, recording your name, date of birth, medical history etc, is to prepare the electro-cap and scalp for recording of your qEEG. That involves making sure a good
connection exits between your scalp and the recording device. To achieve a good connection it is necessary to reduce the electrical resistance or impedance between your scalp and the recording device to as low as possible.

That is achieved by using an exfoliate and conductive gel at each sensor location. As with neurofeedback there is no need to shave your head of hair beforehand as good connection is achieved by placing water soluble conductive jell at all the sensor sites. That of course means your hair will have globules of water soluble paste formed on your head at 20 locations. Besides this both your ear lobes will have sensors connected to them. If you are wearing ear rings these will have to be removed during the setting up and recording of a qEEG. Please allow at least 20 minutes for the pre recording setting up.

Once everything is in order the qEEG recording will begin. That involves sitting in a relaxed manner for two or three sessions of about six minutes each. For ADHD or other disorders where it is impossible to stay focused and still for a sufficient duration a different measurement method would be employed to measure your brain activity. In either case we would, were possible, record a session with your eyes open, eyes closed and possibly on task such as reading, simple mathematical calculations or watching a display screen. During the eyes open and eyes closed recording sessions we ask you not to move your head, mouth, eyes unnecessarily and swallowing The reason for this is because the muscle electrical activity generated by those actions will mask or swamp the sensitive qEEG recording. Do not worry unduly as we will be able to explain this in more detail and demonstrate to you the effects of muscle artifacts before we actually record your “Brainwaves” on the recording device.

The recording device will either be a laptop or desktop computer coupled with specialist qEEG equipment. Significant advances in computer technology and software has enabled quantitive Electro-Encephalographs to be recorded without the need of humongous recording devices recording the EEG using reams and reams of paper. After the recording has taken place and the electro-cap has been removed from your head your qEEG recording session has ended.

Neurofeedback qEEG acquisition process

What happens next?

The next step is that your recording will be analysed in depth and a report will be produced for review with you and your clinical specialist Lesley Parkinson of Brainhealth. During that review with you the results of your report and the options open to you will be discussed.

Click on the “brain” to the right and see details of a qEEG brainwave acquisition between the scalp and the active synapses.

Why take a qEEG assessment?

Before any corrective or neuro-physiological understanding is reached it is necessary to understand what is going on within your brain by measuring and analysing the electrical activity of the cerebral cortex/brain. The electrical energy source that is being measured originates from neurons firing within your brain.

The qEEG measurement aids in the diagnosis of brain dysfunction. Research has found that the qEEG is as reliable as other routinely used clinical tests.

If you consider for a moment that your brain is functioning like an orchestra playing off key or out of tune. The conductor, you, does not know which instruments are playing off key. The qEEG tells us which instrument or section is not functioning correctly and the neurofeedback protocol will retrain the off key sections enabling the conductor to hear what is wanted

Once a full understanding of your brain function is understood and other clinical tests have been concluded then it is possible to consider if Neurofeedback is an option to restore appropriate functionality. Neurofeedback training protocols will be designed based your clinical assessment and qEEG results.

Note please:

It is advisable to avoid any drinks or food containing caffeine for eight hours before the qEEG assessment or test.
Before you have a qEEG test you should make sure your hair is clean and dry. It is also best to avoid using any sprays, oils, or conditioner, on your hair.
It is likely that after the qEEG test some residual conductive paste will be left in your hair. It is water soluble and will wash off.

You will be asked about your current medication and medical history before the qEEG assessment.

Please allow one hour for the assessment.