QEEG stands for quantitative electroencephalogram, and is a direct measurement of brain activity and processing. For a QEEG, brainwave data are collected from locations on the surface of the head and it is compared to healthy individuals who are similar to the patient in terms of age. Numerous computations are completed to compare patterns of brain cell firing of the individual patient to this healthy group. These calculations help to reveal where the brain may not be functioning optimally. Suboptimal patterns of brain functioning can help to determine the reasons for specific problems and to help in guiding treatment.
During a QEEG appointment the subject sits in a large comfortable chair and the technician will first measure the subject’s head to select the correct cap. The cap (or electro-cap) looks similar to a swim cap with multiple holes in it, which house wires. These wires are actually sensors that read the subject’s natural brain activity and in no way put anything into the brain or body of the subject. Once the correct size cap is selected, the technician will gently fit it on to the subjects head. At first the cap may feel tight, but it will be adjusted. Once the cap is fitted, the technician will then fill each hole with a conductive gel similar to the gel used in an ultra-sound procedure. Next the technician will clean the surface of your scalp were the sensors are located to ensure the most accurate reading. The technician will then clean off your earlobes with a special cleaning pad and place loose fitting ear clips on each ear. This completes the set-up process.
Once the set-up is complete the technician will begin the QEEG recording. Typically we will do two 10 minute recording. For the first recording the technician will ask the subject to stare at a stationary object or picture in front of them. The purpose of this is to try to keep the subject’s eyes as still as possible, as the equipment is very sensitive to eye movement. The subject will also be instructed to remain as still and quiet as possible, and to limit eye blinks to the best of their ability. Once the first recording is complete the technician will then begin the second 10 minute recording, in which the subject will be asked to keep their eyes closed. The technician will ensure that the subject does not doze off or fall asleep during this recording. For younger subjects and/or subjects with behavioral, sensory, or attention issues we can adapt this procedure to make it easier for them to tolerate. The QEEG typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete and if parents wish they are welcome to sit with their child for the entire appointment.
Following this procedure these data are artifacted (cleaned up to remove the effects of movement) and compared to normative databases. This enables a precise measurement of actual brain processing that helps in diagnosis and guiding treatment options.
On the day of your QEEG appointment please follow these instructions: