Think of your brain as a radio. The radio station sends out a signal and you tune your radio to the right frequency to listen to the message. If there’s a bad signal or you’re not quite tuned into the right frequency, you’ll hear static noise, hear two radio stations at the same time or end up listening to the wrong station all together. This is similar to what happens in your brain. Your brain wants to tune into the brainwaves being produced, but if the waves are happening at the wrong frequency, you experience difficulties like ADD, ADHD and many other concentration issues.
This is why you cannot diagnose ADD by simply looking at someone. We have to measure the waves in the brain to establish if the waves being produced are healthy.
To assist us in making the correct diagnosis, we use a Quantitative EEG (qEEG). The qEEG has two distinct parts. First, we record brainwaves (EEG data) from multiple areas on the scalp while the client engages in a variety of different tasks. Then the data collected during the assessment is compared to a normative (regular) database. At The ADD Lab we use the Brain Resource Company’s normative database. It is the largest database in the world and includes norms collected in South Africa.
By statistically comparing our results to a base considered “normal”, we can determine whether the person’s brainwave patterns are significantly different from other individuals within the same age and gender group. These results provide information on how different brain areas function as well as how different brain areas communicate with each other while the person is engaged in a specific state (e.g. sleeping/ awake) and specific task. If an irregularity or set of irregularities are identified it assist us in making the correct diagnosis.
WHAT WE LOOK AT DURING A QEEG:
- Resting EEG with eyes open and eyes closed. This will give us a baseline to measure from.
- Brain connectivity (coherence) which indicates how well brain areas communicate. Too much connectivity can indicate a lack of discrimination between incoming information while too little connectivity indicates that information is not being shared between the different parts of the brain effectively.
- Brain asymmetry – which provides insight into power imbalances between different brain areas.
- Auditory processing skills and selective attention which reflects the individual’s ability to process relevant information while filtering out and ignoring irrelevant information
- Visual processing skills and the individual’s ability to supress or inhibit learned or automatic responses.
- Sustained attention and visual working memory skills.
- Executive functioning which includes task planning, insight, foresight, visual-spatial skills as well as memory,
- Functioning of the autonomic nervous system or the body’s fight and flight response.
Using a qEEG to diagnose ADD helps us look at the source of the problem, not merely the superficial symptoms. This information makes it easier to target therapies and therefore overcome difficulties.
To find out more about the qEEG or to book your intro consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 888 9334.