What is qEEG?

Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG for short) is a way to evaluate functioning in your brain by measuring its electrical activity. Every second, thousands of specialized cells in your brain, called neurons, are firing or sending electrical impulses to one another to communicate messages. These messages are what allow us to think, learn, speak, grow, feel, move, play and be who we are. Mapping allows us to evaluate this communication and identify potential problem areas. Traditionally qEEG is used by neurologists to study the brain and evaluate damage associated with conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Here at NINH we are able to use qEEG to evaluate behavioral and mental functioning. This non-invasive, relatively quick (usually less than 30 minutes) examination allows us to see and identify areas of the brain active during higher functioning activities and evaluate their efficacy. Sometimes areas of the brain can be too active, not active enough or miscommunicating all together. Identifying these areas allows us to better help you identify a treatment that will work for you.

So why get a qEEG?

This innovative assessment tool can help you achieve your treatment goals by learning about how YOUR brain works. Here at NINH we have seen many children, adults and families that are frustrated because none of the traditional treatment approaches have seemed to work. With this approach we can make better therapy, lifestyle and medication recommendations to help you or your child optimize potential.

At this time NINH is offering qEEG at request or recommendation only. Although we are working hard to change it, qEEG costs are not covered by all insurance providers. If you are interested in having a qEEG done, please contact the office to learn about payment options or if insurance coverage is available.

If you or your child has been scheduled for a qEEG here are some helpful tips on how to prepare and what to expect.

  • Avoid taking any over the counter medications for at least 3 days prior to your appointment.
  • Avoid substances containing caffeine (coffee, tea, red bull, monster, many soft drinks) for at least 12hrs prior to your appointment.
  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before your reading.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wash your hair with a neutral shampoo the evening before your appointment, avoid creams and styling products until after your appointment.
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry with no products in it.
  • Use the restroom, we are not able to stop once the recording begins.
Infant with eeg cap undergoing testing
  • For most adults and children, the process of applying the electrode cap takes between 10-15 minutes.
  • A soft cap containing the electrodes will be placed onto the head and secured appropriately.
  • Each electrode is filled with a water-based gel, similar to gel you might encounter during an ultrasound, using a blunt syringe.
  • When the qEEG is collected it is expected the client will remain quiet and still for the duration. Use of electronic devices or diversional activities are not allowed.
  • If you think it may be difficult for you or your child to sit through the collection process (between 10 and 15 minutes) please let us know when scheduling.
  • The cap will be removed, leaving some residual gel in the hair. This washes out easily with water even after it dries.
  • The qEEG tech can assist you with wiping out as much of the gel as possible but plan accordingly. There is not a method to wash the hair available at the office.
  • Results will not be available immediately after the reading. Evaluation and interpretation of the qEEG takes time.
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