Quantitative Electroencephalography and Brainwave Network Activation

Quantitative Electroencephalography and Brainwave Network Activation

The Brain is an amazing and critical organ when considering normal health, well-being, and optimizing performance. Consider the proportion of the body’s resources commanded by the brain for normal function. While its weight is only 2% of total body mass, the brain uses:

  • about 20% of the body’s total energy;
  • about 30% of the body’s total oxygen consumption;
  • and about 40% of the body’s total glucose consumption.

And the metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably consistent over time.

Brainwave activity can be assessed by recording and processing electrical information at rest and after stimulation. And this information provides us with a wealth of information about the efficiency and overall health of an individual’s brain. As one might imagine, a very well organized and efficient brain uses these energy, oxygen, and glucose resources for optimal function. And individuals in this category are typically very high functioning. Conversely, individuals with relative disorganization in brainwave activity, or with poor efficiency and less desirable responses to stimuli tend to struggle with performance. Worse yet and in more severe cases, they may have specific pathological diagnoses. We can perform EEG-based assessments of the electrical activity in one’s brain and use the information to guide our recommendations regarding a number of things including, but not limited to an individual’s:

  • Sleep Health and Fatigue
  • Depression and/or Anxiety-like Tendencies
  • Focus and Concentration
  • Decision-Making Profile
  • Resilience
  • Cognitive Function and Speed of Mental Processing
  • Sensory Network Activity
  • Working Memory Network Activity
  • Attention Network Activity
  • Likely/Predicted Response to Medications for Certain Behavioral Conditions
  • Response to Treatment

We use specific tests for different reasons in different individuals and situations. For instance, Brain Network Activation (BNA) provides information on the health and activity of some of the major networks in the brain and how different neurons in different areas are connected and work together (rather than focus on the function of a specific location or structure). BNA can provide objective baseline or benchmark (pre-season) assessment data that can be compared to after injury, at mid-season, or post-season and assist in evaluating for presence and/or resolution of concussion and safe return to play. For others, BNA can be used to provide objective information regarding likelihood of response to certain medications used for behavioral disorders or response to interventions for pain.

Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) can provide real-time and detailed information on the brain-clock (the rhythmic and regular background rates of firing of neurons), and how synchronous the electrical signals are at different rates and in different regions. This is often used in our Center to guide protocols in injured or symptomatic individuals being treated with our MeRT form of Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation. Baseline QEEG is followed by repeat testing after initial treatments and periodically thereafter to show the brain’s electrical response to treatments. In these cases, we use QEEG to demonstrate improvements in synchrony, speed, and efficiency of the brain clock as well as correlating these improvements to resolution of symptoms and improvement in function. In other cases, QEEG is used in otherwise healthy individuals to show how they might benefit from MeRT, Neurofeedback, and other Peak Performance training. The QEEG may assist with sequencing interventions (determining the optimal order in which to pursue the various training and interventions). Still other scenarios call for QEEG to asses an individual’s overall profile relative to their Neurological organization and efficiency with an eye toward player/prospect assessment. This data can assist trainers, coaches, and other clients in determining how individual athletes are most likely to learn efficiently, and to what kind of coaching strategies they’re predisposed to best and most efficiently internalized.

QEEG and BNA are non-invasive, inexpensive, and accurate methods of assessment that can be used to compare individuals to normative data in the general population and to themselves in response to treatment interventions, helping guide our journey to Peak Performance. These assessment tools have tremendous utility in the general population over and above athletes. Students, Professionals, CEOs, and even the elderly benefit from Brainwave Network Activation.

If you’re interested in optimizing sleep, focus, speed of mental processing, and/or clarity of thought, these kinds of assessments can provide vital and objective data to determine current status, plan training/interventions, and reassess as needed on an ongoing basis.

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