We utilize an advanced neurological technology called a Brain Mapping which produces a brain map that allows us to quantify the power, amount, distribution and ratio of various brain waves. With LENS we use software that is very similar to Quantitative EEG Neurofeedback .
To conduct the test, we place a comfortable cap on the individual’s head. The cap contains sensors that measure brainwaves of various frequencies. This is an entirely a non-invasive reading of the brain’s activity and frequency patterns and involves no radiation or injections of any kind.
Sample Brain Map of a 7 Year Old Female with Severe ADHD
The red indicates excessive brain wave abnormalities in the beta and high beta frequencies. This caused the child to exhibit symptoms of distractibility and hyperactivity.
The Quantitative EEG Neurofeedback test shows us how the brain is functioning.
Delta Frequency – this is the slowest frequency which is dominant when we sleep. If there is too much activity in the delta frequency, there are problems with motivation, the ability to focus and maintain attention. ADD sufferers will exhibit heavy activity in this frequency. Theta Frequency – is a slow frequency that is present between sleep and wakefulness. Too little activity can lead to hyperactivity. However, too much activity can lead to inattentiveness. Alpha Frequency – is one of the brain’s most important frequencies because it is a medium frequency that allows the individual to feel relaxed but alert. It enables individuals to accomplish tasks easily. Reduced amounts of alpha frequency cause worry, insomnia and an inability to effectively complete tasks which are common complaints of ADD sufferers. Beta Frequency – is a medium fast frequency which is dominant when we are concentrating. We use this frequency to process information, problem solve and make solid judgments. Reduced activity in this area is associated with the ADD symptoms of inability to sustain attention and complete tasks. High Beta Frequency – is a fast frequency. It is used when we process high level information. A good memory comes from a healthy level of high beta frequency. An elevated level of high beta causes hyperactivity and distractibility. Healthy individuals have a balanced level of activity in each of the frequencies. Excessive or severely decreased levels cause problems with attention, hyperactivity and mood regulation.
Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG), also known as a Brainmap is a diagnostic technique that has benefits for neurofeedback. An elastic net cap with 19 sensors is placed on the head so that the brainwave activity can be measured. There is no piercing of the skin. Brainwaves are then recorded with eyes closed and again with eyes open. This data is then compared to one or more normative databases. This results in a series of tables and graphs which indicate which areas have brainwave abnormalities, the degree of abnormality, and the brainwave frequencies that are involved. This leads to specific neurofeedback protocols. The benefit of doing a QEEG is that it may reduce the number of neurofeedback sessions and increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Brainmaps guide efficient and effective treatment by guiding where the sensors should be placed and what frequencies should be addressed in training.
The numbers generated are Z scores which is a metric which represents how normal or abnormal a score is in comparison to the Neuroguide Database. A Z score of +1 represents a score exceeding 84% of individuals that age; +1.25 exceeds 89%; +1.5 exceeds 93%; +2.0 exceeds 98%.
A combination of tables and graphics of Z scores appear below for either the traditional eeg bands (e.g. Delta 1-4 Hz.; Theta 4-7 Hz.; Alpha 8-12 Hz., Beta 12-25 Hz, etc.) or for specific single Hz. bins to enable increased precision.
The heads use colors to represent the Z scores at the 19 sites, with the nose on the top. Grey represents scores that are normal (+/- 1 Z score). The dots on the head are electrode sites (e.g. the top two being prefrontal sites)
Here is an example of three seconds of EEG recorded at 19 sites which shows the brain making normal brainwaves to start but then shifts into a dysregulated state where it makes the larger, slower brainwaves (theta). This dysregulated state is likely occurring when this ADHD child is inattentive. When this child’s recorded brainwaves are averaged and compared to a database we find that he is making more theta activity in the frontal and prefrontal sites is greater than 97% of children his age. This information can be represented in graphs as seen below.
We can see his excessive theta activity in the graph below:
An overanxious woman who banged the back of her head has a different looking brainmap, showing the excessive delta and theta in the back of her head, in addition to the excessive alpha everywhere.
An adult suffering with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has a QEEG which shows very excessive fast wave activity, a common pattern in OCD:
An adolescent with a severe seizure disorder (5x/week) had this QEEG before and after treatment:
After a course of neurofeedback, you can see he had a much improved QEEG (and only one seizure in 3 months). Notice the significant reduction of Delta and Theta activity.
Brainmaps provide a great deal of additional information in a variety of tables and graphs. In addition to measures of the power of the EEG at various speeds, the Connectivity measures give information about but about how well one part of the brain is communicating with another part of the brain. This adolescent with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has difficulties with effective communication between various prefrontal and frontal lobe sites.
Who can benefit from neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a viable alternative for most individuals especially those who have been medication resistant, want to discontinue medication or who have not responded to traditional psychotherapy. It can be a stand-alone treatment with lasting results.
What happens in a session?
In a typical 45 minute session, the clinician places electrodes on the scalp and records the brain waves in real time. The patient receives feedback through a variety of multimedia methods – sounds, images, games – when they are producing the desired brain waves. Software sends feedback to monitor Electrodes measures and records brainwaves. Neurofeedback teaches the patient how to self-regulate their neurophysiological state a subsequent emotion, thoughts, and behaviors. They are equipped with the tools to regulate which can result in numerous improved symptoms including better sleep quality greater mental clarity, enhanced attention, and emotional resilience, among many others.