Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The qEEG. Your first choice - Lauren Claassen

My daughter Lauren is currently completing her masters degree in psycology. She joined The ADD Lab a year or so ago and is now balancing her life as a student with her life here at the practice. She has had countless successes  and having found a passion for the qEEG, I thought it would only be fitting for her to write this month's article. Enjoy the read - Mitzi Claassen
For the last couple of months we’ve been looking at some of the reasons why the diagnoses of developmental dis.orders (such as ADD/ADHAD, autism, epilepsy and dyslexia) are on the rise. In March we looked at the impact and importance of sleep. And in April we looked at the dismal state of our children’s nutrition and the effect it is having on their brains. This month, I’m going to look at another reason why these diagnoses are on the rise, the diag.nosis itself.

 -Lauren Claassen-
It is estimated that 1 in every 6 children are diagnosed with some kind of developmental diso.rder or difficulty.The amount is staggering. And it’s what got me thinking about a trend we’ve been seeing in the practice for a very long time. We get so many emails every month from parents who have done just about everything under the son to address their child’s problem. Let me take you through a typical email.
“My son/daughter has been diagnosed with X. We’ve tried A to W. Nothing is working and my medical aid is running out! Please help.”
Here is the crucial part; “My son/daughter has been diagnosed with X”. Despite the fact that these developmental issues originate in the brain, most of them are diagnosed on the bases of observable behavior. It’s like treating a patient with a heart problem, by looking at his symptoms. And not doing an ECG or chest x-ray to look at the heart. So in order for us to treat a disor.der that originates in the brain, should we not be looking at the brain directly?
The qEEG(Quantitative electroencephalogram) is what helps us do exactly that - look at the brain directly. So that we can not only diagnose the developmental disor.der correctly, but most importantly, treat it correctly.
Let’s take a closer look at the process:
The qEEG records the activity in the brain through the help a cap which we place on the client’s head. While the client performs tasks (vis.ion, attention, language and audition), the brain activity is recorded in real-time. It allows us to watch the brain as it performs certain functions, which in turn helps us dete.ct even the slightest abnormality. Once the qEEG is complete, the data is submitted and compared to what we call a normative database, which has beendeveloped by the ‘Brain Resource Company’.

It includes subjects of different races, genders, ages and cultures. By analyzing the client’s data and comparing it to this database we are able to see if any irregularity in brainwave activity exists. Once the comparison has been made, the data collected is converted into a colour map of the brain which identifies which areas of the brain were efficiently engaged during specific tasks and which weren’t, allowing us triangulate exactly where in the brain the irregular/abnormal activity is. Giving the client a neurological diagn.osis which isn’t merely based on behavior observed.
By using the qEEG to diagnose developmental problems, we can treat the origin of the problem in the brain itself. And this is what allows us to develop a customized programme for every client. This programme may include Neurotherapy, Cellfield, Solisten, or any other therapy. What is important is that you know we are treating and monitoring a problem based on a diagn.osis we made by looking at the source of it.

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