The last couple of years have been tough on everyone’s physical and mental health, or brain health. COVID-19 didn’t just bring a new virus to our doorsteps; it brought challenges that we had no idea that we would be facing, many that we never dreamed we would have to face.
One of those challenges is the strain put on our mental health and even our cognition.
Cognition encompasses the processes in your brain involved in:
- The ability to learn new things
COVID Brain Fog
You’ve probably heard the term “COVID Brain Fog.” And for many, COVID brain fog refers to the lingering problems that people who have contracted COVID have with:
- Sluggish thinking
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
Even for people who have not had COVID but are isolated or overwhelmed, people who are suffering from these very real things:
- Anxiety or depression
- Men and women who have a hormone imbalance
- Cognitive challenges
You may also recognize many of these symptoms as those associated with other conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
How Do You Find Out What’s Going on in Your Brain?
Take a qEEG test. qEEG tests are a type of cognitive testing that creates a visual map of your brain that can help your doctor better understand what’s going on in your brain.
q = Quantitative
The “q” stands for “quantitative,” meaning that this test measures the number of brainwaves you have compared to normal brainwave activity.
EEG = Electroencephalogram
The “EEG” stands for electroencephalogram, which means the test primarily looks at brainwaves.
What Does the Data From the Test Mean?
The data from qEEG tests provides two primary sources of information to your provider:
- The number of brainwaves present in your brain
- The type of brainwaves flowing through your brain
When a computer puts these two sources of information together, the data creates a “map” of your brain.
“Brain mapping” (qEEG) measures the electrical activity in your brain much like an electrocardiogram or EKG measures the heart’s electrical activity.
qEEG Tests Are Simple
Even though the brain is your body’s most complex organ, getting a qEEG scan is simple. Brain mapping tests usually consist of two parts:
- The recording of brainwaves
- The creation of a multi-colored brain map
Brainwaves Recording Process
During the brainwave recording, you will relax and sit still while the technician records your brainwaves with your eyes open and closed. The recording process takes about 10 to 20 minutes.
- A qEEG technician will clean your forehead and ear lobes to remove any oil from your skin.
- They will place a cap with small holes on your head and then apply a cooling gel to the holes.
- Lastly, they connect the cap to the EEG equipment through a set of wires. Both you and the technician will be able to see your brain waves on the computer screen!
Multi-colored Brain Mapping Process
After the EEG technician records your brainwaves, they will analyze the results of the qEEG. After a thorough analysis, the data is converted into a multi-colored brain map that the technician will later review with you in person.
What Does a Brain Map Show?
You can expect your brain map report to consist of several pages of data that show how different parts of the brain function. Your technician and provider will use the brain map to determine the parts of your brain that are functioning normally or abnormally.
For example, this information can help reveal or confirm:
- Head injuries
- Brain tumors
- Memory problems
- Impulsive behavior issues
- Trouble with managing your emotions
- Poor problem-solving abilities
The brain map report also provides a Discriminants Analysis, which focuses explicitly on your:
- Cognitive functioning
- Emotional functioning
- Memory functioning
- Executive functioning
This report helps providers and behavioral experts determine your risk for conditions that affect these types of functions like:
- Anxiety disorders
- Executive functioning disorder
The brain map report also includes Magnitude Analysis that shows how well your brain’s lobes function. This is important bemuses each lobe of your brain needs to have a certain amount of each brain wave type to function optimally.
Low Beta and Gamma Waves
For example, having low beta and gamma waves in the frontal lobe can affect your impulse control and social relationships.
Overactive Beta and Gamma Waves
On the other hand, if you have overactive beta and gamma waves in the parietal lobe, you can become hyperactive and impulsive.
Curious About What Brain Waves Do?
- Delta waves restore and rejuvenate your mind and body when you sleep, relax, or meditate.
- Theta waves help process information and make memories. They help you create, feel, daydream, and trust your intuition. Theta waves are strongest when you focus internally, meditate, and pray.
- Alpha waves help you focus on being present, calm, alert, and mentally aware.
- Beta waves help you think logically and increase your focus and concentration.
- Gamma waves help process information and solve problems.
Want to Improve Your Brain Health?
Sometimes you may need a qEEG to see what’s wrong with your brain so that you can get a diagnosis that will lead to treatment. On the other hand, some people don’t have a medical concern to get a qEEG.
And, they have qEEG’s performed to see their cognitive strengths and weaknesses and then use that information to improve their brain health.
qEEG’s and Cognitive Decline
Sometimes cognitive symptoms associated with certain conditions like menopausal brain fog, COVID brain fog, or anxiety can be temporary or cleared up with treatment. However, they can be chronic and are a sign of chronic decline.
As such, the warning signs of cognitive disorders vary depending on the specific disorder, but many symptoms overlap and act as a red flag for cognitive decline.
Lastly, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Identity Confusion
- Impaired Judgement
- Loss of Short-Term or Long-Term Memory
- Poor Motor Coordination
Most importantly, if you or a loved one has experienced any of the symptoms or you have a history of cognitive decline or lifestyle choices that make you more susceptible to cognitive issues, schedule a consultation with our team of experts today!