In neurotherapy we often look for abnormalities in brain function that are related to our clients’ struggles. Concurrently, there has been a trend in our field for a long time to rely on maps to make assessments; however, it is imperative as practitioners that we learn to look at the EEG to verify the features we see in the maps. It is common to refer to features like excess frontal theta, alpha asymmetry, or spindling beta at the vertex as features in clinical populations, but what defines normal EEG? Niedermeyer himself said “a chapter on normal EEG is more difficult to organize than it might seem.” This talk will provide a synthesis from relevant sections from Niedermeyer’s chapter on normal EEG in Adults and Elderly and connect the dots to other key texts in our field. This “back to basics” overview will help solidify the neurotherapist’ s foundation in assessing 19-channel EEG. A solid understanding of normal EEG is a crucial skill for a neurotherapist to develop their treatment plans, develop their protocols, and to make better decisions on when an EEG needs to be reviewed by a neurologist or referred out entirely. The presentation will start by discussing the common brainwaves and explore topics such as: amplitude, functions, reactivity, morphology, generators, coherence, and Brodmann Areas as they all relate to normal EEG. It will also provide examples of each in 19-channel EEG recordings. We will then discuss and identify normal variants within an EEG such as Mu, the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), Lambda, K-complexes, positive occipital sharp transients (POSTS), vertex sharp waves, and sleep spindles. After an overview of the various frequencies that one might find in a normal EEG, the presentation will introduce vigilance modeling and briefly touch on its implications for neurotherapy. This final section will cover sleep architecture, with specific 19-channel EEG examples to represent each of the various stages of sleep.
This overview of commonly accepted facts and concepts is intended for anyone who needs to be able to identify key features in normal EEG: whether they are a new neurotherapist, someone preparing for their qEEG exam, or an more experienced professional in the field.
Presented by: Joe Castellano