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QEEG for use in bipolar

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qeeg.jpgSo my psychologist performed whats known as a QEEG (Quantitative EEG) on my brain a few weeks ago. He told me the FDA just approved its use for determining the parts of the brain effected by depression and bipolar disorder, on top of seizures, which is what they were already approved for previously.

I was made to stare at an object roughly 12 feet away for my eyes open for 2 minutes, and then close my eyes for 2 minutes while the machine collected the data. He let me view a brief overview of the brainwaves, and preliminary glances concluded that I had beta spindles at the correct Hz for bipolar. He then said he would send it to a panel of neurological experts in Florida who will compile a 200 page report that will indicate what my brain is doing and where, how fast it is running, and what precise medications would be best to target that specific area, thus eliminating the use of the "med-go-round". Also, before the QEEG I had to answer a series of questions that he marked down. He said I answered YES to 15 out of 20 symptoms of seizure disorder, which he says has now been confirmed as a link between bipolar. He said I can find the scientific articles at pubmed.gov and there is evidence now that a lot of people diagnosed as bipolar actually have a new kind of seizure disorder that they've discovered. This explains the correlation between the anti-convulsant medications and the use of them for bipolar disorder.

My next appt is oct 7 so the results should be back. Looking forward to seeing exactly what is going in with my brain! 


He said a lot of psychiatrists in the area are starting to send patients to him to perform this QEEG testing to determine what the best course of action for medications would be. He said this is new but it is soon gaining popularity in other cities and will be a mainstream course of action for psychological diagnoses. Anyone else had one of these done yet?

Edited by 2Spirals
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Thanks for posting!  How long do you wear the electrodes?  Just for those 4 minutes (2 min open/2 min closed) or longer?


Do you mind me asking what state you had this done in?  I'd love to tell my neuro about this, and be able to refer to a place where it is when I tell him about it.



ETA:  did your neuro do the test or pdoc had it done (who ordered it)?

Edited by melissaw72
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My clinical psychologist actually did it. it wasn't ordered by anyone, he suggested it to me when I came to him with relationship problems stemming from complications of my bipolar disorder...  I wore the thing for 10 minutes but most of that was prep. the actual study was the 4 minutes. I did this in a regular state although he had me lower my jaw to relieve any tension in my forehead and jaw muscles so I had my mouth wide open and was drooling. lol.. I actually fella sleep once during the part where my eyes were closed.

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Oh state like, where I live? Washington.


Yes, I just wondered where you had this done.  I live in MA and it would have been awesome if it was something out here also.  Although maybe it already is.  I'll ask neuro and pdoc this week if he;s ever heard of it.  Thanks!

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I got my results back! Instead of re-typing everything, I will copy & paste the e-mail I sent to my mate yesterday when I got to work:




I Thought I would e-mail you right now while this is all fresh in my head from my appt – I couldn’t take notes because he was late so it was rushed so he was all over the place. They are sending copies to my GP and pdoc.


Basically, the beta spindles that show up with 24Hz are indicative of bipolar disorder (duh of course we already knew this) and that I am precariously tipped toward the mania side – meaning it would only take a small stressor at this point to put me into full blown mania. I asked him if they found any prodromal symptoms from that date, Sept 18 when we did the QEEG that would indicate oncoming mania and he said not at that time.


However – he showed me what my brain looks like compared to a normal brain. It was all over the place. Certain parts that should be firing fast, are firing slowly, while the parts that should be firing slowly are firing too fast. He said this impairs psychosocial functioning such as understanding/comprehension of others verbal language and non-verbal cues, decision making, impulsivity, and distractibility.

Also, it was found that my two lobes in the front cerebral cortex (is that right? The front part of the 2 halves of my brain) are ‘locked on to each other’ meaning other parts of my brain aren’t communicating with the other parts of the brain that they should be as would be normal. He said this is why if I am focused on one thing I cant multitask or pay attention to anything else going on around me., or switch tasks easily. This also accounts for my problem with intolerance for patience. He likened it to me talking to you or my mother on the phone while another call comes through, and I let that other call go to voicemail, when it turns out that other call I ignored was someone trying to tell me that my house was on fire while I am standing there, not even noticing.


This was all I can remember, I will request a copy when I can. I might see if they can e-mail it to me. He suggested a sleep study, too, because apparently when he had me close my eyes I slipped into stage 2 sleep within 20 seconds indicating sleep disturbance. This explains why I can get 8 or 9 hours of sleep and still be needing naps. Even while I’m sleeping, my brain is firing incorrectly, preventing the correct stages from happening at the correct times, which gives me overall poor quality of sleep. The spindles were even higher with eyes closed.


Ultimately the neurologist recommended pregabalin (Lyrica), which I had already asked my pdoc about previously, which he said isn’t FDA approved for mood disorders, and that my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I checked with Premera and its true, they wouldn’t cover it, unless I had some sort of neurologic chronic pain. But he said it might be possible with the right paperwork to back up the claims that this medication would help me. He also suggested Tenex (Neurontin/gabapentin), something that starts with a V, and clozapine. He said the Wellbutrin and clonazepam are actually counter-productive to what my brain needs and recommends getting off of them.


Anyway wanted to get this all out before it starts to go from my memory. He said the very top of my brain is the most affected part showing big signs of issues…. They also found the brain trauma from when I was 13 and my head was bashed into the brick wall!


We will talk later about this of course.


Got to get to work, love you!

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