EEG Research

The collection of normal EEGs to build a normative database began in the 1980s.Neurophysiology researchers like E. Roy John and Leslie Prichep at New York University of Medicine proposed different quantitative EEG subtypes that correlated with psychiatric treatment outcomes.

In 1996, Dr. Suffin and Dr. Emory published in Clinical Electroencephalography  a retrospective analysis of treatment that demonstrated a high percentage of success for certain EEG findings and matched pharmacologic treatments. Several small pilot studies have subsequently confirmed the usefulness of this approach in various populations with treatment resistant depression, substance abuse with comorbid disorders, and eating disorders.

The most recent study authored by Dr. DeBattista from Stanford University and Dr. Kinrys from Harvard Medical School compared patient outcomes with EEG-guided medication choices versus the outcomes achieved using the “gold standard” of medication protocol, the NIMH Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression trial (STAR*D). By one measure of depression (QIDS-16-SR) the response rate for an EEG-guided treatment was 65% versus 39% for STAR*D treatment. This abstract can be found at PubMed.gov, search DeBattista and rEEG. Also at PubMed, search Greenblatt and EEG and find similar success with recommendations for eating disorders.

Michael H. Anderson, M.D.

Psychiatrist McLean, VA