The goal of “brain wave” analysis is to guide Dr. Anderson to medication choices that are most often associated with good outcomes for similar brain patterns. The patient relaxes while a painless electroencephalogram (EEG) is recorded. This is rendered into a standard, digital Quantitative EEG format and compared to a normative database to determine areas that are “higher” or “lower” than average. Measurements include absolute and relative power in the different frequency bands, measures of coherence, and other technical analytics.
Those results are submitted to a computerized algorithm which further delineates it. These results are submitted to the Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry, or PEER Online, which is a cloud-based database of outcomes. That database then suggests which particular medications have been effective, or not effective, based on the outcomes of patients with similar neurophysiological EEG patterns. Although psychiatrists are trained to detect clinical pictures or syndromes, the reality is that much of prescribing is a trial and error process. The EEG testing narrows the focus and provides objective biomarkers of brain function that guide medication choice. A survey of psychiatric and substance abuse practices that employed EEG testing rated the helpfullness of the test in achieving their outcomes as follows:
VERY HELPFUL – 70%
HELPFUL – 20%
MINIMAL or UNHELPFUL – 10%
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