Brain Mapping: What Is It & What Are The Mental Health Benefits?

The brain is very complex, and we learn more and more about it every day. The prominence of mental health, or the rather the lack thereof, is skyrocketing with all the new information we learn about the brain. Whenever scientists first developed neurofeedback, the information it garnered wasn’t able to be used in the way we can use it today with brain mapping. Using a diagnostic tool called a Quantitative Electroencephalogram, or QEEG, brain mapping can be used to help provide crucial information on an array of brain-based disorders including anxiety and depression.

Every moment of every day, our brains work hard to help us make decisions, synthesize our emotions, and manage behavior. Each thought and movement is controlled by millions and millions of electrical signals. Throughout the day, the brain cycles through Delta, Theta, Alpha, Sensorimotor, and Beta brain waves. The beauty of brain mapping is it collects those brain frequency patterns with a noninvasive procedure. A comfortable cap is placed on the patient’s head, he or she may be asked to complete a task that causes stress or dismay, and the computer creates digital images that show various levels of activity in the brain; otherwise known as the brain map. The areas with the most activity are red and areas with the least activity are green. The red areas can indicate an over-active part of the brain, which can help doctors and specialists determine where the source of the issue is internally.

When specialists know more about a patient’s brain specifically, the better equipped they are to treat his or her condition. The brain map reveals how well the brain is functioning. There are unique brain wave patterns that appear in people, or can be predictive of, anxiety and depression. Regions of the brain called the amygdala and hippocampus are responsible for our emotions and moods. Excessive activities in this area could be key to a diagnosis and the beginning of a journey toward mental health.

Getting an QEEG can be critical in helping the specialists around you take action. A brain scan has proven to be quite successful in identifying the attributes for evaluating depression. In large samples sizes, the QEEG has been anywhere from 73-93% effective in detection. Anxiety manifests in the brain in similar ways to depression (i.e. changing brain-wave patterns). So when these specific abnormalities are identified, it makes it much easier for the doctor to prescribe a treatment to the patient. A brain scan, however, can be crucial in distinguishing the two or ruling out other mood disorders.

Brain mapping could be the answer to the endless questions you have had surrounding your mental health and consistent failure with treatment. There is no reason to live every day with crushing doubts, few interests, or anything that makes you feel less than human. Everyone deserves individualized treatment for their anxiety and depression. With brain mapping, doctors help you, and you help others all around the world by adding to the data pool that can support this practice. Don’t just take reactive measures, take control.

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