Brain Mapping Explained

Brain Mapping

Brain Mapping

Table of Contents

Brain Mapping Explained

How Neuroimaging Affects Therapy and Treatment 

Individuals in need of treatment for addiction, cognitive disorders, or other illnesses may benefit from brain mapping treatments at clinics like the J. Flowers Health Institute. Through brain mapping, psychologists and physicians can better understand how their clients’ brains work and develop personalized, effective treatment plans that lead to long-term results and relief.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain mapping includes a variety of techniques and technologies used to study, scan, and map electrical activity within the brain. Brain mapping tools can either study the brain’s structure or function through examining the physical layout of the brain or by measuring where and how electrical activity takes place within its tissues.1 

History of Brain Mapping

Brain mapping as a distinct treatment technique and area of technology began in the late 1970s, which is when both MRI or magnetic resonance imaging and CT or computed tomography scan techniques were created. 

These technologies were much less harmful and invasive than other types of brain mapping techniques of the time, such as processes that involved draining cerebrospinal fluid and replacing it with air to map the structure of the brain through x-rays. 

Brain mapping’s progress has only continued in the following decades. Now, there are several distinct therapies and technologies physicians can use to accurately map the interior of the brain, measure electrical activity, and gain a greater level of detail than ever before. 

Types of Brain Scans

Physicians may choose to use a variety of brain scan techniques, including MRI scans. MRI scans are not the only type of brain scan performed, but they are among the most common. They are non-invasive and provide a wealth of information for medical professionals. 

Medical professionals may also choose to use electroencephalography or EEG scans, which involve using metal sensors and a cap on the head to measure electrical activity in the brain. Additionally, qEEG treatments take the measurements gained from a typical EEG scan and process those electrical patterns through quantitative analysis software and formulas. 

When performed correctly, EEG and/or qEEG treatments can be very useful for physicians and psychologists looking to better understand how their clients’ brains function at the nanosecond level. This information, in turn, allows for the development of personalized and effective treatment plans for addictions, neurological disorders, and more. 

The Basics of Brain Mapping

What in the Brain Can Be Mapped?

A variety of conditions or factors can be mapped in a client’s brain when a test is administered. These include: 

Memory:

Memories can be mapped or detected through electrical scans, such as EEG scans. Through these techniques, client brains can be studied to detect where specific memories are stored, how the brain recalls different memories, and what effect those memories have on other neurological processes. 

Learning:

Psychologists and physicians can use brain mapping to determine how a client learns and where information is stored. It can also be used to detect whether there are learning impediments due to neurological conditions like addictions, cognitive inflexibility, and so on. 

Aging:

Brain mapping can be used to detect the effects of aging in the mind, either structurally or functionally, as well as to detect how drugs or other substances may induce premature aging and brain tissue. 

Drug effects:

Brain mapping can be used to detect the effects of aging in the mind, either structurally or functionally, as well as to detect how drugs or other substances may induce premature aging and brain tissue. 

All in all, brain mapping is a very important technique that wellness professionals and psychologists can and should use to provide the best possible assistance to their clients.  

How do MRI Scans Work?

Types of MRI

There are five major types of MRI scans physicians can administer. These include: 

fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging:

This technique involves using magnetic fields to create radio signals that bounce off various atomic nuclei inside a patient’s brain. By measuring the radio signals, physicians can create a detailed map of a brain’s structure. 

Breast scans:

As their name suggests, breast MRI scans are used to detect the presence of breast cancer in clients through the same methods described above.

MRA or magnetic resonance angiography:

This non-invasive procedure uses MRI scans and contrast dyes administered intravenously to help visualize blood vessels. This procedure causes certain blood vessels to appear opaque and MRI images, assisting physicians in their analyses and diagnoses. 

MRV or magnetic resonance venography

 MRV techniques use large magnets and radio frequencies to produce detailed pictures of structures and organs throughout the body. They may also use an intravenous contrast dye to visualize clients’ veins. 

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI imaging uses radio frequencies and magnets to produce detailed pictures of heart structures, which is useful for diagnosing heart cancer, cardiovascular problems, and more. 

5 Types of Brain Waves

Alongside using MRI scans, brain mapping techniques or therapies may involve analyzing the five major types of brain waves. Brain waves can be analyzed for a greater understanding of client needs or thought patterns and to develop effective treatment plans. The five major types of brain waves are:2 

Delta waves

which are the highest amplitude and the slowest and which are primarily experienced in deep sleep.

Theta waves

which are experienced during REM cycles of sleep or during times of intense relaxation, such as during daydreams or meditation. 

Alpha waves

which are produced when the mind is alert and conscious but still relatively relaxed. 

Beta waves

which are produced when the brain is alert and awake and when individuals are excited or aroused. 

Gamma waves

which are the lowest amplitude but the fastest of the brain waves. These are created when an individual tries to solve a problem or has to concentrate intensely on a specific task. 

Brain Mapping’s Importance in Finding Disorders

Brain mapping is crucial for uncovering the origins and treatments for a variety of disorders, including:

Physical disorders:

Through structural brain imaging techniques, brain mapping can help physicians detect the presence of tumors or other brain injuries before it is too late. 

Emotional disorders:

Certain brain mapping techniques, particularly those that measure electrical activity, can determine the origins or thought patterns behind emotional conditions, including addiction. 

Cognitive disorders:

Brain mapping can help psychologists and physicians find the root causes of cognitive disorders like depression, anxiety, memory loss, and more.  

What Disorders Can Neuroimaging Map?

Through neuroimaging, neuroscientists and other medical professionals can diagnose a wide variety of disorders. These include disorders like schizophrenia or clinical depression. However, brain scans are only used to provide information to clients and medical professionals. The information has to be used correctly to develop a good treatment technique that produces long-term results. 

How to Prepare for a qEEG Session

Although qEEG sessions are not foolproof, it is up to individual clients to ensure that they have a successful session. A client can prepare for qEEG sessions by following the below list of dos and don’ts.  

DO:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast before an appointment to prevent distractions or lack of sleep from affecting brainwave activity. 
  • Schedule a qEEG session when you are most likely to be alert, such as the morning before a half-day at work. 
  • Wash your hair without adding styling gel or other hair products to prevent interference with the EEG scan. 
  • Arrive ahead of time so you are not worried about another appointment or responsibility. 
  • Remove your contact lenses before the qEEG sessions. 
  • Try to stay relaxed and alert throughout your mapping session for the most accurate and usable information. 

DON’T:

  • Attempt to rush the qEEG mapping appointment. 
  • Move around excessively. 
  • Be late or not show up to your appointment. 

What to Expect From an EEG Session

Benefits of Brain Mapping

Brain mapping can be incredibly beneficial for clients and physicians alike, especially when it comes to treating cognitive disorders or treating addiction.  

For example, brain mapping can be used in conjunction with neurofeedback therapy. Through this revolutionary therapy, patients are exposed to the results of qEEG scans and work with their psychologists or clinical health providers to train their brains out of bad habits or unhealthy thought patterns. Brain mapping provides a direct route to understanding one’s mind at a deeper level than ever before.3 

Does Insurance Cover Brain Mapping?

Insurance can sometimes cover brain mapping. Different insurance providers cover brain mapping sessions or appointments based on:

 

  • Their overall coverage policy 
  • What the brain mapping session is meant to do 
  • What type of brain mapping session a client signs up for 

Clients considering brain mapping for the treatment of one or more conditions should speak to their insurance provider to determine whether their plan will cover an appointment either partially or fully. 

Why Choose J. Flowers for Brain Mapping?

The J. Flowers Health Institute is the best choice for dealing with addiction or finding effective treatment plans for a variety of cognitive disorders, including depression and anxiety. At the J. Flowers Health Institute, we’re dedicated to the utmost privacy of our clients and know that individualized medical care is often the most successful. 

To that end, we work with each of our clients to develop a personalized and unique approach to their wellness needs. Alongside other techniques, we have the facilities and expertise necessary to leverage brain mapping/neuroimaging techniques to their fullest effects. 

Contact the J. Flowers Health Institute for more information about brain mapping techniques and how we can assist with addiction treatment, cognitive disorder diagnosis, and more.