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Biopsychosocial medicine and neuromodulation

The current bio-medical approach to health care places significant emphasis on biological influences and medication, providing patients with limited understanding about their central role in the therapeutic process. As a result, they often feel confused and prefer to hand-over control of their own health to those perceived as ‘all-knowing’. Psychologists call this learned helplessness, a situation where lack of information and motivation is rarely conducive to positive coping strategies for rehabilitation and significant shifts towards healthier states.


BPS 280 pixels.jpg Transcending the one-size-fits-all approach for health care

Alternatively, londonScientific proposes a holistic approach that recognises the importance of all 3 bio-psycho-social factors as the drivers of your recovery. This means that we look at your brain and autonomic nervous system (bio), your beha-viour and psychological make up (psycho) and your social and environmental circumstances (social), including your diet and nutrition habits.

This way, we concentrate on the probable causes of your condition, rather than on its consequences. As such, we transcend the classic DSM-IV (now DSM 5) diagnostic categories used in mental health based on
listed symptoms, which mainly indicate the consequence of a health condition and may not, in fact, predict success in treatment interventions.

A new focus on biomarkers

Crucially, Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the world's largest funding body for research into mental health, explained the NIMH's historical decision to withdraw research funding for studies using the DSM 5 manual diagnostic categorisation here . Following this official change in policy, researchers will no longer use the DSM 5 in their studies. Instead, present and future research efforts will be directed to the identification of specific biomarkers for mental health conditions . londonScientific is at the centre of this paradigmatic shift in health care.

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Quantitative electroencephalography, QEEG

The EEG is the measurement and recording of electrical brain activity commonly referred to as “brainwaves”. The QEEG (the Q stands for quantitative) is the transformation of the digitized EEG data into colour maps of brain functioning called “brain maps”. The EEG was developed in the 1920’s by the German neurologist Hans Berger but has recently recovered a central place amongst the best brain imaging techniques due to recent software developments enabling complex and multi-level data integration. To put this into perspective, our QEEG amplifiers have a 500Hz sampling rate which equals to writing 500 lines of information per second of data
recorded. The interpretation and analysis of QEEG
data exposes specific neurophysiological patterns with outstanding time-resolution, that cannot be revealed by the traditional, visually-based, diagnoses. Our data analysis includes independent component analysis (ICA) which enable the location of sources of electrical activity deep in the brain. For further information about this technique click HERE

OCD vs Control brain maps 3.jpg The QEEG Brain maps reveal biomarkers (or EEG-phenotypes) that cannot be detected by the observation of symptoms or behaviours alone. The figure on the R compares the map of a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Left) with a control (Right). This particular phenotype shown here shows increased fast activity (or Beta activity) found in the central midline. Such fast activity seems to correlate with the obsessional thinking typically found in some OCD sufferers. Some of these phenotypes will respond well to medication whereas others do not, which suggests that the QEEG information is essential to design of personalised treatments were decisions must be made about medication, for example. See Aditi Shankardass' video below.

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Event-related Potentials, ERPs

ERPs show how information travels across the brain with great accuracy, within milliseconds only. As such, they detect important shifts in brain functioning, showing how thought processing may vary between individuals in real time. This dynamic view of the brain, featuring high temporal resolution, differs from other powerful imaging techniques such a the fMRI, which are static. ERP information about how the brain actually thinks, is crucial to help design personalised rehabilitation programmes and assess differences objectively, after an intervention. For specialised information about ERPs and their application to Neurotherapy click HERE

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Neurofeedback, neuromodulation

Neurofeedback uses the QEEG (see above) to train the brain to regulate functions of the body and mind, by providing a signal that informs the clients about their brain activity. Sensors are placed on the scalp to measure activity and the client is taught to modify their cognitive responses, which translates into altered behaviour.

The technique has several strengths. It draws upon the brain's own ability to learn, self-regulate and adapt. It is also a safe and non-invasive technique that both children and adults find non-threatening. Finally, neurofeedback does not rely on medication and is supported by an impressive number of studies published in high impact journals showing its reliability and effectiveness in the treatment for a range of cognitive impairments and clinical disorders. For a journalistic view click HERE

Based on peer-reviewed studies

Neurofeedback, or neuromodulation, is a recent branch
of clinical neuroscience which has grown exponentially
since the early 90's. The graph below indicates the
number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals
since that date, showing that current practice is supported
on good scientific evidence.

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HRV-Biofeedback

HRV-Biofeedbck is a simple yet powerful technique that has been shown to stabilize the autonomic nervous system reduce anxiety levels and tackle specific physical symptoms such as insomnia or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) within weeks. This painless and non-invasive technique uses the patient’s heart rate data and patterns of breathing to facilitate “mindful” mental shifts and improved cardiovascular system function to promote Autonomic health and homeostasis. The data collected during the sessions is interpreted using specific software that helps coach clients towards greater awareness about individual physical, cognitive and emotional states. For more information to visit the website of the AAPB.

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Training courses and workshops

londonScientific supports the international workshop series on the Neuroscience of Neuromodulation presented by the Open University's QEEG & Brain Research Lab. These training opportunities have been facilitated by our team of international experts and aim at disseminating the skills and techniques used in Quantitative Electroencephalography to medical doctors, psychotherapists, neuroscientists and students. For more information click here

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Workshop testimonials

"Very enjoyable and I think I learnt a lot". "Hands on was the most positive point between the instructors and all the participants". "Very professional, consistent and well-organised. Good relation between tutors and participants". "Highly informative, lots of data and expert knowledge and experience" "A wealth of expertise which is difficult to put a value on. Masterclass elements and sharing of expertise. These guys know what they are doing". "Great experience. Very good value". "Exceeded my expectations. A mix of good science, information, humour, practical utility and audience participation. The literature provided ahead of the workshop was informative and very helpful". "I am waiting for the next!"

For further information or to book an assessment please send an email to: welcome@londonscientificneurotherapy.com

   

Aditi Shankardass explains the advantages of QEEG technology in the assessment of children with neurodevelopmental disorders


Aditi explains: "to diagnose and treat a brain disorder accurately it is necessary to look at the brain directly. Looking at behaviour alone can miss a vital piece of the puzzle and provide an incomplete and even misleading picture of the child's problems".