Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia have concluded in a new study that by monitoring a patient’s brain with Quantitative Electroencephalographic Assessment of Brain Function (qEEG) methods that they may be able to limit the amount of brain damage that is suffered after a stroke. Used for evaluating brain function by electronically mapping the brain, a qEEG monitors 19 or 25 sites on the human brain to determine any inconsistencies in electrical activity.
According to Medical Xpress, Dr. Simon Finnigan from the university’s Center for Clinical Research published the study in cooperation with professor Michael van Putten of the University of Twente and Medisch Spectr`um Hospital in the Netherlands.
“The main goals of this research were to evaluate key findings, identify common trends and determine what the future priorities should be, both for research and for translating this to best inform clinical management of stroke patients,” Dr Finnigan said.
“Our studies have real potential to eventually contribute to better outcomes for stroke patients and for me this is the ultimate goal,” he said.
“Firstly they can help predict long-term deficits caused by stroke,” Dr Finnigan said.
“In addition, they could provide immediate information on how patients are responding to treatments and guide decisions about follow-on treatments, even before stroke symptoms change,” he said.
Physicians actively administer Tissue Plasminogen Activator for the immediate treatment of strokes, as the tPA is a protein that aids in the breakdown of blood clotting. tPAs are also used in the treatment of myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism, but if caught early enough it can be a great agent against the brain damage caused by the inflammation that occurs as a result of stroke. A tPA, which is administered intravenously, does not, however, protect from the possibility of additional strokes.
qEEG has recently been administered in studies at the University of Wisconsin, as researchers used the method in studying patients with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, the method has been adopted in studies involving brain activity during depression.
Dr. Finnigan believes that qEEG can determine whether or not the brain is responding to drugs during treatment, which could open the door to a variety of other treatments. This would be a significant breakthrough, as the time in which to treat strokes and brain injuries is limited.