What Is Brain Mapping?
In the context of substance abuse and addiction treatment, brain mapping
is a type of therapeutic treatment that uses advanced technology to evaluate
the patient’s brain waves. Brain waves are messages created by electrical
impulses that are sent and received by neurons between various regions
of the brain and different parts of the body.
There are five main types of brain waves:
Alpha Brain Waves: Alpha brain waves occur when the brain is in a relaxed and/or resting state.
These brain waves are typically seen when the individual is quiet, calm,
Beta Brain Waves: Beta brain waves are seen when the individual is alert and/or actively
solving problems. These are the most common type of brain wave during
Delta Brain Waves: Delta brain waves are the slowest type of brain wave and are associated
with regeneration and healing. They are commonly viewed during mediation
or dreamless sleep.
Gamma Brain Waves: Gamma brain waves are the fastest type of brain wave. They are associated
with intense focus, receptivity, and higher levels of consciousness.
Theta Brain Waves: Theta brain waves are associated with sleep and relaxation, but they are
more commonly seen when the individual is dreaming or inwardly focused.
By scanning and mapping brain activity, addiction treatment specialists
can identify patterns, locate areas of concern, and create a visual picture
of the patient’s brain activity.
Types of Brain Mapping
There are actually several different types of brain mapping, or neuro mapping,
treatments. These treatments are used for different medical and therapeutic purposes.
Some examples of different types of brain mapping include:
Computer Axial Tomography (CAT) Scans: Commonly known as CAT scans, computer axial tomography scans are x-rays
of the brain that reveal structural abnormalities by producing an overall
picture of the brain based on multiple angles. CAT scans are most commonly
used to diagnose brain injuries, abnormalities, and other physical brain issues.
Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging: SMR imaging is an advanced form of brain mapping that uses existing water
in the brain to create a visual scan that is higher in quality and resolution
than most standard CAT scans.
Diffusion Tensor-MRI (DTI) Images: This technique also uses existing water in the brain, looking at its movement,
specifically, to create images of various connective fibers in the brain.
This is most commonly used to medically map the brain prior to surgery.
Various forms of brain mapping have been around for decades, but it is
still a relatively new therapy in the world of addiction treatment and
mental health services. However, studies have shown that it can be incredibly helpful in assisting
patients on the road to recovery, as it can allow professionals to identify
withdrawal before symptoms begin, understand triggers and cravings, and
customize treatment programs based on an individual’s unique neurology.
What Is the Brain Mapping Process?
Brain mapping involves the placement of a specialized cap on the patient’s
head. This cap contains small metal discs known as electrodes and is connected
to specialized software that detects electrical impulses in the brain
and produces a map of brain activity. This type of technology is known
as electroencephalography, and the image it produces is known as an electroencephalogram, or EEG.
Electroencephalography is a safe and painless process for the patient.
You should avoid drinking caffeine the day of the test, take all usual
medications (unless otherwise specified by a doctor), and avoid using
hair styling products prior to the test. Keep in mind that our team can
help you prepare for the test by providing specific instructions ahead of time.
That being said, here is a general overview of what you can expect from an EEG:
- You will experience very little discomfort (if any at all) during the test
- Before the test, a professional technician will measure your head and use
a special pencil to mark your scalp where electrodes will be placed
- The technician will then attach the electrodes to your scalp using a special,
non-harmful adhesive. These electrodes will be attached to software via
a specialized instrument.
- You will be instructed to relax with your eyes closed in a comfortable
position for the duration of the test, which usually lasts about 60 minutes
(one hour). During the test, the technician may ask you to complete various
tasks, such as opening or shutting your eyes, reading, looking at a picture,
or breathing deeply.
- Your test may include a video recording of your movements. This can serve
to provide extra context and information for your doctor.
Once the test is complete, the technician will remove the electrodes and
cap. Unless you have been given sedatives prior to the test, you should
not have any side effects.
How Does Brain Mapping for Addiction Treatment Work?
Addiction is a disease that primarily affects the brain. Substance abuse
disrupts neurotransmitters’ normal processes and functions, disrupting
pathways and disrupting communication between the brain and the body.
Specifically, substance abuse and addiction affect the brain’s pleasure
center, making it almost impossible for the individual to experience positive
feelings without using the substance. This typically drives the individual
drug use, despite negative consequences in their life.
Brain mapping allows treatment specialists to identify the ways in which
a substance use disorder has affected the individual’s brain and
adjust treatment accordingly.
Brain mapping for addiction treatment can help professionals identify:
- Areas of poor communication in the brain
- Opportunities for improving communication in the brain
- Withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, before physical manifestation
- Triggers that may lead to destructive behavior
Brain mapping is a highly specialized type of addiction and mental health
treatment. It cannot be preformed in a typical treatment facility. At
Grace Land Recovery, we have the equipment, resources, and expertise to
provide cutting-edge substance abuse and addiction treatment services
to our clients, including brain mapping and imaging technology.
Contact us online using our secure submission form or call
(901) 519-2655. All communications are completely confidential.