Iris Gets a QEEG

Robin Mead

Many of our readers report that it was very helpful to their disability applications to have a combination of these two tests:

🌷A Neuropsychological test

🌷A brain scan or brain mapping. This may include SPECT scans, PET scans, Functional MRIs, and QEEG brain mapping. In some cases, standard MRIs are also helpful.

These tests can be helpful for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or related illnesses that cause cognitive impairments.

Iris took a QEEG and was kind enough to share her story along with background information to help others.


Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) is an easy non invasive test that can be done in about 20 minutes.

The patient sits in a quiet room, with eyes closed and face relaxed. An array of electrodes on the scalp measures electrical activation and neural activity on the cerebral cortex of the brain.

This data is compared to a matched age and gender normative database of symptom-free people.

An ME patient must also do a neuropsychological assessment and cognitive testing so the qEEG results can be read in light of their cognitive scores.

Often, ME/CFS patients will have readings in electrical activity that are several deviations from the norm. This provides a definitive biological result for patients to use in proving their illness especially some of the more difficult to prove symptoms of “brain fog” and difficulty concentrating, making holding down even a sedentary job impossible.

Research studies (below) suggest an association between elevated theta activity in the frontal lobes and impairment in executive function (planning, decision-making, sustaining attention, focusing and concentrating). Elevated theta activity is also linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Other studies associate elevated alpha and beta activity with symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Often an ME patient will find they have elevations in alpha, beta and theta activity in their brains.

Make sure the neuropsychologist who writes the report refers to the existing literature. Refer to the most compelling research that aligns to your own test results for legal appeals.


While applying for disability for ME/CFS, Iris took four different medical tests. Here’s All Four Tests Iris Took

Reference studies:
Billiot, K. M., Budzynski, T. H., & Andrasik, F. (1997). EEG Patterns and chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Neurotherapy, 2(2), 20-30.

Clarke, A. R., Barry, R. J., Dupuy, F. E., McCarthy, R., Selikowitz, M. & Johnstone, S. J. (2013). Excess beta activity in the EEG of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A disorder of arousal? International Journal of Psychophysiology, 89(3), 314-319.

Clarke, A. R., Barry, R. J., McCarthy, R., & Selikowitz, M. (2001). Excess beta activity in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: an atypical electrophysiological group. Psychiatry Research, 103(2-3), 205-218.

Hermens, D. F., Soei, E., Clarke, S. D., Kohn, M. R., Gordon, E. & Williams, L. M. (2005). Resting EEG theta activity predicts cognitive performance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pediatric Neurology, 32, 248-256.

Koehler, S., Lauer, P., Schreppel, T., Jacob, C., Heine, M., Boreatti-Hümmer, A., Fallgatter, A. J. & Herrmann, M. J. (2009). Increased EEG power density in alpha and theta bands in adult ADHD patients. Journal of Neural Transmission, 116, 97-104.

Thatcher, R. W., Walker, R. A., Biver, C. J., North, D. M., & Curtin, R. (2003). Quantitative EEG normative databases: Validation and clinical correlation. Journal of Neurotherapy, 7, 87-121.

What Do You Think? 

Updated June 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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10 thoughts on “Iris Gets a QEEG”

  1. i found this QEEG testing and treatment facility near my home! Got one done yesterday and will get report today. this is a facility that has a patent on diagnosing CFS with a QEEG and is geared specifically for testing the abnormalities associated with brain waves in CFS patients. a true find just days before my court date! it’s in charlotte, nc for those who need this and then they can do at home treatment devices programmed with your specific needs and frequencies/brain waves. fyi!


  2. For anyone else who got results like mine (high alpha and low delta) – this was done with eyes closed and the doctor said mine results with eyes open vs closed were perplexing yet couldn’t give me an answer. i found this medical correlation below on this alpha-delta sleep intrusion that also leads to hypervigiliance (mine is thru the roof) and ocd ruminating thinking. too bad the psychologist didn’t write all this in there:
    This is an interesting article on why perhaps my results were so different with eyes closed and open. And it seems a lot of people with CFS (CFIDS) have this alpha/delta imbalance related to hypervigiliance and lack of refreshing sleep.

    “People with CFIDS (PWCs) often show markedly different patterns than normal, Preston says. Preston has discovered that people with CFIDS produce predominantly slow-wave activity. While most people show beta (fast) wave activity when performing cognitive tasks, CFIDS patients try to perform them with theta and delta states instead. Their intelligence remains intact, but the ability to access it is unpredictable and unreliable. The brain reverses the order in which it is supposed to perform; when the eyes are open, the brain slows down, and when they are closed, the brain speeds up.”
    From: Neurotherapy: Rehabbing the CFIDS brain
    By Mark Giuliucci
    More links:


  3. hi, i did this Qeeg test and it maps a day in the life – snapshot. i was super high in alpha and super low in theta. i have CFS, but also OCD and insomnia. i wonder if I should submit this? i also have pretty bad PTSD which is interesting that my Beta was not that out of range. but i also have lived with it for so long, I have disassociated, which is more in line with high alpha. the summary just says in short that i may have trouble with memory due to this.


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