Sad and crying

It’s been a long time since I posted about Alicia. She has been coming home from school very sad and crying the last couple of days. She is anxious, very anxious. She has been ripping up things and crying a lot as well as being loud and screaming. Maria says this is good because she is getting out her frustrations. But it is disconcerting to me and makes me feel sad. I would like to know what is causing this.

Alicia got two doses of homeopathic remedy about a month ago, a week apart. This appeared to help her communicate and emote better. As a result of the QEEG we had, the training protocol was changed. The following is a summary of the results.

For diagnostic purposes, we recorded a 19-channel referential EEG on Alicia Wurster, and performed a quantitative EEG analysis or QEEG. The QEEG has been shown to have high reliability and validity and meets the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1993 Daubert standards for admissibility of evidence in Federal Court.

The most prominent feature in Ms. Wurster’s cortical electrical activity was an abnormally high activity in the high beta (22-30 Hz) range in the frontal and temporal regions. This abnormality is consistent with a diagnosis of anxiety, and is the primary focus of our current treatment protocol.

It is of interest that Ms. Wurster’s QEEG is not typical of a diagnosis of mental retardation. Thatcher, North and Biver (2005) found that the strongest predictors of intelligence were “short EEG phase delays in the frontal lobes and long phase delays in the posterior cortical regions reduced coherence and increased absolute power” in the eyes closed baseline recording. In fact, Alicia shows relatively little phase or coherence deviations from normal. While showing nonsignificant trends toward lower absolute power in the lower frequency bands, her most significant abnormalities are higher power in the higher frequency bands (13-30 Hz). A more typical learning disabled pattern would have the opposite pattern, with higher power in the lower frequency bands.

While these EEG observations do not refute evidence of lower IQ on psychometric tests, they do suggest that Alicia’s lower performance on measures of intelligence result from something other than a typical developmentally delayed brain. It has been suggested that her recent regression or loss of previous levels of intellectual achievement followed a traumatic experience. The elevated frontal and temporal 22-30 Hz activity supports the hypothesis that at least some of her compromised intellectual function is secondary to a problem of excessive emotional arousal.

Please contact me for a more detailed discussion of this evaluation and our treatment plan which will include home-based neurofeedback training and in-office treatment using EEG and other evoked potential stimulation biofeedback methods. We hope that this will serve as an adjunct to her psychotherapy with Ms. Nancy Shapiro.

Marvin Berman, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Jon Frederick, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research

The behavior plan has been developed and is being implemented at school although not to my wife’s liking. She is in constant communication with school (or trying to be) and with Marie. Maria is very upset.