William J. Bosl
Electroencephalography, or EEG, technology that measures brain function could encourage earlier diagnoses of common mental and neurological disorders, including autism, ADHD and dementia, according to findings published in The Neurodiagnostic Journal.
Because many mental, neurological, and neurodevelopmental disorders follow a developmental trajectory, defining symptoms may be the product of a long developmental process, according to William J. Bosl, PhD, from University of San Francisco, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“Evidence continues to accumulate that many, if not all, mental and neurological disorders result from a long neurodevelopmental process that is driven by complex interplay among genetics, early infectious insults, diet, environmental stimuli, and as yet unknown factors,” Bosl wrote. “A new paradigm is needed that views health from an integrated perspective.”
Many pharmaceutical therapies essentially try to reverse pathological brain function that has developed over the long-term, according to Bosl; therefore, he proposed that EEG is suited to track the developmental trajectory of these disorders by measuring brain function through the life span. The combination of recent developments in consumer EEG hardware, internet and electronic health record access, and nonlinear mathematics that extract data from physiological signals allows for EEG integration into routine health care.
Evidence supports EEG analysis to uncover digital biomarkers for autism, ADHD, schizophrenia and dementias, Bosl wrote. Growing research has indicated that new analytical methods can detect signs of atypical brain changes in the earliest stages before they appear clinically when EEG-derived data about brain function is stored with an EHR.
“The need for health data scientists continues to grow tremendously, and those with training in both biomedical informatics and specialty knowledge in neurology, neuropsychology and neurodiagnostics will make unique contributions to emerging integrated health care endeavors,” Bosl wrote. “It is clear that the current shortage of neurodiagnostic professionals, and the need for an advanced education and career path to meet growing needs in this field, will help to define the exciting future field of neurodiagnostics and neurodiagnostic informatics.” – by Savannah Demko
Healio Psychiatry was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures for Bosl at the time of publication.