BACKGROUND: QEEG cordance and low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) are relatively new applications of QEEG. Four small-scale studies have shown that decreases of QEEG prefrontal theta cordance after the first week on new antidepressants predict clinical response to treatment in patients with unipolar depression.
METHODS: We calculated prefrontal theta cordance and changes in 3D distribution of brain electrical activity using LORETA in the case of a 54-year old man experiencing his third depressive episode.
RESULTS: We did not detect a decrease of prefrontal theta cordance after one week of new treatment and the patient did not respond to this therapy after four weeks. However, we observed a decrease of prefrontal theta cordance after the first week of clomipramine therapy. Manic symptoms emerged after two weeks of clomipramine treatment. A decrease of prefrontal theta cordance preceded the clomipramine induced switch to hypomania during the next episode of depression also. LORETA before and during clomipramine therapies detected a significant increase of theta in the right postcentralis gyrus in the parietal lobe, and a borderline increase of alfa2 in the right middle frontal gyrus.
DISCUSSION: In a patient with bipolar spectrum disorder we found that a treefold change in theta prefrontal cordance preceded mood changes in a similar way as in patients with unipolar depression. We speculate that the changes detected by LORETA can attributed to the anticholinergic activity of clomipramine and the specific effects of a mood switch. Our data suggest that the new applications of QEEG can be sensitive to mood changes and have potential in bipolar disorder research.