Some say yes, some say no, many say maybe.
First, let’s examine what Electroencephaolography (I’m going to call it an EEG, its way easier to type that) is. Electrodes are painlessly stuck to your scalp (this sucks if you have long hair, washing the goop out later) to detect electrical activity in your brain(1). There are always active brain cells, even when you’re sleeping. This test is commonly used to rule out seizure disorders, or determine what part of the brain is causing the seizure.
However, an EEG is not for use to diagnose mental illness, but there are studies that show the electrical circuits in the brain that are different in the mentally interesting than the “normal population”.
The EEG was used to test schizophrenics, a condition similar to bipolar disorder that has a “hybrid” of schizoaffective disorder. The study of patients indicates a higher number of them with abnormal records decreased in alpha activity. There are left side abnormalities, and some coherence abnormalities. (2) Further testing needed.
This study(3) claims that schizophrenia can be diagnosed before major symptoms happen, using EEG technology.
“What we found, in terms of disease, was quite striking – defects in the genes that encode these human synapse proteins are really a major cause of disease,” he said. “There are over 135 nervous system diseases, psychiatric and neurological, that arise because of defects in these synaptic proteins. These are common and rare diseases – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism.”
Although there are those doubting the EEG being used a diagnostic tool, it could help in the future as research continues, to decide on the best medications to use, and also to create new medications.