MeRT treatment utilizes rTMS technology, which is FDA cleared for treatment of Major Depression Disorder (MDD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For all other disorders, it is currently being used “off label” in the practice of medicine. FDA clearance for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will hopefully occur in the next couple of years. Studies for these conditions along with Autism are ongoing. MeRT is also used “off label” for ADHD, Learning Disorders, Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Anxiety, and other brain disorders.
Major Depressive Disorder
MeRT (Magnetic E (EKG and EEG) Resonance Therapy is a treatment protocol that utilizes rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). And rTMS is currently FDA cleared for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), also sometimes referred to as Drug-Resistant Depression.
It is a non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive treatment that has been used successfully to treat depression that has not responded to medication or other therapies.
Patients who are clinically depressed have markers that are visible in their EEG studies. What is generally seen is an imbalance in brainwave activity between the left and right hemisphere, which is called asymmetry. The MeRT protocol identifies the asymmetry by remodulating the brainwave activity which can reduce depression symptoms.
According to the Mayo Clinic, more than three million people are diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder every year. They also report that new research is confirming that factors that may contribute to Depression do cause changes in brain function to include altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.
MeRT is customized to each individual’s needs based on the results of the EEG and EKG. The treatment protocol is tailored based on the location, frequency, and amount of power used by the magnet. This technology works by using a magnetic coil to neuromodulate the brain’s electrical activity. A quantitative EEG is performed on each patient in order to determine the exact frequency of the brain. These results are then reviewed and evaluated by Dr. Sandy Lee, our physician, and her associates so that the treatment is specific to each patient’s unique condition. To learn more about how The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach utilizes MeRT treatment for depression, click here.
The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach offers MeRT treatment for children and adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are different types of therapies that can help with autism and MeRT can be used in conjunction with any of those. A diagnosis of autism can be overwhelming for parents, but early intervention can be key to the child’s development. Kids don’t usually grow out of autism, but it is possible for them to function very well.
MeRT (Magnetic E (EEG and EKG) Resonance Therapy is not currently FDA cleared for autism, and is considered “off label.” However, studies have shown that for many children it can be instrumental in helping develop skills to function more normally.
For more information about how The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach utilizes MeRT treatment for Autism, click here.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach offers MeRT treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussions. While rTMS is FDA cleared for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, it is considered “off label” treatment for TBI.
MeRT, or Magnetic E (EEG and EKG) Resonance Therapy, is non-pharmaceutical and a non-invasive treatment that has been used successfully to treat TBI and concussions. If you have suffered a head injury, this treatment may be of benefit to you.
People who have suffered a brain injury will have markers that are visible in their EEG studies. Research has shown that people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury will have a higher power in their delta band frequencies and lower power in the alpha bands.
The qEEG is performed on each patient before treatment in order to determine the exact frequencies of the brain. These results are then reviewed and evaluated by our physician and her associates so that the treatment plan is specific to each patient’s unique condition. MeRT technology uses magnetic fields which pass through the scalp from an electromagnetic coil to help the brain return to normal function. Significant clinical improvements have been noted by most patients.
People with traumatic brain injuries often go through other types of therapies to help them regain function and cope with their injury or disability. MeRT treatment can be used in conjunction with these therapies. For more information regarding how The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach utilizes MeRT treatment protocols for Traumatic Brain Injury, click here.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD can be a life-altering mental health problem. It is caused by experiencing or witnessing terrifying events, violence, or from going through extended periods of extreme stress. For most people who go through a traumatic event there is a coping or grieving period that occurs afterward, but the majority usually recover with time.
However, other people will have symptoms that get much worse and can last for extended periods of time. The onset of symptoms can occur right after the stressful time, or can appear many years later, such as in child abuse cases for example. PTSD can be severe enough to complete disrupt someone’s life and make it difficult to function normally. Research shows that every year, an estimated 3.6% of adults are diagnosed with PTSD suggesting that this is a growing problem. For more information about how The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach utilizes MeRT treatment protocols for PTSD, click here.
The MeRT Process
MeRT is a non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive treatment.
MeRT (Magnetic E (EKG and EEG) Resonance Therapy is a treatment protocol that evolved from a technology called TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) or rTMS (Repetitive transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). However, TMS is a more generalized approach because it is only able to target a single location in the brain with one frequency.
Studies have shown that brain wave oscillations are altered in patients suffering from conditions such as Major Depression Disorder (MDD), Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, and more. MeRT treatment protocol uses a magnetic field to balance and stimulate brain function. The technology involves using very sophisticated diagnostics and imaging so that the treatment is customized for each individual and a personalized protocol is then tailored based on the location, frequency, and amount of power used by the magnet, specific to each person’s unique condition. MeRT is used to improve brain communication, synchronization, and can lead to significant and long-lasting improvements.
Much of the initial MeRT research has been done by the U.S. Department of Defense for veterans returning from combat. There is an article that was published in Defense One that further explains the DOD’s research and the benefits that MeRT has been shown to have on people suffering from TBI, PTSD, and MDD. Additional studies have been completed in the private sector on other conditions.
What to Expect
If you are interested in seeing if MeRT treatment is right for you, we will initially schedule two appointments, both of which are about 45 minutes in length. At the first appointment, our neuro-technician will perform a qEEG and an EKG. These procedures are painless and involves the patient sitting in a chair until the test is completed. The results will then be compiled, and sent to our physician, Sandy Lee, M.D. for interpretation within 48 hours. At your second appointment, our clinician will have a one on one consultation with you to confirm that you or your child is a candidate for treatment, answer any additional questions that you may have, and schedule the assessment period for treatment. Our office manager, Cindy, will also meet with you to provide you with a brief orientation so that you are clear on expectations. If you are not local, she will also provide you with additional information about Newport Beach and things to do while you are here.
During the assessment period, treatment is administered every day, Monday through Thursday, followed by a repeat qEEG on Friday to see how you or your child are responding. If there is a positive response to treatment during the assessment period, you will have likely noticed some improvements starting to take place, and we will then schedule for the additional treatment duration.
A typical treatment session takes about 45 minutes. The patient will sit in a chair while the neurotechnician administers the treatment via a hand-held magnet that is held near the scalp. The magnetic impulses are delivered for 6-8 seconds each minute. There may be a slight sensation felt while the treatment is occurring, but it is not painful or uncomfortable.
Typically, after going through the assessment treatment period, MeRT treatment lasts anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks, however in some cases, additional treatment time is recommended for optimal results. Each individual is different, and protocols may vary. Your provider will have regularly scheduled follow-up EEGs and meet with you to gauge your progress.
Our clinic does not accept insurance. We can provide you with the appropriate paperwork at the end of your treatment so that you can submit it to your insurance company to see if they would provide you with any reimbursement.
Currently, rTMS is FDA cleared for Depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) Treatment for all other conditions is considered “off label” at this time, though we are hopeful that treatment for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will be FDA cleared at some point in the next couple of years. For non-FDA approved treatment, it is highly unlikely that any insurance will provide reimbursement for our protocols.
Some patients have reported that they have been able to receive some reimbursement for EEGs or clinical evaluations, depending on their health coverage. Medicare patients have reported that their coverage provides no reimbursement for MeRT.
Additional Payment Options
We take all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Care Credit is also an option to assist in financing medical expenses. Care Credit is a separate company than The Brain Treatment Center Newport Beach, and is a credit card that can be used to cover medical expenses and services. They typically offer zero-interest financing for 12 months.
Usually, when you go to the Care Credit website and apply, they will let you know if you are approved very promptly.
Starting as a New Patient
To get started, we will schedule an initial qEEG and then follow that with a consultation with one of our clinicians who can explain what the results show, and then we will proceed into the assessment period for treatment. During the assessment period, treatment is administered every day, Monday through Thursday, followed by a repeat qEEG on Friday to see how you or your child are responding. If there is a positive response to treatment during the assessment period, you will have likely noticed some improvements starting to take place, and we will then schedule for the additional treatment duration.
Typically, MeRT treatment lasts anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks, however in some cases, additional treatment is recommended for optimal results. Each individual is different, and protocols may vary. Your provider will have regularly scheduled follow-up EEGs and meet with you to gauge your progress.
Contact Our New Patient Coordinator for more Information
It’s normal for patients and their families who are affected by brain disorders to feel frustrated and isolated, and many have lost hope that there is any relief in sight. MeRT is a treatment protocol that has helped patients restore their brain function, reclaim their lives, and feel passionate about living again. We understand what you are going through, and our goal is to help guide you through the process so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not MeRT is the right treatment for you or your child.
Many of our clinicians and technicians have gone through MeRT treatment protocols themselves and have realized first hand what the treatment has done for them, and as a result, are passionate about helping others to heal too.
Our New Patient Coordinator is available to answer any questions that you may have about how MeRT can help you specifically. She’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and put your mind at ease. She can also assist in getting you scheduled with the clinic should you decide to move forward with treatment.