Symptoms of the After-effects of Stroke can often be improved with MeRT
This treatment is now available at the Brain Treatment Center.
Simply stated we use a magnetic field to stimulate and balance brain function, guided by very sophisticated imaging and diagnostics. It is completely non-invasive and drug-free.
Types of Strokes
There are many different types of Strokes and a wide variety of after-effects that can result from a Stroke. The major types of Stroke include:
- TIA or Transient Ischemic stroke, often referred to as a “mini stroke.” It is caused by a temporary, small clot in the brain and symptoms of this type of stroke are very mild. These should however be taken seriously because they are a warning that a more serious stroke may occur next. Having had a TIA puts a person at much higher risk.
- Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is obstructed by a clot. This prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching the part of the brain that’s affected. This is the most common type of stroke, occurring in 87% of patients.
- Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when weakened blood vessels within the brain rupture, and then bleed into the surrounding tissues. This bleeding causes compression of some of the surrounding tissues which causes brain damage. The most common type of hemorrhagic stroke is an aneurism (a blood vessel that bursts) caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure. Another type of hemorrhagic stroke is AVM, or arteriovenous malfunctions. AVM is a congenital defect which occurs when there are structural problems in some of the blood vessels. AVM also creates a higher risk for aneurism because of congenital weakness in the blood vessels themselves.
- A Cryptogenic stroke is from an unknown cause but can also be quite debilitating.
- A Brain Stem stroke occurs in the stem of the brain instead of the brain itself. Symptoms in some cases can be milder depending on the degree of stroke, but these types of strokes along with the others, can also be fatal.
Depending on where in the brain the stroke occurs, after-effects can affect all different types of functions of the body. If the stroke occurs on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body is usually affected; if it occurs on the right side of the brain, the left side of the body is affected.
The degree to which the brain is damaged determines the extent of the after-effects, rehabilitation needs, and amount of permanent disability.
Because the brain controls every function in the human body, many different areas can be affected, sometimes permanently. However, the after-effects of stroke can also be helped immensely by different types of rehabilitation and therapy. The length of time for recovery can take weeks to months to years, depending on the severity of the stroke.
Here at the Brain Treatment Center we offer MeRT, a treatment protocol that may be used for symptomatic changes after stroke. MeRT stands for Magnetic E (for EEG and EKG) Resonance Treatment.
While the neuromodulation equipment used in the MeRT process has been cleared by the FDA in the treatment of depression which has been resistant to medications, it may also be used off label for other disorders in the practice of medicine. These include and other brain disorders.
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) modulates the brain’s electrical activity by using magnetic fields which pass through the scalp from an electromagnetic coil. However, it is important to note that TMS is a generalized approach to neuromodulation because it is only able to target a single location in the brain with a single frequency.
MeRT is a unique and improved version of TMS as it is a much more individualized approach to brain modulation. It is tailored to the patient’s needs based on frequency, location, and power used.
We perform a quantitative EEG before modulation treatment starts in order to determine exactly the frequency of your brain.
MeRT is a cutting edge treatment protocol which combines technologies of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS, an FDA cleared therapy), Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG), and Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to analyze and formulate treatments that are tailored for each individual’s unique brain pattern.
Most TMS treatments are used to deliver stimulation to one area of the brain at a fixed frequency for all patients, however MeRTSM is more evolved. Our MeRTSM is highly individualized as to frequency and location based on an initial thorough testing and evaluation. This customized, scientific approach is unique to each patient.
The patient’s initial testings are analyzed very carefully as to the brain’s pattern of function and activity. Through this detailed analysis we are able to determine the correct neural synchronization. This information is then used to devise a highly personalized protocol for each patient, with the purpose of encouraging improved brain communication. Our patients have reported significant clinical improvements after going through treatment.*
Treatment for after-effects of stroke usually lasts 4-6 weeks with possible follow up at varying intervals. This treatment can also be done alongside other stroke therapies, or after rehabilitation therapies are completed. Appointments are 30-45 minutes in length, Monday through Friday. Generally patients report that they feel improvements even in the first few weeks.*
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 rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). However, rTMS 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 neurotechnician 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. and the clinical and scientific team at BTC 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 treatment of 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 approved at some point in 2020. 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 Additional 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.
Call Our New Patient Coordinator or Fill in the Form below