A New Approach to Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and more serious Concussions
It’s called MeRT, which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy.
A gentle, non-invasive, drug-free treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussions is now available. Our Neurologist has brought this incredible technology to Denver. It’s called MeRT, which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy.
Simply stated we use a magnetic field to stimulate and balance brain function, guided by very sophisticated imaging and diagnostics.
Peak Neuro Performance offers MeRT treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussions. MeRT utilizes rTMS technology (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation).
MeRT, or Magnetic E (EEG and EKG) Resonance Therapy 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.
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.
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I’m two or three months past my last treatment and I can honestly say that my brain is in a better place than it was before. The emotional highs and lows that I was living with have been stabilized. My cognition took off during that period (of treatment) and it hasn’t slowed down since.”
– Nick Hardwig, Retired NFL Center, Chargers
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Symptoms
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as:
“A blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. An injury can also occur without a direct blow to the head, such as in an auto accident where the forces cause the head to move violently in one direction and then snap back in another direction. This causes the brain to be jostled around inside the skull and can also injure the brain. Suffering a closed head injury can produce symptoms that range from mild to severe, based on the degree of damage that was done to the brain. While it’s possible for a person to experience a TBI to not have a loss of consciousness, in moderate to severe cases, LOC does usually happen. More severe cases of traumatic brain injuries often can result in coma or even death.”
Traumatic brain injuries are also common in athletes who participate in contact sports such as football, and experience multiple “head hits.” These hits affect the brain, and over time, the damage becomes cumulative, resulting in post-concussive disorder. Members of the military are also commonly affected too. Traumatic brain injury for these folks can occur by direct hits or injuries to the head, but also by repeated exposures to the forces of “blast injuries.”
For those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, hospitalization is often needed, sometimes long-term. These patients will often need other therapies to assist with regaining memory, learning skills, coordination and physical function, speech, and coping mechanisms. Brain injuries are complex and can affect many different aspects of a person’s life including their emotions and the ability to think clearly. Some people are unable to work again or complete day to day activities.
Depending on the severity of the injury, symptoms can include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Dilated pupils and vision changes
- Memory problems
- Cognitive decline
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Feeling of isolation
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Facial weakness
- Weakness or loss of function in other parts of the body
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Breathing problems
- Numbness and tingling in different parts of the body
- Loss of hearing or tinnitus
Often a traumatic brain injury can cause brain swelling, hematoma (blood clot), or bleeding within the brain which can be life-threatening. A person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion of any kind should be taken to the emergency room as soon as possible, even if loss of consciousness is not experienced. Early intervention is crucial to help avoid complications and to avoid the injury worsening.
There are people who are at higher risk for brain injuries including athletes, the elderly (because they are at higher risk for falls), and children and teenagers who are involved in physical-type activities.
Athletes, in particular, can suffer repeated hits or injuries to the brain and the effects of those can be cumulative over time. The full degree of symptoms may present later on as the brain begins to deteriorate.
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What is MeRT?
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). 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.
While rTMS is FDA cleared for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, it is considered “off-label” treatment for TBI. However, FDA clearance is expected for MeRT treatment of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder sometime in 2020.
Finding out if this Treatment is Right for You
We understand that MeRT is a relatively new, cutting edge treatment and you may not be certain if this is right for you. But this is not a decision that needs to be made right away or all alone. Your first step would be a simple phone consultation with our New Patient Coordinator. Here you can discuss your symptoms and history, ask all the questions you want and have her explain the protocols, fees, and details of Treatment.
If you are interested in taking the next step in seeing if MeRT treatment is right for you, we can set up an appointment for an EEG (brain scan) and a second appointment for a consultation with the doctor to talk about your symptoms and the results of your EEG. Each of these appointments are about 45 minutes to an hour in length.
At the first appointment, our neuro-technician will perform an EEG and an EKG. Both are simple, painless, and non-invasive tests to see exactly what is happening in your brain.
At the second appointment, a few days later when your test results are in and have been analyzed, you will have a one on one consultation with the doctor. This appointment can be done virtually from the comfort of your own home. Here you will discuss your test results, answer any additional questions that you may have, and together determine if you (or your child, if this is about your child) are a candidate for treatment.
If you and the doctor then decide to move forward with MeRT, the next step is what we call the Assessment Period, where we will perform a short period of several days of treatment, followed by a new EEG to see if you are responding to the treatment. This is assessed based on the new EEG results as compared to the initial one done before treatment started, as well as symptom improvements.
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 can then schedule for the additional treatment duration. Treatments are done daily, Monday to Friday in two-week increments. 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. You may feel a slight sensation while the treatment is occurring, but it is not painful or uncomfortable. No medications are used and the patient is fully awake throughout.
MeRT treatments will usually go for anywhere from 6 – 8 weeks. In some cases, additional treatment time is recommended to get the best possible results from MeRT. Each individual is different, and protocols may vary. Your provider will have regularly scheduled follow-up EEGs and meet with you to closely manage your progress.
Life Can Be Better
You can be at peace and enjoy life. With so many successful treatments for Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries using MeRT, we encourage you to explore the possibilities of MeRT Treatment. It may have a lasting impact with greatly improved quality of life.
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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 firsthand 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.
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Insurance Coverage and Payment Options
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.
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 non-FDA approved treatment, it is highly unlikely that any insurance will provide reimbursement for the actual treatment.
We take all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
MeRT Treatment Featured on “The Broken Brain” Podcast
If you suffer from Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), we highly recommend watching this incredible podcast. Dr. Erik Won, from Wave Neuroscience (the parent company behind MeRT technology), speaks about how this technology has evolved and the utilization of MeRT treatment for members of the military who have experienced Depression, TBI, and PTSD as a result of their service to their country. Dr. Won also gives testimony to the incredible successes that these veterans have realized as a result of going through treatment.
With other repercussions that can occur, for both military and veterans, this is incredibly important. For example, suicide is at twice the rate for veterans, with approximately 17 veteran deaths per day. In a high-stress environment, such as serving in the military, the transition afterward can be complicated and there are often underlying reasons for conditions that may occur. MeRT may help to address these issues.
Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and TBI don’t just affect veterans; if you are experiencing any symptoms as a result of any of these conditions, this podcast can be of help to you. Click here to watch this amazing podcast!