Our comprehensive process focuses on healing the brain through noninvasive, drug-free treatments.
Containing approximately 100 billion neurons, your brain operates through populations of these neurons interacting with each other. Much of this interaction is through tiny electrical oscillations or brain waves.
Many factors can disrupt the neurons in your brain. Some factors that can adversely affect activity between your neurons are:
- Illness or disease
- A serious injury to the head or repeated head injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Harmful addiction
- Developmental disorders such as autism, learning disorders, ADD, and ADHD
- Trauma, extreme stress, or anxiety
- Congenital conditions
These disruptions can be minor or significant. And the tolerance threshold varies from individual to individual: Some people can still function in their day-to-day activities, while others are completely debilitated and have no quality of life. However, with a little gentle stimulation in the right direction, we can very often improve brain function.
Step 1: Brain Assessment
Your first step in our process will be to understand the current state of your brain function and performance with an MRI, EEG, and/or Online Cognitive Test. These diagnostics are non-invasive tests that measure brain wave frequencies.
Depending on your symptoms and issues, we will determine the needed initial testing. The scientific and clinical team will then analyze the results of these tests in order to determine your current brain state and formulate your treatment protocol.
Using neurophysiological data, our approach is to develop a highly customized treatment plan to encourage healthy brain communication.
What is the CBS Cognitive Assessment?
Our process may include the CBS Cognitive Assessment. CBS stands for Cambridge Brain Sciences, the leading online platform for cognitive assessment. CBS is in a unique position to push the boundaries of our understanding of the brain, as they have one of the largest secure cognitive databases.
In fact, since 2009, hundreds of thousands of people have used CBS to gain a deeper understanding of their brain health while contributing to large-scale scientific studies that have advanced our knowledge of the brain. Because of their impressive results, we offer this testing as part of our initial analysis.
These tests will quantify core aspects of your brain health using a set of fun, gamified, and scientifically validated cognitive tasks. Once you complete the tests, you will receive a comprehensive yet simple and easy-to-read cognitive assessment report in minutes. We at BrainStim Centers recommend everyone take these tests before, during, and after any treatment.
What is an EEG?
Our process can often involve an electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a test that measures the electrical patterns of the brain. The patterns shown on the EEG reflect the cortical activity of the brain, also referred to as brainwaves. The EEG measures the current attention and metabolic state of the brain, which is constantly changing based on alertness, consciousness, and the neurological state of the individual being tested.
A qEEG, or quantitative EEG, is an in-depth analysis of the digitized EEG. Sometimes referred to as brain mapping, the qEEG scan takes about 20 minutes. The reason we use this form of brain mapping is that it provides a comprehensive analysis of an individual’s brain activity.
Therefore, as each EEG is completely unique to the individual, we can tailor our approach to therapy to give the best possible outcomes for each patient with their specific needs. Moreover, for those with neurological conditions, we may see significant EEG rhythm variations.
What is an MRI?
While many MRI scans involve placing you inside a machine, ours does not. Our MRI is much faster and requires no sedation, no injections, and no claustrophobia because of being placed in a tube. It is easy and completely painless. In fact, after about nine minutes, you are all done!
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head produces detailed images of your brain and brain stem. Additionally, our MRI produces high-resolution anatomic details in the brain without needing radiation. And this type of MRI provides excellent contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which makes it especially useful in imaging brain pathology. And according to studies, this type of MRI can identify traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other physical issues with the brain.
Because of its inherent benefits, a brain MRI is an essential tool for diagnosing diseases and planning treatments. However, the normally long scan time for a brain MRI can limit its effectiveness in patients who are prone to motion and frequently require sedatives. In fact, some full MRI scans can take up to an hour, and this can risk motion artifacts in the images (from patient movement). That’s why patients often need general anesthesia, at an added cost and discomfort. But there’s no need for any of that with our much quicker MRI protocols.
If you are concerned about possible neurological issues, possible traumatic brain injury, or other brain issues, you can come to us for any or all of the above diagnostics. You can do any of this testing here at BrainStim whether or not you continue with treatment here.
Step 2: Analysis and Treatment Plan
In the next step of our process, we use a patented, scientific approach with the neurophysiological data gathered through testing to develop a highly customized treatment plan aimed at encouraging healthy brain communication and function. Your treatment plan may involve treatment based on the MeRT, or Magnetic Resonance Therapy, protocols. Or the Nexstim treatment may be more appropriate for your case.
MeRT, or Magnetic Resonance Therapy, involves the use of a quantitative EEG (qEEG), which is a comprehensive brain scan, to tailor a treatment plan for highly individualized TMS. We use MeRT to treat Depression/MDD/TRD, PTSD, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injuries or Concussions, Anxiety, Tinnitus, Addiction issues or Substance Use Disorders, and to improve focus, memory, and overall brain performance. For more information about MeRT, click here to go to our What is MeRT? page.
Nexstim is used to treat MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), TRD (Treatment Resistant Depression), Depression, and OCD. It is a highly tailored form of TMS that requires an MRI, which is then used for mapping and specific targeting of TMS treatment. You may qualify for insurance benefits with Nexstim. For more information on Nexstim, click here to go to our Nexstim page.
Step 3: Neuromodulation Therapy
The third step of our process involves neuromodulation. In simple terms, we will use noninvasive magnetic waves directed at specific areas of the brain that are not communicating or connecting as they should, to gently stimulate those regions.
With thorough diagnostics that isolate exactly what is happening in each patient’s brain, we develop your customized treatment plan. Our aim is to stimulate and “wake up” regions of the brain affected by a variety of neurological conditions. Whether you are receiving MeRT or Nexstim, a vast array of benefits, improvements, and, in many cases, miraculous achievements have been seen.
You will simply sit in a comfortable chair while a trained technician carefully positions a simple device on your head. This device produces a magnetic field to induce mild magnetic currents in the targeted regions of the brain. There is no pain and no electrical currents, just a slight sensation.
The technician will apply the stimulation for six to eight seconds per minute. A typical appointment is 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which involves stimulation.
The neuromodulation equipment used has been cleared by the FDA in the treatment of depression and OCD and may be used off-label for other disorders in the practice of medicine.
Step 4: Progress Evaluation
We will perform additional testing after the first stages of treatment, allowing us to assess progress and make any needed modifications. In this way, we are always taking the best and most exacting approach, based on the current neurological state.
Step 5: Follow-Up Care
We recommend monitoring your brain health every six months with a routine electroencephalogram (EEG). This proactive step will help keep you in optimal brain health.