MeRT (Magnetic E (EEG and EKG) Resonance Therapy is an FDA approved treatment for 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 strengthening 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 protocol evolved from TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), however, TMS was more of a generalized approach for treatment for depression because it was only able to target a single location in the brain with one frequency.
"I felt like I was alone even though I was surrounded by love and care. It was just a cloud that would linger over my life every now and again. BTC helped me understand what was going on in my head amd after a, pmtj pf treatment, I was grateful to be depression free and medication free for the first time in my life. ” - Brain Treatment Patient
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. Julie Kim, our neurologist, and her associates so that the treatment is specific to each patient's unique condition.
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MeRT Protocol Featured on “Broken brain”Podcast by Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman is an esteemed functional medicine physician and best-selling author. He founded the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine clinic and oversees the famous podcast called "The Broken Brain." MeRT was featured on one of the episodes for treatment of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Concussions. Major Depression Disorder and suicidal tendencies are also discussed.
Dr. Erik Won from the Brain Treatment Center here in California was interviewed and spoke extensively about the MeRT technology and its utilization to treat veterans who have suffered these conditions after coming back from war. This technology is now available to the public sector as well.
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). 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 US 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 clinical team 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.
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 neuro-technician 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.
"For me, depression was the constant feeling of, 'I want to quit' and retreat to my home, except I already would be home… MeRT helped me shed this feeling in less than 2 weeks. I couldn't believe I had spent so many years feeling this way. ”- Brain Treatment Patient
Do you have questions?
Please contact our New Patient Coordinator who is ready to answer any questions you may have. She can also get your initial EEG and consultation scheduled, and go over any applicable contraindications for treatment.
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Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder (also called Clinical Depression) can have symptoms that range in type and severity for different people. While antidepressant medication can help some people, it doesn't help all, and isn't always the right treatment for everybody. Medication can also have unpleasant side effects, both short-term and long-term.
Depression, whether acute or chronic, can have debilitating effects on quality of life. Sometimes there are events that trigger depression, but others, the etiology is of an unknown cause. Regardless of the cause, MeRT can help.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder Can Include:
- Feeling hopeless or overwhelmingly sad
- Feeling down or depressed longer than 2-weeks
- Inability to complete every day activities
- Anger, or emotional outbursts
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Poor performance at work or school
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of interest in social activities, relationships, work
- Feelings of isolation
- Extreme physical and / or mental fatigue
- Sleeping too much or sleeping too little
- Trouble concentrating or remembering things
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Rumination over past events or failures
- Back or neck pain
- Thoughts of suicide
- Suicide attempts or death by suicide
Statistics show that between 2% and 8% of adults who are depressed will die by suicide. It's also the tenth leading cause of death in the US and suicide attempts by teenagers have increased. Major Depression Disorder is a serious illness and getting the right kind of treatment can be life-saving.
If you are feeling suicidal, call 911. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (1-800-273-8255).
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, MeRT is FDA approved for Depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) Treatment for all other conditions is considered “off label” at this time, although 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.