Initial Analysis and Testing
We begin our initial analysis by performing a quantitative electroencephalogram (q-EEG) and an electrocardiogram (EKG). These tests measure brain wave frequencies, heart rate, and brain-heart coherence.
Once complete with these initial tests, our clinical and scientific teams will review the data to determine your current brain activity, and identify areas of the brain that may not be performing in tandem with the rest of your brain.
Then, through a patented approach, we develop a customized plan that “guides” your treatment through its therapy process.
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What is an EEG?
The qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram)—sometimes referred to as “brain mapping”—is a tool used along with an EKG (electrocardiogram) to determine the electrical activity in multiple areas of the brain. Through the qEEG, we can identify areas that may be too active or not active enough.
Acknowledging each brain is different, this precise tool allows us to identify brain areas with electrical dysfunction related to either traumatic injury or neurodegenerative process, thereby providing evidence of electrical abnormalities and network dysfunctions.
Because every EEG is unique to each person, this allows us to tailor our treatment approach specifically for you to ensure the best possible results.
Brain activity can vary greatly from person to person. When a person has a non-optimum neurological condition, they may have significant EEG rhythm variations.
Is MeRT Treatment Right for You?
We understand MeRT is a relatively new treatment, and you may not be sure if this is right for your situation. Yet this is not a decision you have to make right away or all alone.
Your first step is a simple phone consultation with our New Patient Coordinator. In this free, no-obligation consultation, you can discuss symptoms and history, ask all the questions you want, and have her explain the protocols and fees. She can also further explain the treatment itself.
After the call, if you are interested in taking the next step, we can set up an appointment for a qEEG (a simple, painless, and non-invasive brain scan).
When you come in for your first appointment, we will perform the qEEG and EKG as mentioned above in the Treatment Overview section. These tests will help us evaluate brain activity and show us any dysfunction. The qEEG, or brain mapping, is a valuable tool as lets us customize treatment for YOU.
The qEEG/EKG testing is performed by our chief neurotechnician and takes approximately 45 minutes. However, if you are seeking treatment for your child with autism, please plan on spending an hour with us.
We will also gather your new patient paperwork at this time and schedule you for your initial assessment period of treatment.
Clinical Evaluation and Consultation
Your second appointment will be a clinical evaluation with Nurse Practitioner Kayleigh Prowse, which takes approximately 45 minutes. You can have this appointment via Telemedicine or in-clinic, whichever you prefer. Please note that if you choose a Telemedicine appointment and are seeking treatment for your child, your child will need to be present.
During this consultation, Kayleigh will answer all your questions and discuss your applicable treatment plan. You will also have an opportunity to meet with our physician and Medical Director, Julie Kim, M.D.
Six weeks of treatment is recommended for patients undergoing MeRT in order to achieve optimal and long-lasting results. However, prior to committing to the six weeks, we have each patient first go through an assessment period of treatment to see how they will respond. This assessment period is included in the six weeks of treatment.
The assessment is two weeks long. It consists of nine treatment sessions followed by a repeat qEEG. Treatment would be provided the first week, Monday through Friday, and the following week, Monday through Thursday. A typical treatment session lasts about 30-45 minutes.
Additionally, your provider will cover the follow-up qEEG results with you.
If clinical changes are occurring as they should, and the qEEG also shows progress, then you would then continue treatment which would occur five days per week, Monday through Friday. Generally, you will begin to feel the benefits of treatment within a week or two, but because treatment is cumulative, should continue to note improvements throughout the course of your treatment, and even for some weeks after treatment. Because treatment is consecutive, you must be able to stay in or around the area while undergoing your therapy.
If clinical changes are occurring as they should and the qEEG also shows progress, you will then continue treatment. This ongoing treatment occurs five days per week, Monday through Friday. You should start to feel the benefits of treatment within a week or two, but because treatment is cumulative, you should continue to note improvements throughout the course of your treatment, and even for some weeks afterward. Additionally, because we perform treatment on consecutive days, you must be able to stay in or around the San Diego area while undergoing your therapy.
Because each person’s brain and condition are unique, we customize treatment protocols specifically for each patient, guided by the qEEG results. And repeat qEEGs and clinical consultations occur every two weeks throughout treatment.
As a note, the potential side-effects of treatment are minimal and should begin to dissipate as you progress through treatment. Moreover, the effects of treatment generally last a lifetime, though some patients prefer occasional follow-up treatment as needed.
For those not ready to commit to an assessment period, or if we need to see the results of the testing to confirm that MeRT can help, we also offer the option of coming in for a qEEG/EKG and then having a consultation with Kayleigh or Dr. Kim to go over the results. After your clinical consultation, you will still have the option of going through an assessment period should you choose to do so.
Improvements and results of MeRT are based on strict and active observation of our treatment protocols. Results may vary based on each person and are not guaranteed.
For more information on the research and studies on MeRT, please see our Science page.
We are an in-network provider with TRICARE. If you have TRICARE insurance, it is possible that your policy may provide coverage for you or a family member, depending on your specific policy and condition. Our New Patient Coordinator can discuss this with you in further detail.
For all other insurance, we are out of network and cannot file insurance on your behalf. We can, however, provide you with the appropriate paperwork at the end of your treatment. Then you can submit it to your insurance company to see if they will 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.” However, for non-FDA-approved treatment, it is not likely that 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. However, this depends on their health coverage. Additionally, Medicare patients have reported that their coverage provides no reimbursement for MeRT.
We take all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Care Credit is also an option to help finance medical expenses and is a separate company from The Brain Treatment Center San Diego. This is a credit card you can use 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 rapidly let you know if you receive approval.
INTERESTED BUT NOT SURE?
Talk with our New Patient Coordinator
We understand what it is like to have children or family members affected by brain disorders—or to be affected yourself. You may feel frustrated and isolated and may have lost hope that there is any relief in sight.
No matter what you may be going through, 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. MeRT has helped patients restore their brain function, reclaim their lives, and feel passionate about living again.
Many of our clinicians and technicians have gone through MeRT treatment protocols themselves and have realized firsthand what the treatment has done for them. 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 schedule you with the clinic should you decide to move forward with treatment.