What is MeRT℠ therapy and how does it work?
MeRT℠ stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy. MeRT℠ therapy is a new treatment that combines technologies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS, an FDA cleared therapy), Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG), and Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to deliver treatments tailored for each individual’s unique brain pattern.
The patient’s EEG and EKG are analyzed to ascertain the brain’s pattern of function, detect brain activity, and determine its state of neural synchronization.
The resulting information is used to develop a personalized protocol for each patient, aimed at encouraging healthy brain communication. This can lead to significant clinical improvements.
Definition of Terms:
rTMS = Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: a non-invasive therapy that utilizes pulsed magnetic fields to change neural activity.
EEG = Electroencephalogram: a non-invasive procedure that records the electrical activity of the brain.
EKG = Electrocardiogram (also known as ECG): a non-invasive procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart.
How is MeRT℠ therapy different from rTMS?
Unlike standard rTMS therapy, which delivers stimulation to one location at a fixed frequency for all patients, the MeRT℠ approach individualizes the treatment frequency and location based on each patient’s Quantitative EEG and EKG.
This results in a customized approach to the MeRT℠ protocol.
What takes place during a typical MeRT℠ session?
Cortical MeRT℠ therapy delivers magnetic pulses to specifically targeted areas of the brain.
A typical appointment of MeRT℠ consists of 30 trains of electromagnetic stimulation delivered for 6 seconds each with 54 seconds of rest period in between trains to a specific location on the head. The session lasts approximately 45 minutes.
What benefits may result from MeRT℠ therapy?
Functional recovery is the primary objective of treatment. Results are individual in nature, depending on the initial presenting symptoms.
Common benefits of functional recovery include:
Increased sleep duration
Reduction of stress symptoms
Reduction of pain
Increased concentration and focus
Improvement in mood
Increased attention span
Improvement in clarity of thought
Decreased cravings (e.g. drugs and alcohol)
Increased emotional stability
Increased ability to adapt to change
Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
What are the side effects of MeRT℠ therapy?
From our current data using the MeRT℠ approach, side effects are few and generally mild. The most commonly reported side effect is a mild tension headache at the site of stimulation, which can last 1-2 hours and responds well to over-the-counter analgesics.
Other possible side effects are hyperactivity, increased agitation, or euphoria. With brain stimulation there is also a risk of seizures; however the risk is minimal with MeRT℠ therapy.
At the Brain Treatment Center we also limit the intensity of stimulation to further reduce any possible risk of seizure activity.
How soon after I start MeRT℠ therapy should I expect to see a response?
Every individual’s response to treatment is different. We require every new patient to the clinic to undergo an Assessment Period.
We have found that in our Assessment Period we are able to determine whether or not the person would be a candidate for MeRT℠ treatment.
How long will the effects of MeRT℠ therapy last?
Results can vary per individual.
In general, the longer the length of MeRT℠ therapy, the longer the changes remain, especially if receiving MeRT℠ therapy for greater than one month.
Why is my protocol different from other patients’?
Since each brain is unique, the MeRT℠ protocol will be different for each patient as it is based on the individual’s own EEG/EKG data.
Absolute and relative contraindications for cortical MeRT℠ treatment
Absolute contraindications for cortical MeRT℠ treatment:
Vagal Nerve Stimulator
VP Shunt/ Magnetic intracranial shunts
Deep Brain Stimulator
Epidural Cortical stimulator
Cranial metal fragments (i.e. shrapnel, excluding titanium)
Aneurysm clips, coils, pipelines flow diversion
Pregnant or breast feeding
Primary brain cancer / metastatic legions in brain (unless palliative care)
Magnetic dental implants
Implanted cardio-verter defibrillators (ICD)
Relative contraindications (requiring closer protocol attention, but not disqualifying someone from receiving cortical MeRT℠ treatment:):
History of Seizure or seizure disorder
Spinal Cord Stimulator
Ferrous cortical implants
Magnetic ink tattoo
Bipolar Disorder Type I/II