Because vaccines are now widely available, the threat of COVID-19 is finally starting to lessen. However, not everyone is vaccinated, and unfortunately, many people afflicted with the virus are still suffering after-effects that have greatly affected their quality of health and life. There have also been many unknowns with COVID, and treating the people (sometimes referred to as “long haulers”) who are suffering from after-effects has also left some of the medical community baffled regarding how to provide healing and relief.
According to an article by Johns Hopkins Medical Center, those who have been in the ICU can also suffer from PICS, or Post-Intensive Care Syndrome, which can cause long-term physical, mental, and psychological complications.
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It’s not only physical symptoms that can linger. COVID-19 affects everyone differently; some were severely sick, hospitalized, and died. Others experienced only mild symptoms. However, as time marches on, we are learning that regardless of how sick someone got, they can still experience symptoms long after testing negative for the virus. Time and research show that after-effects from COVID-19 mainly affect the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Regardless of whether you were hospitalized or not, complications can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Widespread inflammation
- Changes in thinking
- Memory issues
- Severe brain fog
- Cognitive impairment
- Major Depression Disorder
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Substance abuse
- Changes in eating habits
- Suicidal ideation
COVID-19 Has Affected Everyone
Just about everyone has dealt with COVID, even if they didn’t actually get sick. The pandemic wreaked havoc on our economy and left many without jobs for long periods of time. Social distancing, isolation, and loss of “normal” life have greatly affected mental health across the world. And sadly, so many people lost loved ones who were sick, and/or had to deal with leaving family members alone to recover in hospitals. A study published by the NIH (National Institute of Health) in June 2020, which was relatively early on, showed that the following mental health conditions were on the rise:
- 31% increase in depression/anxiety
- 13% increase in substance abuse
- 26% increase in “stress-related symptoms”
- 11% increase in thoughts of suicide
These increases from June 2020 were double what they were in our pre-pandemic world. We are now in 2022 and based on how much worse the pandemic became, it’s pretty safe to say that those numbers have likely increased even more.
While we don’t have exact statistics yet, we know that those with pre-existing mental health issues were at greater risk of being affected. We also know that not much emphasis has been placed on the “mental health pandemic” caused either directly or indirectly by COVID, such as Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia, etc.
The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach Can Help!
At The Brain Treatment Center, we use a state-of-the-art treatment called Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy (MeRT) which is non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical. MeRT has been used for years at our clinic to treat patients suffering from brain dysregulation that occurs from illnesses such as:
- Traumatic brain injury/post-concussive syndrome
- Substance abuse
- Brain fog/cognitive issues
- Parkinson’s disease
- After-effects of stroke
- ADHD/Learning Disorders
How Can MeRT Help?
MeRT has also been used to treat other conditions, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke recovery. So, not only can it help to treat mental health conditions, but we can also use it to treat physical conditions, including inflammation in the brain tissue from being infected from COVID-19. All of these conditions (mental, emotional, physical) cause dysregulation in the brain which will show up on a qEEG, which is the cornerstone of our treatment.
MeRT is not a cure for permanent brain damage that the virus may have caused, but it can help to alleviate inflammation, dysregulation as a result, and symptoms originating from it. The effects of treatment are long-term.
Each person’s brain is as unique to them as their fingerprints. MeRT protocols are generated by examining brain wave patterns via the qEEG. A brain wave analysis isolates specific areas of the brain that are not functioning or communicating as they should. We then use this data to create a specific treatment plan for each individual, which is aimed at restoring healthy brain communication and function again.
Once the qEEG has been completed, we can see what is and is not functioning properly in the brain. We use this data to treat each patient by using a set of magnets that are placed on the patient’s scalp, which sends gentle magnetic signals into the brain that causes a reorganization and restoration of the brain waves which stimulates and organizes the function of neurons. This process is referred to as neuromodulation.
Common Benefits Experienced from MeRT **
- Better mood
- Improved concentration and focus
- Increased relaxation
- Improved sleep
- Improved memory
- Increased mental clarity
- Better ability to cope with stress
- Increased attention span
- Increased motivation
- Fewer cravings (alcohol, drugs)
- Improved emotional stability
- Better sociability
- Improved self-esteem and self-confidence
- Increased energy
** Results and improvements are based on strict and active observation of our regimens. Results vary and can vary based on the individual patient, and are not guaranteed.
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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) or rTMS (Repetitive 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 altered brain wave oscillations in patients suffering from conditions such as Major Depression Disorder (MDD), Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), 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. Then, we tailor a personalized protocol based on the location, frequency, and amount of power used by the magnet, specific to each person’s unique condition. MeRT can improve brain communication and 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.
Starting as a New Patient
If you are interested in seeing if MeRT treatment is right for you, we will initially schedule your qEEG appointment which takes approximately 45-minutes. At this first appointment, our neuro-technician will perform a qEEG and an EKG. These procedures are painless and involve the patient sitting in a chair until the test is completed. We then compiled the results and send them to our team of neuroscientists, who will send back the analysis and treatment plan within 48 hours. We will schedule you for a 2-week assessment period of treatment after your qEEG, and go over the results with you the following week.
If you prefer to wait to start your assessment period of treatment until after seeing the results of your qEEG, we can schedule you for a consultation approximately 48 hours after your testing, which would be your second appointment. During this appointment, you will meet with Nurse Practitioner Kayleigh Prowse who will have a one-on-one consultation with you to go over your results, answer questions you may have, and schedule the assessment period of treatment should you decide to proceed. Please note that Dr. Julie Kim, our Medical Director, oversees treatment for each patient.
Our office manager will also meet with you to provide you with a brief orientation so that you are clear on expectations. If you are not local, she will also provide you with additional information about Newport Beach and things to do while you are here.
The assessment period is two weeks long. During this time, we administer treatment every day, Monday through Friday during the first week, and then Monday through Thursday during the second week. We follow this with a repeat qEEG on Friday at the end of your two weeks to see how you 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 held near the scalp. We deliver the magnetic impulses for 6-8 seconds each minute. You may feel a slight sensation while the treatment is occurring, but it is not painful or uncomfortable.
Typically, after going through the assessment period, MeRT treatment lasts anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. However, in some cases, we recommend additional treatment time 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.
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It’s normal for patients and their families affected by brain disorders to feel frustrated and isolated, and many have lost hope that there is any relief in sight. However, 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. During your call, she’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and put your mind at ease. She can also help schedule you with the clinic should you decide to move forward with treatment.
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