This series of common questions and their answers is from our central Brain Treatment Center website.
How is MeRT treatment 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 treatment?
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:
- Better sleep
- Increased sleep duration
- Reduction of stress symptoms
- Reduction of pain
- Increased concentration and focus
- Improvement in mood
- Increased attention span
- Increased sociability
- Increased motivation
- 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
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 of two weeks. We have found that in our Assessment period we are able to determine how a patient is responding to MeRT treatment.
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 1 in 150,000. At the Brain Treatment Center we also limit the intensity of stimulation to further reduce any possible risk of seizure activity.
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.
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)
These require closer protocol attention and may or may not disqualify someone from receiving cortical MeRT treatment, depending on the doctor’s discretion and the person’s individual condition. These include: History of Seizure or seizure disorder, Titanium shunts/stents, Spinal Cord Stimulator, Hearing aids, Ferrous cortical implants, Magnetic ink tattoo, Bipolar Disorder Type I/II, Baha Implant.
History of Seizure or seizure disorder
Spinal Cord Stimulator
Ferrous cortical implants
Magnetic ink tattoo
Bipolar Disorder Type I/II