Great news! The FDA has approved TMS technology (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) for Smoking Cessation! Finally, a breakthrough treatment method for treating an unhealthy addiction. At the Brain Treatment Center in Dallas, Dr. Spencer Miller, Board-Certified Neurologist, uses our cutting-edge MeRT (Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy) treatment protocol that combines the technologies of TMS, Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG), and Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to analyze and formulate treatments that are tailored for each individual’s unique brain pattern. Utilizing our MeRT treatment, we are able to gently and non-invasively stimulate the areas of your brain that are dysregulated to help you kick the habit!
Nicotine causes a strong physical, mental, and psychological dependence, making it a hard habit to quit. Many smokers use tobacco to manage unpleasant feelings and emotions and believe it or not, 2 out of 3 smokers really want to quit, but find it too difficult to quit smoking.
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The Brain Treatment Center Dallas Can Help!
Until recently, the equipment used for TMS and MeRT treatment has only been FDA-cleared to treat depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), however, in 2020, it was also approved for smoking cessation. MeRT is also used “off label” to treat other conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury/concussion, autism, sleep disorders, dementia, ADHD, after-effects of stroke, and brain optimization.
A huge benefit to MeRT treatment is that it is non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive, and its effects are generally long-lasting, though results can vary. To learn more about how this cutting-edge technology got started, we recommend that you watch “The Broken Brain” podcast aired by the esteemed Dr. Mark Hyman and Erik Won, physician and neuroscientist at Wave Neuroscience, the parent company of the technology.
Reasons to Quit!
Smokefree.gov lists several great reasons to finally quit smoking and rid yourself of the habit! Remind yourself of the rewards to stay on track!
- 20 Minutes: heart rate, blood pressure drop
- 12 Hours: carbon monoxide in the bloodstream drops to normal
- 2 Weeks – 3 Months: circulation, lung function improves, heart attack risk begins to drop
- 1-9 Month: cough less, breathe easier
- 1 Year: risk of coronary heart disease cut in half
- 2-5 Years: risk of cancer of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cut in half; stoke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker
- 10 Years: half as likely to die from lung cancer, risk of kidney or pancreatic cancer decreases
- 15 Years: risk of coronary heart disease same as non-smoker
Whenever you smoke a cigarette, toxins are carried to every organ in your body through the bloodstream. However, the body is an amazing thing! After you stop smoking, your body will begin its self-healing process within 20-minutes of your last cigarette! Nicotine and other chemicals will be completely out of your body within 3-days. While you may feel worse before you feel better as your body begins to repair itself, this is a sign that your body is healing.
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It has been said that quitting smoking can be harder than any other addiction, including cocaine and opiate use. In a 2012 study, researchers reviewed 28 different studies of people who were trying to quit using the substance they were addicted to. They found that about 18% were able to quit drinking, and more than 40% were able to quit opiates or cocaine, but only 8% were able to quit smoking cigarettes. These are alarming statistics. Physical withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days, but the psychological withdrawal can take many months, which makes quitting even harder. Symptoms of withdrawal (both physical and mental) can include:
- Feelings of anger, frustration, and impatience
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping, both falling and staying asleep
- Chest tightness
- Constipation or gas
- Slower heart rate
- Weight gain
Some have experienced depression and anxiety after kicking the habit, along with brain fog, and sleeping issues. Fortunately, by going through MeRT treatment, ALL of these issues will be addressed simultaneously in addition to treatment for Smoking Cessation, which will allow an easier withdrawal period. There have been numerous research studies completed that show how MeRT has been effective in treating these types of conditions, which include Addiction (Smoking Cessation).
As I am still in treatment and can’t speak to the final results yet, I want to direct my comments to Dr. Miller and his staff. They are all amazing! He is smart and works hard to help you understand the complex issues of the brain and how it relates to how we function. Katie is the best at working to make the appointments fit your schedule, and the two technicians are wonderful – so professional and friendly as well. It is such a positive environment, creating great hope! I recommend wholeheartedly!” – Jim, patient at Brain Treatment Center Dallas
According to the CDC, an estimated 34.1 million adults in the United States smoke, and an estimated 16 million live with a smoke-related disease. While the numbers continue to decline, (an estimated 40% of the American public smoked in 1964), smoking is still the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, attributing to more than 480,000 deaths per year, or an estimated 1 in 5 deaths.
Health issues caused by smoking can include:
- Higher risks for certain cancers
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Chronic bronchitis
- Blood clots
- Lung diseases such as COPD or cancer
- High blood pressure
- Oral health issues
- Accelerated aging
- Vision problems, like cataracts and macular degeneration
While nicotine does not actually cause cancer, the estimated 69 chemicals in tobacco smoke are carcinogenic. Smokers have a 4 times greater risk of contracting cancer than non-smokers. About 30% of cancer deaths are smokers.
Nicotine is an organic compound naturally found in the tobacco plant. Compounds, called alkaloids, composed of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen make up the plant content. It is actually nature’s way of deterring animals from consuming the poison it produces. In high concentrations, nicotine acts as a nerve poison and is often used in insecticides. However, in small amounts, nicotine is a stimulant that enhances brain activity and concentration and improves cognitive processing as well as a person’s memory.
When inhaled through a cigarette, nicotine is rapidly absorbed into the lungs and enters the blood vessels that are contained in the tissue that lines the lungs. From these tiny blood vessels, the nicotine enters the bloodstream and travels directly to the brain. This powerful drug reaches the brain within seconds and produces immediate feelings of pleasure or euphoria, amongst other stimulating effects, including increased levels of dopamine. Dopamine is associated with the pleasure and reward system of the brain. It releases feelings of enjoyment, as well as motivating a person to repeat certain rewarding activities that are usually vital for the body to survive, such as reminding you to eat when you are hungry.
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What is MeRT?
MeRT stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy.
MeRT is a non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-pharmacological emerging technology that, in the simplest of terms, is used to reprogram abnormal electrical signals in the patient’s brain to ultimately modify behavior. This cutting-edge treatment protocol combines technologies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS, an FDA cleared therapy), Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG), and Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to analyze and formulate treatments that are tailored for each individual’s unique brain pattern.
Most rTMS treatments are used to deliver stimulation to one area of the brain at a fixed frequency. Our MeRT approach is highly individualized as to frequency and location based on initial thorough testing and evaluation. This customized, scientific approach is unique to each patient.
We begin by performing a quantitative electroencephalogram (q-EEG) and an electrocardiogram (EKG). These tests measure brain wave frequencies, heart rate, and brain-heart coherence.
Once done, our scientific and clinical teams will carefully analyze the results and determine the current state and functioning of your brain. We use a patented, scientific approach with the neurophysiological data gathered through testing to then develop a highly customized treatment plan that is aimed at encouraging healthy brain communication and function.
Treatment is a simple as you relaxing in a chair while our highly trained technician carefully positions a simple device on your head. This device produces a magnetic field to induce mild electrical currents in targeted regions of the brain to help stimulate and rebalance areas of your brain that are not communicating properly with the rest of your brain.
Benefits of MeRT therapy include:
- Fewer cravings (such as smoking)
- Improved Sleep
- Increased Relaxation
- Better Concentration and Focus
- Improved Memory and Mental Clarity
- Decreased Pain
- Better Mood
- Increased Ability to Cope with Stress
- Increased attention span
- Improved sociability
- Increased motivation
- More clarity of thought
- Improved emotional stability
- Increased ability to adapt to change
- Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
Starting as a New Patient
When you start as a new patient at the Brain Treatment Center Dallas, you will initially need two appointments, approximately two days apart. Both appointments will be about an hour in length. These appointments will be used to determine if Dr. Miller feels you can truly benefit from the MeRTSM [Magnetic e-Resonance Treatment] Program and, if so, to develop a tailored treatment plan based on your test results. Once you have done the testing and Consultation, you are not obliged to begin treatment. This is something that you will determine once you have seen your test results and consulted with Dr. Miller.
At the first appointment, we will go over your reasons for seeking help, your medical history, your health goals, and all of your symptoms. You will then begin initial testing, which will involve an EEG and an EKG. These are both completely painless and easy and are done right in our office. Your information and test results are then sent over to our scientific and clinical teams, who will carefully analyze the results and determine the current state and functioning of the brain together with Dr. Miller.
We use a patented, scientific approach with the neurophysiological data gathered through testing to then develop a highly customized treatment plan that is aimed at encouraging healthy brain communication and function.
At your second appointment, you will meet with Dr. Miller for a Consultation. He will discuss your test results and whether or not he and our scientific team feel that results may be achieved for you through our treatment protocol. This appointment will also serve to answer any additional questions you may have. After that second appointment, Dr. Miller will lay out your individualized treatment plan and the protocols to be followed for the best results. At that point, you may discuss fees, length of treatment, and schedules, and then decide whether to go forward and schedule your treatment.
Unfortunately, we do not accept insurance, nor file it on your behalf. However, we can provide you with CPT codes and a billing breakdown that you may submit to your insurance for possible reimbursement for conditions that have been FDA-cleared such as Major Depressive Disorder and OCD. However, though Smoking Cessation has been FDA-cleared for treatment from MeRT, we have been told that insurance will not provide coverage for this treatment.
On occasion, individuals have been successful in receiving reimbursement for EEGs and clinical evaluations, and possibly other elements for treatment, depending on the individual’s coverage. Medicare does not reimburse any of the treatment costs.
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When many patients come to see us, they have lost hope as they don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s rewarding as a practitioner to be able to help so many people realize a much better “normal” and a greatly improved quality of life.
If you have questions or would like to discuss our Treatment Protocols, we offer a Free Consultation by phone. Our New Patient Coordinator will take the time to listen and explain. She is able to answer most questions and discuss our protocols, scheduling, fees, and other information. She is happy to assist you in any way she can.
Please call us to get more information about how our clinic and Dr. Miller may be able to help you with your health goals and to schedule an initial screening to see if MeRT may be an option.
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