Brain Fitness Program
Covered by most insurances, this intensive program is designed to boost your memory, attention, focus, and sleep within 12 weeks. The results of this program were published in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease in March 2016, and were also featured in an article in TIME magazine in August 2016.
Neurological Evaluation: Dr. Fotuhi will learn about your concerns and then review your medications, past medical history, and your previous evaluations.
Neurocognitive Testing: We will perform a battery of cognitive tests to establish your strengths and weaknesses with regards to memory, attention, speed of processing information, and problem solving.
Brain Mapping (qEEG): We use state-of-the-art EEG technology to establish your brain’s pattern of electrical activity and determine areas that can be improved with neurofeedback therapy. We then tailor a neurofeedback protocol (see below) to help put you become more calm and focused.
The treatment portion of your Brain Fitness Program uses the latest discoveries in the field of neuroscience, and is akin to physical therapy for your brain.
Over the course of 12 weeks, your brain coach will train you on how you can boost specific areas of your brain that are not at their peak. You will also receive a neurofeedback treatment program designed specifically for you.
We have had a high success rate in the past and as such feel confident that you too will achieve remarkable results in this program. We routinely do testing at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks for all of our patients. These objective findings show our patient become sharper, faster, and calmer. Our goal is for you and your family to become amazed by your memory and overall brain performance.
Brain coaching: One of our enthusiastic brain coaches will work with you every week, for 12 weeks. These one-on-one training sessions will be personalized just for you. Based on the results of your cognitive evaluation and qEEG as well as your specific needs and concerns, you may receive training about meditation and stress reduction or training for memorizing a list of 20-100 items. Your brain coach will use effective, fun, and targeted brain games to help you improve your memory, attention, how quickly you process information, decision making, and organizational skills.
Neurofeedback: This cutting-edge EEG-based biofeedback therapy is designed to enhance and optimize your brain wave activity. It is a science-based and drug-free intervention to help you become calm and focused. For more information about neurofeedback, click here.
Jack is a 83-year-old retired executive with a history of multiple strokes who had experienced difficulty with his memory for over one year. His family felt that he had changed. He tended to repeat himself and would forget important conversations. He was also more irritable than usual. In contrast to his old vibrant personality, he had started to spend much of his time at home watching television, reading, and working on the computer.
In his initial evaluation, Dr. Fotuhi reviewed the details of his diabetes, sleep apnea, excessive daytime sleepiness, and depression. He provided reassurance that his memory lapses are more likely due to his vascular risk factors – and less likely due to pure Alzheimer’s disease (as he and his family had feared).
His neurocognitive testing showed that he was slow to process information, had difficulty with tasks that require organization, and had severe memory loss. His brain mapping qEEG showed a pattern that is commonly seen in patients with anxiety and depression.
Dr. Fotuhi reviewed these results with him and his family. He reduced some of his medications which were contributing to his forgetfulness. He also reminded Jack about the importance of using CPAP to treat his sleep apnea – a condition that can lead to more strokes if left untreated.
In his brain coaching sessions, Jack learned about meditation and soon after joined a yoga and aquatic therapy class. He learned about the Mediterranean diet and how it can help to reduce his risk of Alzheimer’s disease. His neurofeeback protocol was designed to help him have less anxiety. He enjoyed coming to his brain coaching and neurofeedback sessions.
He loved the fact that our team was excited by his progress and encouraged him to do more every day. He soon began meeting with his friends for lunch, golf, or card games. He and his son restarted their fishing trips, and Jack decided to help with volunteering in his local hospital. He exercised more often and felt less depressed and anxious.
By mid-way into his program, his cognitive tests showed improvements in his attention, working memory, and processing speed. His wife was happy with the fact that she could have long and pleasant conversations with him again and that he had started to fix things around the house – just like the way he used to in the past. His daughter noted that Jack was more cheerful and made jokes more often.
By the time he finished his 12-week program, Jack had remarkable improvements in most of his cognitive domains. He and his family felt that he had become younger and stronger. His wife who had only minor memory lapses decided to do the program herself.
Jack’s formal cognitive testing showed significant improvements in his executive function, attention, and working memory:
Jack’s brain mapping qEEG results showed that the low levels of activity throughout brain at the beginning of the program (blue colors in left panel) were mostly resolved (right panel) by the time he finished our program.
The manuscript with results from patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington DC, on July 18th, 2015. Below are the figures from this manuscript. They show that 84% of patients experienced high-impact improvements in their cognitive function, 97% had high-impact or moderate-impact improvements in their brain wave normalization. Among those who had before-and-after brain MRIs, 65% had remarkable reversal of atrophy (12%) or actual growth (53%) in the size of their hippocampus.
The cognitive results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows remarkable improvements in her executive function, memory, and language.
Patient’s baseline cognitive function is shown as percentile compared to others of her age and gender. Post-program cognitive test showed significant improvements in 9 of the 10 cognitive tests, with regards to executive function, memory, and language. The only cognitive domain that did not improve was list-learning delayed recall (not shown); it remained unchanged from baseline.
Brain mapping (Q-EEG) results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows significant reduction (reduced red areas) in abnormally slow (theta) brain wave activity.
Q-EEG detects changes in a patient’s brain activity and compares it with a normative set of data. Statistically significant higher than normal or lower than normal EEG activities are shown in red or blue colors, respectively. Post-program Q-EEG (B) in this patient showed significant improvement toward normal (46%) from baseline (A), through a reduction in excessive levels of slow theta waves in her right temporal lobe.
MRI results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows significant enlargement in the size of hippocampus.
Post-program MRI with NeuroQuant showed an 8.6% growth in the volume of the hippocampus (HC). (A1): Baseline Brain MRI. (A2): Post-program Brain MRI. (B1): Higher magnification of baseline hippocampal volume. (B2): Higher magnification of the post-program hippocampal volume.