info@neurogrow.com | 703.462.9296

The Scientific Basis of our Treatment Programs

Published in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (2016)
Published in Nature Reviews Neurology (2012)
Published in Nature Reviews Neurology (2009)

Click Here for more of Dr. Fotuhi’s Publications

 

Brain Health and Wellness:

Why does our brain shrink with aging? Can it be reversed?

Brain health and physical wellness are two concepts that are tightly linked to each other. The most recent neuroscience research indicates that a number of health conditions and lifestyle factors impact the size of brain areas used for learning and memory, called the hippocampus. The size of this brain structure can determine an individual’s eventual risk for becoming demented. Obesity, stress, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, concussion, and diabetes shrink the hippocampus, while exercise, mental activity, treatment of sleep disorders, and meditation have been shown to literally increase its size. An emphasis on brain health and wellness in a unified program can produce remarkable results with regards to improved memory and brain performance, better mood and a sense of quality of life, along with aging successfully with a fit body.

What causes memory loss? 

Memory loss can be due to a number of different causes, just as a headache is a symptom that can be due to a variety of ailments (e.g. dehydration, stress, exhaustion, etc.).  At our brain center, we first evaluate all potential causes of your memory issues and then provide you with a comprehensive treatment program that features individualized brain coaching and neurofeedback therapy.   

Why do we forget names? 

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Heart Failure
  • Obesity
  • High Cholestoral
  • Head Trauma
  • Aging

Dr. Majid Fotuhi, based on his 25 years of research, clinical work, and teaching in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School, has summarized this literature in his scientific peer-reviewed articles (and books) and formulated a “Brain Fitness Program” to use effective behavioral modification techniques for enhancing cognitive function. He served as the founder and chief medical officer for NeurExpand Brain Centers where this program produced remarkable results in patients with memory loss, post-concussive syndrome, and mild cognitive impairment.

Brain Fitness Program: A plan to reverse aging in the brain

The Brain Fitness Program consists of a comprehensive brain health assessment followed by a series of interventions designed to optimize memory and overall cognitive performance.

The Brain Fitness Program consists of a comprehensive brain health assessment followed by a series of interventions designed to optimize memory and overall cognitive performance.

Over a period of 12 weeks, patients first undergo a detailed neurological evaluation to determine all of the potential causes for cognitive deficits and brain atrophy, from head to toe, followed by a series of tests. They then start an intensive set of treatment sessions that enhance cognitive function, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and focus on lifestyle factors that are shown to be critical for prevention of late-life dementia.

 

5643700_orig

 

The program consists of nine important interventions, starting with patient’s sense of “purpose in life” and their desire for peak brain performance in order to achieve a personal goal:

  1. Setting specific goals for patient’s 12-week program, based on his/her “purpose” in life and brain performance expectations  
  2. Fitness training and close monitoring to ensure progress  
  3. Neurofeedback training  
  4. Stress and anxiety reduction counseling  
  5. Meditation training 
  6. Cognitive Skills Training
  7. Nutrition counseling for Mediterranean diet and taking omega-3 supplements (e.g. algal-DHA 900 mg/day) 
  8. Medical treatment of insomnia, sleep apnea, vitamin B12 or D deficiency, and depression, as needed  
  9. Emphasis on brain training home assignments (“homework”), with increasing difficulty (e.g. memorizing a list of 100 items)

 

Patients who enroll in the Brain Fitness Program go through a formal step-by-step program in order to establish their baseline level of brain performance and significantly improve their cognitive function: 

Percent of patients in the Brain Fitness Program (n=127) who had statistically significant improvements in their cognitive function.

Percent of patients in the Brain Fitness Program (n=127) who had statistically significant improvements in the normalization of their brain wave activity on Q-EEGs.

Percent of patients in the Brain Fitness Program (n=127) who had statistically significant improvements in the normalization of their brain wave activity on Q-EEGs.

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). (A): Baseline Brain MRI. (B): Post-program Brain MRI. (C): Higher magnification of baseline hippocampal volume. (D): Higher magnification of the post-program hippocampal volume.

The Brain Fitness Program has been modified to address the specific issues for patients with post-concussive syndrome. These patients often suffer from persistent dizziness, vertigo, headaches, irritability, poor sleep, imbalance, and neck pain. The modified program, called “Concussion Recovery Program,” has been remarkably effective in this patient population. Previously, Dr. Fotuhi completed a neuro-otology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins for treating patients with dizziness and vertigo, and his expertise has been critical to the success of this program. 

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention that alters one’s ability to concentrate. Typically, the brain is able to filter out distractions in the environment, but for people living with ADD or ADHD, this function is impaired.  This leads to difficulty maintaining attention and getting easily distracted.  Our Attention Boosting Program harnesses your brain’s natural abilities to improve focus through comprehensive assessment and integrated treatment. 

What happens in a concussion?

The effects of concussion or trauma on the brain are astounding.  Concussions cause damage in the brain that resembles the damage we see in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Concussions can cause shrinkage of some of the areas of the brain, particularly those that aid in memory, and alter the activity of other brain regions.  These can cause the patient to develop migraines, anxiety, and memory loss.  These changes can be detected and often reversed by following a personalized program that targets the affected areas.

What is dizziness and vertigo?

Dizziness and vertigo are vague terms.  When describing dizziness, patients often report feeling like they are “floating,” “tilting,” “off balance,” or “walking on pillows.”  When describing vertigo, patients may say “the world is spinning.”  Typically, dizziness and vertigo have a rapid onset and worsen when the head is turned quickly, often leaving the patient feeling very uncomfortable.

What causes dizziness?

There are a number of common causes of dizziness including:

  • Side effects of medication
  • Vestibular Migraine
  • Vestibular Neuritis (inflammation of the vestibular nerve)
  • Meniere’s Disease (increased pressure within the inner ear)
Dr. Majid Fotuhi NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center

If you have any questions or would like to request an appointment, please call us or complete the information below. If you are already a patient with us, you can contact us using your patient portal.

We will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Phone: 703.462.9296

Patient Portal