Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Brain Fitness Program?
A multidisciplinary program that includes a comprehensive brain evaluation at baseline followed by three sets of non-pharmaceutical interventions: (1) neurofeedback therapy, (2) directed, one-on-one cognitive training (e.g. memorizing names or a list of 20 items), and (3) personalized lifestyle coaching (e.g. meditation for stress reduction, instructions for a brain-healthy diet, and training for following specific lifestyle choices for a stronger brain).
Who directs the Brain Fitness Program?
Dr. Majid Fotuhi is a nationally-recognized neurologist with over 25 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School. He is the author of three books about improving memory and brain performance, including his most recent book, Boost Your Brain. Dr. Fotuhi will meet in person with you or your child, and supervise all interventions you receive in the Brain Fitness Program. He and his brain coaches and neurofeedback specialists monitor your progress on a weekly basis, ensuring that you are constantly progressing toward your goal.
Does the Brain Fitness Program involve medications or stimulation?
No. All components of the Brain Fitness Program, including neurofeedback, harness your brain’s natural abilities to improve itself without any medications or direct brain stimulation. These interventions help you grow new pathways in your brain, ensuring long lasting benefits.
What kind of brain games do your brain coaches use to activate and engage different parts of the brain for patients with concussion, ADHD, or memory loss?
At NeuroGrow, brain coaches help patients use both hands-on brain games and/or a computer-based brain games from HappyNeuron. Based on the results of cognitive testing and the set of specific symptoms each patient has, Dr. Fotuhi assigns specific brain games for them at the beginning of their brain training program. He then monitors their progress objectively by repeating their cognitive testing at mid-way in their program and at the end of their program.
How do you monitor the progress of your patients during their 12-week program?
We use objective neurocognitive testing and qEEG brain mapping to evaluate our patients at the beginning, at mid point, and at the end of our brain training program. These test results, along with the answers to the questionnaires about their sleep, exercise, diet, mood, stress levels, attitude toward life, and time management, help us monitor the progress of our patients.
Dr. Fotuhi makes changes in the brain training and neurofeedback protocols for our patients based on these objective and subjective scores, as needed. We also give a booklet to our patient (which we call The Passport) to help our patients establish their goals at the beginning of the program and then track their progress on a weekly basis.
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback which uses your brain wave patterns (obtained via live EEG recording) to help you become more calm and focused. Based on a large number of placebo-controlled clinical research studies, neurofeedback utilizes your brain’s natural neuroplasticity system to improve your attention, focus, sleep, and mood.
Does neurofeedback even work?
Yes. Several hundred studies have shown that patients with ADD/ADHD, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, and depression achieve remarkable improvements within 3 months of treatment with neurofeedback. The optimal training protocol involves 24 one-hour sessions that are usually performed twice a week for 12 weeks.
Who are the best candidates for the Brain Fitness Program?
1.Children with ADHD: Children, teenagers, or adults who have difficulty with attention often have the best results with this program. Research studies have shown that more than 80 percent of patients with ADHD gain noticeable improvements in their test scores.
2.Individuals who have had concussion or traumatic brain injury: Dr. Fotuhi has specific fellowship training (from Johns Hopkins) in the fields of dizziness, vertigo, and inner ear diseases. He also has extensive knowledge in the field of memory, brain rehabilitation, and sleep. Dr. Fotuhi has had great success in treating patients who have had persistent headaches, dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, and memory loss for years.
3.Individuals with concerns for Alzheimer’s Disease: Dr. Fotuhi’s Brain Fitness Program has been successful in improving memory, attention, mood, and sleep in patients with mild cognitive impairment. According to his recent publication in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, more than half of the subset of patients who had brain MRIs before and after this program experienced a measurable growth in the memory parts of their brain.
4.Individuals with “brain fog”: Having “brain fog” is usually due to a combination of treatable medical issues that could include vitamin deficiency, stress, hormonal changes, or irregular sleep. Dr. Fotuhi routinely performs a comprehensive evaluation to find ALL of these causes, and then tailors a program to meet the specific needs of his individual patients. Most of his patients report that after they complete his Brain Fitness Program, their brain fog has been lifted and cleared.
How long does the program take?
Each person is unique, but most patients complete our Brain Fitness Program in three months with significant improvement in their memory, thinking, concentration, and mood.
Are the services covered by my insurance?
Almost all of our assessment and treatment services are covered by most insurance companies, including BlueCross-BlueShield, CareFirst, Aetna (excluding Aetna Innovation Health), Cigna, and UHC. Dr. Fotuhi has opted out of Medicare. However, patients who have a “medicare secondary” insurance with Medicare are covered.
You need to contact your own insurance provider to find out the extent of your coverage for our services. We can provide you with the necessary documentation that you can submit to them for reimbursement.
If I do not have memory difficulties, how can the program help me?
Regardless of your baseline cognitive state, the program can improve your mood, attention, concentration, processing speed, and clarity of thinking. By increasing your overall brain fitness, we can lower your risk for stroke and dementia in the future.
Can you help if I have a family history of dementia?
Individuals with family members who developed Alzheimer’s disease between the ages of 50 and 70 have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease; however, those with family members who became demented after age 80 only have a mild increase in their chances of developing Alzheimer’s. We can order genetic testing for you, if needed, to find out which category applies to you. Our treatment plans can help you improve your brain performance regardless of your genetic risk.