Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Brain Fitness Program?
This is 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 therapy and memory 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 recent book titled Boost Your Brain. Dr. Fotuhi will personally meet with you or your child and supervise all treatment interventions you receive in the Brain Fitness Program. He and his trained psychologists 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 the components of the Brain Fitness Program, including neurofeedback, enhance your brain’s natural abilities to improve itself without any medications or direct brain stimulation. These interventions help you or your child grow new pathways in your brain, resulting in long-lasting benefits.
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 research studies and recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics, neurofeedback harnesses 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?
- Children with ADHD: this program can have the best results for children, teenagers, or adults who have difficulty with focus and attention. Research studies have shown that more than 80 percent of patients with ADHD gain noticeable improvements in their test scores.
- 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.
- 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.
- Individuals with “brain fog”: Having a “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 is 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. The lengths of the other programs are:
- Executive Fitness Program: 1 Day
- Concussion Recovery Program: Up to 3 months
- Dizziness and Vertigo Program: Typically 2 sessions
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, Cigna, and UHC. Dr. Fotuhi has opted out of Medicare. However, patients who have a “secondary” insurance with their Medicare are usually covered.
You need to contact your own insurance provider to find out the extent of your coverage for our services. We 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, and clarity of thinking. We can increase your brain fitness and prevent 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. We can help you improve your brain performance regardless of your genetic risk.