FAQs

Some common questions you might have about the Montreal Neurotherapy Center.

How do you treat ADHD at Neurotherapy Montreal?

EEG Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that uses real-time digital technology to measure electrical activity of the brain (EEG) and present this information in a form that enables the individual to perceive changes in the state of the brain and learn to modify abnormal EEG patterns.

To rewire the brain, we make use of Neurofeedback-therapy.

This treatment stimulates metabolism and blood flow, strengthens dendritic connections as well as the functioning of neurotransmitters, which accounts for improvement in the patient’s ability to carry out cognitive tasks successfully.

Treatment with EEG Neurofeedback is based on the theory that once individuals understand their brain activity and learn to manipulate their own brain waves, they will be able to continue to do so, long after the therapy has ended. Some studies have followed patients for as long as 10 years after being treated with EEG neurofeedback and have shown no significant loss of treatment gains.

Methods

We apply electrodes to the scalp to listen in on brainwave activity. We process the signal by computer, and we extract information about certain key brainwave frequencies. (All brainwave frequencies are equal, but some are more equal than others.)

We show the live flow of this activity back to the person, who attempts to change the activity level. Some frequencies we wish to promote. Others we wish to diminish. We present this information to the person in the form of a video game.

The person is effectively playing the video game with his or her brain.

Eventually the brainwave activity is “shaped” toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The frequencies we target, and the specific locations on the scalp where we listen in on the brain, are specific to the conditions we are trying to address, and specific to the individual.

How many sessions are needed?

We ask all those considering Neurofeedback to commit themselves to a minimum of 20 sessions. More severe difficulties may require a longer period of training. Home training is often required after the in-clinic program.

How long is a session?

Training sessions typically take about 45 minutes, with actual feedback time varying based on what is best tolerated and most effective. Some individuals do best with short sessions – Others seem to progress faster with longer sessions. This is always individualized to optimize benefit.

Any negative side effects with neurofeedback?

We are not aware of any lasting adverse effects. The reason is simple: Neurofeedback is a form of training. It takes lots of repetition to result brain pattern changes. Many studies on Neurofeedback have been completed with no reports in them of lasting adverse effects. So neurofeedback is safe.

Why don’t more people know about neurofeedback?

In North America, our health culture is centered on drugs. Alternative approaches, even though they are effective, are often overlooked in favor of those offered by pharmaceutical companies with huge promotional budget.

How efficent is Neurofeedback for ADHD ?

Neurofeedback has now been shown in a meta-analysis of controlled research studies carried out in a number of countries world-wide, to have the highest level of efficacy for the treatment of ADHD.

Also other studies (example, ARNS) show that Neurofeedback in contrast to medication, does have long term effects (in contrast to the effects of other approaches such as education and medication)

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal physiological response to a stressful or dangerous experience. Anxiety is a normal mind & body response to many type of stressful or uncommon experience. (e.g.: having to address a public, personals problems at work , when taking important decisions or others…). Anxiety can even trigger in the anticipation of similar situations.

Some of the usual body reactions are:

  • Racing heart
  • Feeling not in control or even fear
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Sweaty palms
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body fluids get displaced in your body (can cause dry throat and the throat muscles to tighten, blushing, turning white)

When individuals are subject or feel abnormal level of anxiety they can became overwhelm. If anxiety is modifying your way or life on a regular basis you probably suffer of some kind of anxiety disorders. If anxiety is modifying your way or life on a regular basis you probably suffer of some kind of anxiety disorders

This is where you need to consult specialists to avoid persistent phobias or fear that can really diminished your quality of life and bring, at long term, serious physical problems.

What are the risk factors that can triggers anxiety disorders?

When you are exposed to repetitive Stress and Anxiety for long period of time you can develop serious health issues.

Even if stress and anxiety are an absolutely normal response of the mind and body to many type of unusual experience or situations, some people can develop acute anxiety disorders. Theses disorders can turn in extreme phobias and out of control fears and unwanted comportment or feeling. Being subject to long period of anxiety can damage your relation with others, influx on your work and your own life, psychologically and even open on a really serious cortege of mental and physical illness.

If you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you may suffer of an anxiety disorder:

  • Are you feeling stressed and anxious most of the time or at close interval
  • Your sleep pattern are constantly affected by anxious thought and feeling
  • You are overcome by irrational fears & sudden panic attack
  • Multiple, close anxiety episodes leave you with cramps or muscle pain and tightness
  • You constantly have digestive problems within or outside anxiety episodes intervals
  • Abnormally Intense stage frights and/or social phobia
  • You are insecure and self-conscious in everyday conversation or for no reason (Blushing, hot & cold flash, trembling…)
  • Flashback of difficult or traumatic moment of your life where you feel vulnerable, uncomfortable or scared

All these situations are clues that you may be experiencing a level of stress potentially harmful to your health. Please, consult your doctor or a specialist (Like Us!) right away!

Is Transcranial Magnetic stimulation rTMS good to treat Anxiety ?

Transcranial Magnetic stimulation TMS was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for the treatment of major depression.

In 2010, Many clinical research and experience suggest that it may also be effective for anxiety.
—> Results showed a 60% response rate and a 60% remission rate

rTMS therapy was also approved by Health Canada for clinical delivery in Canada.

What are the treatment options for anxiety disorders?

At the Montreal Neurotherapy Center we are treating Anxiety Disorders with medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or a combination of the two. We also use advanced qEEG technology and other state of the art proven techniques and treatments.

Combined with the traditional physical and chemical assessments and treatments Our highly specialized Staff and partners will examine your complete psychological profile.

We also use multiple advanced techniques like qEEG brain mapping technology to analyse and pinpoint the brain activity that is causing your anxiety, your breathing and heart variability rate and other markers that will permit us to build a complete personalized training program.

We also use Neurofeedback sessions, Neuromodulation, Meditation and Psychotherapy to train your brain to regulate itself to stay in a more calm, focused state.

Is Neurofeedback an approved treatment for stress?

The FDA has approved Neurofeedback for Stress reduction and the American Pediatric Academy has endorsed Neurofeedback as a “Level 1/Best Support” treatment for children with ADHD and has equated neurofeedback with medication in terms of efficacy for resolving ADHD.

What Brain patterns are we supposed to change for stress reduction?

One training we use at Neurotherapy Montreal is called Alpha Theta training. It essentially mimics the effects of meditation. In this case, patients are exposed to audio feedback with no visual stimuli. Its effects are much more dramatic and more rapid than traditional meditation.

What happens in the brain during the sessions?

With Neurofeedback the central nervous system can be stabilized. Additionally, the agitation caused by stress can be calmed down and self control can be increased. This will decrease feelings of anxiety or anger and improve, self-esteem, concentration and organizational skills.

How Does Neurofeedback Reduce Stress?

With neurofeedback, you learn to recreate a calm state and moderate your response to stress so that anxiety is minimized and occurs less frequently. EEG biofeedback gives the individual the mental skills to respond and adapt appropriately to stress. Neurofeedback (or EEG biofeedback) is a learning technique that leads to changes in brain wave patterns.

Is Neurofeedback an Alternative to Medication for stress?

As the brain learns to decrease anxiety and remain more calm, often less medication is needed. Medications tend to affect the entire brain, which is why some medications may cause side effects and you may become dependent on them to decrease anxiety.

Neurofeeback Treatment given at the Montreal Neurotherapy Center permit targeted healing without affecting the entire brain & body.

How Can I Get Help for Depression?

Talk Therapy and Medication are often used as the first line of treatment for depression. A therapist can a help you create strategies to identify and avoid any triggers that exacerbate your depression.

Medications that are commonly used to treat depression include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
These typically have less side effects than other types of antidepressants.
— Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Escitalopram (Lexapro) all fit into this category.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs.
—These include Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

Tricyclic antidepressants.
These antidepressants can be very effective, but cause more severe side effects. They’re often used if you haven’t responded to other medications.
—These include Imipramine (Tofranil) and Nortriptyline (Pamelor).

What are the side effects of rTMS Therapy use for Depression?

rTMS has been recognized to be an extremely safe, well-tolerated treatment. Patients doesn’t required any type of anesthesia or other medication. rTMS can be administered as an outpatient procedure.

Common side effects can include headache, scalp discomfort and facial muscle twitching. These side effects are mild and generally resolve soon after a treatment session. Some of the discomfort can be somewhat reduced, just by modifying the placement & distance of the coil.

Most patients find side effects reduce in intensity and frequency as the course of TMS progresses. Also rTMS side effects are NOT ASSOCIATED to the various, sometimes important side-effects caused by traditional antidepressant medications.

How long does Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation take to work with Depression?

A course of 30 sessions given over consecutive weekdays is recommended for effective therapeutic results. This can vary from patient to patient as many factors are to be considerate and tailor to each individual depending on the nature and severity of the problem and the individual response to the treatment.

At the Montreal Neurotherapy Center we will develop a personalized course of treatment base on an in-depth assessment that can be readjusted to the patient progress. rTMS therapy involves a sequence of treatment sessions. A Session duration is around 30 – 40 minutes.

Some patients may notice changes after only several days of treatment! If possible, We recommend 2 to 4 sessions a day.

What is HEG Neurofeedback and How Can It Help Migraines?

HEG Neurofeedback (Hemoencephalography) involves placing an infrared sensor on the middle of the forehead. The sensor gives a reading of the blood flow in your brain in the frontal lobe of your brain. A week blood flow in the frontal lobe is associated with lower oxygen level deliver to the brain resulting in persistent migraines.

HEG Training Sessions:

  • Typical Session duration can vary from 45 minutes to an Hour, depending on the patient.
  • 2-3 times weekly in frequency show the best benefits
  • Can be as long as few months to a year

All treatments plans are individualized at the Montreal Neurotherapy Center. The Goal of each HEG training session is to help the Patient train his or her brain to conscientiously elevate the blood flow in the frontal lobe to increase the amount of oxygen in the frontal lobe using the live signals generated by the HEG Sensors.

What is the PainX™ tDCS System & how it Help with Pain & Migraine?

The PainX™ tDCS System is a non-invasive therapy approved in Canada for the treatment of migraine and fibromyalgia. PainX™ tDCS is the first and only tDCS based system approved for the safe and effective clinical treatment of pain disorders. Montreal Neurotherapy Center is the first private center in Canada to offer this treatment.

What does tDCS mean?
It’s an abbreviation for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.

How does tDCS work?
Patients receive PainX™ tDCS at Our office based on a personalized schedule that is convenient to them. Most choose to have the stimulation therapy 3 to 5 times a week. While you sit, electrode patches are applied to the head using a specially designed cap or strap. Wires connect the patches to a small battery-powered device that can be placed on a table next to you. For about 20 minutes, mild direct electrical current (DC) then stimulate specific positions of our brain to reduce the pain. Patients typically report a mild tingling sensation during the session that stops at the end.

How tDCS can help migraine?
Direct Current Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive medical device developed by physicians and researchers in NYC, as an adjunctive treatment for fibromyalgia and migraine. It is designed to provide a safe and effective migraine treatment without the risks or complications of surgery.

Why do you suggest Neurotherapy for pain?

Evidence shows that the experience of pain is linked to EEG, or brain wave activity. Teaching patients to alter EEG activity to reflect activity that has been shown to be associated with reduced pain may be promising.

Chronic pain is associated with pathologically altered brain activity and morphology. Some studies have found abnormalities in the Electrophysiological (brainwave) activity in migraine patients, which suggest that training the brain to alter its electrophysiological activity in certain frequency bands might be effective.

How does Neurotherapy can help my sleep problem?

Neurofeedback helps you to restore your natural sleep rhythms. Neurofeedback training help You to tap in ability of the brain to be conscientiously control. You will learn to activate the smooth transition of the central nervous system from activation to rest naturally. Several studies have demonstrated how Neurofeedback can be used to improve sleep quality.

How does it work?
Training brain patterns using neurofeedback to decrease or increase brainwave activity appears to help the brain normalize sleep.

What else is offered, concerning Sleep, at Neurotherapy Montreal?
We also used Light therapy (or phototherapy). Phototherapy involves exposure to specific wavelengths of light for a prescribed amount of time at a specific time of day.

Our Special device, Re-Timer naturally helps you adjust back to your preferred sleep time. Thirty minutes of Re-Timer in the morning will assist you in falling asleep earlier.

What are the most common sleep issues that improve with neurofeedback?

This is some of the numerous sleep issues we treat at the Montreal Neurotherapy Center:

  • Insomnia – Difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep during the night
  • Difficulty waking from sleep
  • Difficulty getting to bed
  • Not feeling rested after sleep
  • Sleeping too long
  • Physically restless sleep
  • Bruxism – Teeth grinding during sleep
  • Sleep terrors – Abrupt arousal with intense fear, no dream recall or memory of event
  • Narcolepsy (tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings)
  • Dysregulated sleep patterns/cycles (Circadian Rhythms)
How does light therapy can help my sleep?

Our levels of Melatonin, a hormone produced in our brain, vary over a 24-hour cycle and increase at night causing us to feel sleepy. Modern lifestyles and other factors, however, interfere with this natural cycle. Light exposure regulates the body clock. The light suppresses the body’s production of Melatonin, enabling us to change the time we feel tired and therefore change our sleep.

Light Therapy (or Phototherapy) involves exposure to specific wavelengths of light for a prescribed amount of time at a specific time of day.

Our Special device, Re-Timer naturally helps you adjust back to your preferred sleep time. Thirty minutes of Re-Timer in the morning will assist you in falling asleep earlier.

What is the process of treating a TBI at Neurotherapy Montreal?

Montreal Neurotherapy Center Patients benefit from a highly specialized program that is tailored to your unique physical and/or functional limitations, cognitive impairments, and emotional or behavioral difficulties. We achieve maximal success, by applying existing rehabilitation and recovery training procedures in conjunction with the latest neuromodulation and neuroscience technologies.

We use a full battery of examinations and testing to identify your exact functional or cognitive impairments. Individualised care plans can include:

  • Stress management and coping skill development
  • Coping with cognitive fatigue and stimulus overload
  • Restore/improve cognitive functioning
  • Balance & Gait improvement
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Personal counseling
  • Neurofeedback training
  • Neurocognitive remediation
  • Non invasive Neuromodulation
  • Virtual reality therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiology

What do you focus on for improvements?
Intensive, individualized and multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation gives every patient a chance for a better life!

How long will it take to get better?

To maximized the effectiveness of the treatment, participants must be capable of committing to our program’s 20-week cycle and be willing to have their significant others or caregivers participate as active partners in the rehabilitation process. TBIs tend to heal slowly. In mild cases, symptoms may persist for weeks or months.

Every patient react differently to His/Her personalized treatment and the length and degree of success can vary. Be sure that the Montreal Neurotherapy Center goal is to provide You with the latest proven technology & science available. Our vast experience in Concussion / TBI and Our Highly Qualified and multi-disciplinary Staff & Partners have only Your recovery at Heart.

You Can be an Important Participant to Your Own Recovery !

Some Tips to help Yourself actively participate:

  • Plenty of Sleep & Rest are primordial
  • Rest Your brain daily
  • Do not participate in high speed, dangerous & demanding physical activity (To avoid another Head Trauma…)
  • Eat well, drink good water, Take Good Care of Yourself
  • Alcohol & Recreative Drugs should not be used
  • Call Us or You Doctor if You have any strange physical or behavioral anomalies
  • Avoid Stressful and Highly demanding situation
  • Avoid noisy and high output & pulsing light
How does a TBI (Concussion) affect the brain and body?

When a TBI (Concussion) occurs, anything having to do with your brain is potentially affected. That means your basic body functions, like eating and sleeping, can be altered. It also means that the complex parts of your life — your emotions, your thoughts, and your ability to communicate — can also be disrupted.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries can resolves themselves after a week to six week. However, Some people will develop what is know as a Post-Concussion Syndrome that can vary from people to people in severity and lasting effects, including cognitive, emotional and physical disturbances.

The symptoms can include:

  • Repetitive or lasting Headaches
  • Dizziness and Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and Mood Swing
  • Tinnitus (Ear Ringing)
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia and other Sleep disorders
  • Loss of concentration and memory
  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Neck Pain
What is a traumatic brain injury?

Doctors classify TBIs as either mild, moderate, or severe. Since most TBIs are mild, many people who sustain a TBI find that their symptoms get better over time. In fewer but more serious cases of TBI, the effects of the damage can last a lifetime.

Definition
Traumatic Brain Injury occurs when an external important force or a series of impact (like Football or hockey players…) propel the brain against the skull with sufficient force to bruise or even damage the internal brain structure instantly or over a period of time (In repetitive events.). In extreme situation the brain can be directly damage by a penetrating object (foreign or bone fragment).

Severity
In all cases, any Head trauma is extremely serious and even in the slightest impact to the Head should be follow with an immediate visit to the emergency as the damage can be internal and non-apparent and even cause death. Obvious brain trauma are always treated as an emergency of the highest scale.

Sometime people overlook a small bump to the head when a fall or any other small impact to the head occurs. DON’T — ANY IMPACT SHOULD BE FOLLOW IMMEDIATELY WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND MEDICAL SUPERVISION!

Symptoms:

  • Some of the most common Symptoms are:
  • Temporary lost of consciousness
  • Confusion and bad motor coordination
  • Vomiting & nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blur Vision
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Strange taste in the Mouth
  • Headache
  • Dilatation of one or both pupils
Do you use Transcranial Magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for stroke, Parkinson’s or TBI?

A course of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) delivered over the supplementary motor area (SMA) improves motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), shows results from a randomized controlled trial. We may use this technique to help patients with tremor.

The rationale of using rTMS as a complementary therapy is mainly to decrease the cortical excitability in regions that are presumed to hinder optimal recovery by low-frequency rTMS delivered to the unaffected hemisphere, while high-frequency rTMS delivered to the affected hemisphere facilitates cortical excitability. However, the exact mechanisms of how rTMS works are still under investigation.

In some cases we may use this technology.

We have collaborated in a study done at MUHC with Dr Kolivakis and Dr Ptito as investigators To assess the effects of rTMS over the left Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on mood and cognitive symptoms in patients with Minor Brain Injury (mTBI) and Post Concussion Syndromes (PCS) and patients with Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) without TBI.
Results have been very encouraging in symptoms reduction such as Head aches, cognitive functions and mood regulation.

We use this technology for this condition when indicated.

What is your experience with Multiple Sclerosis?

By the time a diagnosis is made, you may already be experiencing symptoms of the disease. People with MS need to learn how to support their bodies, avoid exacerbating symptoms, and use mobility aids. Like many people with MS, pharmacological therapy alone is not able to address your particular symptoms adequately. At The Montreal Neurotherapy Center, When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), we help you with the physical and cognitive challenges.

Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation will include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive retraining to help reduce these disabilities.

Is Neurofeedback useful for Post-Stroke recovery?

The field of neurofeedback is an exciting new area of application of the principles of biofeedback to stroke rehabilitation. Biofeedback in general can have a very positive impact, even through indirect means for patients recovering from stroke. Improvements in self confidence, shifting of focus of control, and instantly being provided information regarding changes in one’s physical functioning as a result of mental activity can be helpful in setting the tone for success in rehabilitation.

It is used in reeducation in individuals with hemiparesis. In regard to cognitive rehabilitation, the emerging field of EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, is a promise for the rehabilitation of attention, language processing, working memory, and even motor coordination. We always use Neurofeedback with our stroke patients.

What are the other Functional Neurological Conditions you treat?

We have experience with many illnesses witch target the nervous system, affecting mobility, speech and skill and where rehabilitation plays a key role in providing treatment and improving symptoms.

Some of the most frequent are:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Stroke (CVA)
  • Tumor
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Vestibular disorders such as BPPV, acoustic neuroma, or other conditions that cause dizziness and loss of balance
  • What services do you provide for these conditions ?

We use:

  • Physical therapy for increased strength and mobility
  • Occupational therapy for improved everyday living skills
  • Speech and language therapy for improved communication
  • Neurofeedback to improve cognitive skills
  • Non invasive Neuromodulation to help the Brain create new connections
Does rTMS work for Depression?

An evidence base of over 30 randomized controlled trials involving a placebo-control (sham stimulation) has demonstrated that rTMS has efficacy in the treatment of depression.

“Effect size from a recent meta-analysis of the active-sham comparison was 0.55.”
Slotema et al, 2010

Thus, rTMS should be considered an effective treatment for depression. If Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) works for you, your depression symptoms may improve or go away completely.

Note: Symptom relief may take a few weeks of treatment.

Do you use rTMS for depression & how does it work?

Yes, We have been using it for the last 10 years on more than 400 patients.

How Does rTMS Work?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a technique that uses powerful, focused magnetic field pulses to stimulate the neurons of the brain. There are many different stimulation patterns that can be used for rTMS, each with slightly different effects on brain activity. For example, higher frequency stimulation increases activity in the brain to help decrease symptoms of depression.