I had the privilege of serving as the principal investigator or PI for the double-blind, sham-controlled investigation of the effects of a special form of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy as an intervention for autism. [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:NCT01985308]. I started collaborating up with Prof. Jin and the BTC in California about a year and half ago after MRT had already shown positive effects in several of my patients. I want to thank all the families for their dedication and efforts in helping this most important research project. Without them, none of this would have been possible. The study was financed by the Newport Brain Research Laboratory.
Professor Yi Jin of the Newport Brain Research Laboratory and the Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach, California, developed a different theory about the way the brain functions and how it uses harmonic energy to synchronize its communications. That led him to develop a new system of transcranial magnetic stimulation now known as MRT™.
Dr. Yi Jin presented the preliminary results of the study at the Autism One Keynote address in May 2014. At that time we all were still blinded and did not know which patients comprised the curves in the graphic below. I served as one of the raters and Dr Toni Jin was another rater of the outcomes. She and I were always very close with our independent assessments which is reassuring that the effects observed are both consistent and real. A link to more of Dr Jin’s Autism One presentation is here. The link will further describe the study design. http://braintreatmentcenter.com/pdf/052614_PR_MRT001_GRAPHS.pdf
The graphs illustrate the difference in effect in the sham versus treatment group in the first 5 weeks of treatment, and also show the similar response to treatment once the sham group initiated treatment after 5 weeks. The orange line represents the average outcomes from the group of children starting with sham treatment – at 5 weeks they moved into regular MRT daily treatments. The likely reason for the subtle downtrend in the sham group is the conditioning of the children to daily life in the center. The blue line represents the group of children starting with and continuing with treatment. That group received a total of 10 weeks of treatment. The composition of the groups includes the data from the ~20% of children in either group who failed to respond to therapy. The work continues so we can find ways to reach the 20% non-responder group of children. Both myself and Dr. Toni Jin, despite being blinded to the sham versus treatment status of the children, were able to reliably detect the effect of MRT. More about the special magnetic coil used in the study a little later in this blog. But first what the experts think about this work.
WHAT NEUROSURGEONS ARE SAYING ABOUT MRT
“What the Brain Treatment Center has done is revolutionary. Using evidence- based principles with TMS, they have created a delivery system that customizes treatment based on the patient’s own QEEG. Addressing the core frequency mismatch that occurs in various parts of the brain, and not the patient’s symptoms per se, allows this system to be potentially useful in numerous psychological and neurological disorders, from autism to Alzheimer’s.” Dr. Kevin T. Murphy, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, UC San Diego Medical Center.
This noninvasive, personalized form of neuromodulation is very patient specific, and has far-reaching clinical implications”. Dr. Charles Liu, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Neurology, and Biomedical Engineering and Director of the University of Southern California Center for Neurorestoration, Los Angeles, California.
COMMENTS FROM PROFESSOR YI JIN ABOUT THE MRT AUTISM STUDY
80% of the kids in the study had huge improvements (30% reduction in Autism symptoms measured by Childhood Autism Rating Scale) and 40% are neurotypical by CARS in just 10 Weeks of MRT. We understand this is a relatively small (N =28) study which cannot be generalized to apply to the entire population of Autism. These findings, however, very closely resembled our clinical data of over 700 cases treated at our centers from 2005 to present. Both UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital are aware of our MRT-001 study results and have just been approved for a large (N=400) MRT-003 double-blind study to validate our preliminary findings. We know this is limited but we believe this is a very important beginning of a novel treatment for Autism.
http://www.braintreatmentcenter.com/staff [either click on the link or paste it into your browser to see Dr. Jin’s Autism One presentation]
Dr. Bradstreet present recent neuroscience advances at Autism One in Chicago in May 2014.
WHAT A MOTHER OF THREE CHILDREN WITH AUTISM THINKS ABOUT THE MRT STUDY AT BTC ATLANTA
I have had the pleasure of working with the mother of 3 children with moderate to severe autism for a few years now. Ashley, an Audiologist, has twin girls born at around 25 weeks (very premature) and a younger boy born at 35 weeks. All three have been diagnosed with Autism and all three participated in the study at BTC Atlanta. She has worked for years restoring her kids with diet and trying to heal the GI tract with various interventions. All of that helped as a basis what came next – MRT. A link to her interview is on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/97462194 . (either clink on the link or paste it into you browser).
Kara at the BTC Atlanta Center with the unique study coil and MRT technology. The coil was designed to reproduce the clicking sound of the magnet without actually creating any magnetic discharge. A computer remotely controlled the study based on a randomly assigned and coded patient number. Even the treating tech could not tell which arm of the study was being used for a given child. After 5 weeks all children were receiving MRT. This was the open phase of the research.
Dr. Bradstreet with MRT study staff: Jijeong (from the Newport Beach BTC office), Beth and Kara (from BTC Atlanta) – our team all had a chance to celebrate the success of the study. Other BTC- CA staff helping on the study and not pictured here were Carlos, Christine, and Kevin and Kim – thanks to all of them. Alex at the BTC in California stayed behind the scenes with Dr. Bob Silvetz – both of whom were instrumental in the study.
We are all indebted to Dr. Toni Jin – MRT Study Research Coordinator, put in long hours to make sure all the details were properly recorded.
If you are interested in learning more about MRT you may contact the BTC office in Newport Beach – Phone: (949) 851-3086.
The BTC- Atlanta office is located in the Northeast Atlanta metropolitan area near the Mall of Georgia: 4486 Commerce Dr, Suite B, Buford, GA 30518. The phone for that center is 678-765-8427.
Dr. Bradstreet’s medical practice is located in the adjacent building and may be contacted at 678-288-9222.