As the Clinical Director of Cognitive FX, I have been enthused by the overwhelming response from patients outside the US, many of which come from the Netherlands. Our Dutch patients have been some of my favorites to work with as they are very diligent, hard-working, and they aren’t afraid to communicate their likes and dislikes. They challenge us and make our work even more rewarding. Because we respect our Dutch patients—past, present and future—I feel it is my responsibility to provide a straightforward look into our clinic’s approach.
Our scientific purpose is to understand and make known the biological underpinnings of chronic brain-injury symptoms and how to successfully treat them. Outcome data from over 2,000 patients, 4,000 structural brain and cervical imaging scans, and clinical fMRI data consisting of over 24,000 scans provides us the largest functional imaging volumes collected by a single institution in the world. Meta-analyses of this data allows for our published outcome studies to be presented and recognized nationally and internationally. Dr. Allen and I have presented our research with the North American Brain Injury Society, the International Brain Injury Association, and the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society.
Our clinic’s primary goal is to treat patients suffering from chronic symptoms resulting from brain injury. Our ability to conduct and publish scientific research akin to that of an academic institution (i.e., double-blind studies) is limited by our innate purpose: to diagnose and treat every patient to the best of our ability. We feel it unjust to either offer placebo treatment with the promise of healing or a treatment type that we feel would not be as effective as our standards just for the purpose of satisfying others’ desire for double-blinded study data. As a clinic with a six-month waiting list and 20-40 new patients a week inquiring about treatment, it is very difficult to deny all patients the best treatments equally just for the sake of a research design. Our patients have often tried many other clinics, treatments and doctors before finding their way to us. I feel it is our responsibility and obligation to help them by validating their symptoms, listening to their individual trauma stories, and guiding them further on their journeys to hope and improvement.
To clarify some misunderstanding, fMRI is not a treatment, it is an advanced imaging method by which to see the root causes of chronic brain injury symptoms. Identification of these causes then aids clinicians in directing appropriate treatment. Additionally, we take a step-by-step approach to considering each potential treatment candidate. During our complimentary consultations, our neuroscience specialists rigorously evaluate each potential treatment candidate and carefully explain likely outcomes depending on that person’s specific situation. On some occasions, the person is an excellent candidate; however, on many occasions, possible patients have been informed of the likelihood that treatment might not be the best fit.
In some cases, these precluding factors may involve significant mental health issues, a history of drug abuse or current drug abuse, complicated comorbidity with other health conditions, etc. I would like to clearly state that complete recovery from a brain injury and it’s sequelae is impossible within one single week. A patient’s typical week is replete with numerous, widely accepted modalities of treatment (including, but not limited to, the following: occupational therapy, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, vision and vestibular therapy, and psychotherapy). Treatments are frequent and often intense; however, every step of our treatment process is guided by their individual fMRI findings and tailors their unique recovery experiences.
While a patient experiences, on average, a significant decrease in symptoms during their short time in our clinic, the full healing process requires monitored, evolving application of skills, strategies, and treatments directed by professionals in the field—just like any other medical treatment. Patients are, in fact, prescribed at-home therapies designed to, eventually, be no longer necessary with reintegration into normal life.
We appreciate the information that has been presented in the blog and the comments section; however, to fully understand the scope of our scientific and clinical processes, we encourage those interested to reach out to us directly.
Our talented team consists several academic and clinical backgrounds, including, but not limited to:
Occupational, Cognitive, and Physical therapy
Vestibular SpecialistsAny one of us would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions regarding our science, treatment, team or processes. Thank you for reading this and I hope to have been able to provide some insight from my personal point of view. Good luck on your journey to health and healing and I hope we at CFX can be a part of your story…
Alina K. Fong, PhD