In-Depth: Southern California company's brain mapping technology helps people fighting addiction

Brain optimization reduces relapses
Posted at 6:01 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 10:33:02-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - New technology is helping one Southern California company find unparalleled success treating people fighting addiction.

Neurologicsuses proprietary brain-mapping technology to create individualized treatments for recovering addicts. The initial scan creates a map of the brain by looking at 293 domains. The company then has patients undergo training with a coach for four months to optimize brain performance.

"We're a drug-free alternative for optimum brain performance," says Neurologics Chairwoman Karen Odell-Barber. "We look at the brain under task at the speed of actual thought. We're the only company to do that."

The initial scan and the follow-up training are similar to brain exercises. But Odell-Barber says it repairs damaged areas of the brain that are responsible for addiction.

Odell-Barber estimates her company has already treated more than 21,000 people, with the average patient gaining 15-18 IQ points.

The higher IQ performance helps the brain with stress management and impulse control, two vital components of fighting addiction.

"If you tell someone, 'Call your sponsor, recognize the signs of relapse,' and you don't remember that in the time that you were stressed, you can't put those wonderful tools into action," she says.

Odell-Barber says 80% of the people Neurologics has treated for addiction were still sober at the 18-month mark after treatment.

That far outpaces the national average. A recent study found only 15% of people in traditional forms of therapy were sober at the 12-month mark.

That was the case for UC San Diego graduate Julia Soloman. She struggled with addiction for years and went in and out of therapy and rehab multiple times. But after treatment from Neurologics, Soloman's been sober for six years.

"I've seen it help so many people," Soloman says. "It sounds like magic when you talk about it. And it is. I think we're at a point now where science can really help addicts."

Odell-Barber says this kind of treatment can also help people with ADHD, learning disorders, Autism, cognitive decline, and traumatic brain injuries.

It costs about $20,000. But Odell-Barber says the company is working with insurance plans to get coverage, and she hopes to make it more affordable for more people.