Brain mapping helps mental health, Canmore clinic claims

A private clinic in Canmore claims to be helping people with mental and physical problems by mapping their brains electronically. But there is no research to support the claims according to one skeptic.

Private procedure costs thousands of dollars, but is medically unproven

A clinic in Canmore, Alberta is offering treatment for brain injuries that uses a new, but unproven brain mapping technique. 2:06

A private clinic in Canmore says it can help people with mental health problems and brain injuries by mapping their grey matter.

The Gaia clinic says it is the sole provider in Canada of Brain Electrical Activity Mapping (BEAM) technology.

The clinic offers BEAM as part of a package of services at the cost of $10,000.

Miranda Currie of Yellowknife travelled to Canmore seeking relief from the effects of three concussions. Among other symptoms, she walks with a cane and has trouble speaking.

Currie said she has sought help from a variety of practitioners.

"I've seen movement specialists, neurologists, all these people trying to figure out what this is."

Gaia clinic founder Dr. Tracy Thomson says her clinic is the sole Canadian provider of these services. (CBC)

Dr. Tracy Thomson, the Gaia clinic's founder, said the package includes BEAM as well as a range of supplementary services for patients.

"Then we put it together in an integrative brain plan," she said, "almost like a lifestyle plan to heal her brain."

There is debate about the effectiveness of the brain mapping technology.

Keith Yeates, a neuropsychologist at the University of Calgary, says has not seen any proof that the brain mapping technology works. 

"They may be doing interventions that are helpful but the BEAM in and of itself I don't see as particularly useful in terms of guiding treatment."

Dr. Thomson said BEAM works in conjunction with a battery of tests and says her success with patients is proof of its effectiveness.