When the NeurExpand Brain Center opened last August in Friendship Heights, top executives and the doctor behind it claimed their treatments could boost memory and actually reverse memory loss in aging adults.

Medicare didn’t agree and now the company is closing its doors.

In September, soon after a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Councilmember Roger Berliner and Lt. Gov. candidate Ken Ulman, the federal government program stopped paying for NeurExpand’s “Brain Fitness Program.”

On Wednesday, the company announced that without Medicare’s backing, it had no choice but to close the Chevy Chase practice after less than a year in operation.
“Nevertheless, we did our best to continue to keep our doors open and provide services for our patients,” read the announcement. “Unfortunately, after enduring much financial hardship, we have finally reached a point that we need to cease our operations.”
Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a Baltimore County neurologist who’s shared his treatments on “The Dr. Oz Show” (among other media outlets), told Bethesda Magazine that Medicare didn’t think there was enough scientific evidence to support the company’s programs.
Fotuhi and his team of doctors said they had tailored a comprehensive, weeks-long program that could exercise and enlarge the hippocampus — the part of the brain that helps with learning and memory.
As people age, the size of the hippocampus tends to shrink. But with the right combination of healthy eating, sleep patterns, fitness and management of other risk factors, Fotuhi claimed that process could be reversed.
“I feel like Medicare did not treat us well,” Fotuhi told Bethesda Magazine.

Medicare reportedly reimbursed NeurExpand patients for between 50 and 60 percent of the program’s costs. Now, it’s asking for NeurExpand to reimburse it for any payments it provided before September.
The venture was backed financially by David Abramson and Steve Dubin, the former executives at a since-sold nutritional supplement company. At the event in August, Abramson described the Friendship Heights location (5550 Friendship Boulevard) as the perfect place to put such an operation.
The office had a soft opening in June and plans to expand into Northern Virginia.
A neurologist at NeurExpand would typically start by testing a patient’s vitamin levels and do an MRI test to measure the patient’s hippocampus. The office provided consultations on better diet habits, exercise routines, meditation and a balance and fall prevention risk assessment.
“You have density here. You have a higher socio-economic demographic. You have more people here who are more mindful and more apt to take action,” Chief Operating Officer Chris Lindsay said at the event. “There are more people here who might say to themselves, ‘This is not like what I’m used to so I’m going to do something about it,’ instead of ‘I’m just getting old.'”