[btx_image image_id=”2465″ link=”/” position=”overlapright” size=”bateaux_large”][/btx_image]Md. ‘brain training’ company launches national expansion

By Morgan Eichensehr | Read online at BizJournals.com/Baltimore

A Columbia-based firm that offers programs for improving brain function has rebranded and launched a national expansion to meet growing demand from outside of Maryland.

CEO Kate Ortman founded Brain Training of Maryland in 2010. She is a teacher and a certified life coach for adults with attention deficit disorder, and has firsthand experience in the realm of cognitive training. One of her six children had to undergo brain surgery at age 21, and Ortman’s company developed out of her efforts to help him recover after the procedure.

Over the past eight years, Ortman has grown her company from a home business to an increasingly recognized player in the brain training space. She also began to see a lot of interest and referrals from out-of-state clients interested in utilizing her brand’s expertise and programming. To address the demand increases, the company has now rebranded as Brain Train America, and is offering its services nationwide through online programming and virtual appointments.

Brain Train provides nearly 10 brain training and evaluation programs to help elite athletes, children with learning disadvantages, and anyone in between exercising their brains through mental and physical activities that focus on auditory processing, memory, attention and sequencing. Ortman said she is excited to grow her business and be able to offer a suite of programs to any client, anywhere who wants them.

Clients can now use virtual appointment options to connect with Brain Train staff from anywhere in the U.S. Program costs range from about $200 per month for one program to $550 for a multi-program package, and clients typically use the programs for six months to a year, Ortman said. She said being able to conduct appointments and trainings virtually, as opposed to trying to open more satellite brick-and-mortar locations, allows her to keep costs low for out-of-state clients.

Brain Train’s programs can be used to help diagnose and treat clients ranging in ages, needs and ability levels.

“I like to think of it as a brain gym. People put treadmills and barbells and ellipticals all together and call it a gym,” Ortman said. “We do the same, putting equipment and programs together designed to improve your cognitive fitness.”

Some of her clients include senior citizens looking to keep their minds sharp and stave off dementia, and athletes looking to sharpen their reaction times and processing speeds — Ortman pointed to star athletes like Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as examples of brain training success stories. Brain Train also assists clients recovering from concussions, as well as those who face learning impairments such as ADHD or dyslexia.

Ortman said the medical community is still warming to the concept of cognitive training as a legitimate treatment option, but she is optimistic. She noted examples of clients she’s had who have overcome severe dyslexia and gone up several reading levels, improved their attention and accuracy on the golf course, developed better communication skills and shown decreases in stress and anxiety after using Brain Train’s programs.

“We really see this kind of thing can change people’s lives,” Ortman said, “and we want to be able to do that for as many people as we can.”