Your brain is involved in everything you do, including how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how well you get along with other people. When your brain works right, you work right; and when your brain is troubled, you are much more likely to have trouble in your life.
Looking at the Brain Changes Everything
Over the last 23 years, Amen Clinics has built the world’s largest database of brain SPECT scans which has revolutionized how we help our patients and teach the world about brain health. SPECT stands for single photon emission computed tomography. It is a nuclear medicine study that looks at blood flow and activity patterns. It is widely used to study heart, liver, thyroid, bone, and brain problems.
Amen Clinics has performed nearly 100,000 brain SPECT scans on patients ranging in age from 9 months to 101 years, and have scanned many healthy people interested in learning more about their brains.
According to the Practice Guidelines of the American College of Radiology, common uses of brain SPECT include: the evaluation of symptomatic traumatic brain injury (especially in the absence of CT or MRI findings), evaluation of patients with suspected dementia, presurgical localization of seizure foci, and the detection and evaluation of cerebral vascular disease.1
With the depth of our experience at the Amen Clinics, we have added additional indications for the use of brain SPECT: evaluating complex or resistant psychiatric issues, subtyping ADD, anxiety and depression, assessing memory problems, aggression, school, job and relationship failure, substance abuse, and optimizing brain function.
"Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
- George Bernard Shaw
SPECT allows physicians to look deep inside the brain and observe three things:
- Areas of the brain that work well
- Areas of the brain that work too hard
- Areas of the brain that do not work hard enough
When and why would you order a SPECT study?
The purpose of this article is to answer that question and to point out some of the benefits and caveats for using this powerful tool.