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New Studies Show How Brain Imaging Can Help You


In 1992 I attended an all-day lecture on “Brain SPECT Imaging in Psychiatry,” given by physicians at Creighton University and sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association. The experience was amazing and the results they shared mirrored my own early experience with SPECT.

Yet, at the same conference researchers complained loudly that clinical psychiatrists like me should not be using the scans in their practices, they were only for research purposes. Being a maverick, I didn’t hesitate to speak up and challenge their position.

In the almost 25 years since then, science has repeatedly recognized the value of brain SPECT – the imaging technology we use with our patients at Amen Clinics – for assessing brain function. There is a robust amount of scientific data that support the utility of SPECT for revealing the blood flow patterns underlying many different types of brain problems.

This week, two more exciting studies were published in the brain imaging field that further this knowledge:

  1. From Texas A & M and the University of Texas Southwestern, scientists reported that brain SPECT imaging was helpful in the diagnosis of substance use disorders and furthering an understanding of their underlying biology.1
  1. The prestigious journal Radiology published a new article called Psychoradiology (not about nutty radiologists), but rather about how brain imaging tools like SPECT will play a major clinical role in guiding diagnostic and treatment planning decisions in patients with psychiatric disorders.2

We are thrilled to see the progress in this field. We have been using brain SPECT imaging to help understand and treat our patients for the past 25 years, and have published or presented more than 70 scientific studies validating its use.

In fact, researchers at prestigious institutions that include New York University, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and The University of British Columbia, have collaborated with the Amen Clinics Research Team on a wide array of published scientific studies.

The results of these studies repeatedly demonstrate the value of brain SPECT imaging for evaluating brain function, clarifying diagnoses, guiding treatment decisions, and measuring the effectiveness of treatment strategies.

SPECT can help with the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Resistant emotional, behavioral or cognitive issues
  • Memory or dementia issues
  • Traumatic brain injury/concussions
  • Behavioral problems
  • Aggression
  • Addictions
  • Autism
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • And more

To see if brain SPECT imaging may be right for you, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to contact us.

And be sure to stay tuned for an exciting announcement of a new research study of ours that will soon be published on 982 marijuana users. It will cause quite a stir.


1 Mete M, Sakoglu U, Spence JS, Devous MD Sr, Harris TS, Adinoff B. Successful classification of cocaine dependence using brain imaging: a generalizable machine learning approach. BMC Bioinformatics. 2016 Oct 6;17(Suppl 13):357.

2 Lui S, Zhou XJ, Sweeney JA, Gong Q. Psychoradiology: The Frontier of Neuroimaging in Psychiatry. Radiology. 2016 Nov;281(2):357-372.

One thought on “New Studies Show How Brain Imaging Can Help You”

  1. MissT says:

    Tks for the article. I also invite you to consider the recent discovery

    Radiation from two CT scans could trigger Alzheimer’s, researchers fear
    November 2nd 2016 in Alzheimer’s

    Radiation from CT (computerised tomography) or CAT scans could be increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Just having two of the medical tests in a lifetime starts changing our brain molecules, a new research paper has discovered.

    A standard dose of ionizing radiation from the scan—which creates a 3-D model of our organs—alters the molecules in the hippocampus, and starts to create patterns that are typical in an Alzheimer’s patient, say researchers from the University of Southern Denmark.

    People could probably get away with having just one scan, says lead researcher Stefan Kempf, but he’s concerned about the cumulative effects of having several. Even low radiation doses, equivalent to two CT scans, could trigger molecular changes in the brain that cause cognitive dysfunction, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.

    The researchers exposed laboratory mice to doses of radiation that were a thousand times smaller than humans receive in a standard CT scan, and yet it altered molecules in their hippocampus.

    People are also exposed to ionizing radiation in airplanes, but levels are far lower than those from CT scans.

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