New Study: SPECT is Best for Brain Injury Diagnosis and Treatment

Your brain is very delicate like the consistency of soft butter – and is protected by a hard skull with multiple sharp bony ridges. Even minor blows to the head that can be classified as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), without loss of consciousness, may result in brain injuries that cause serious consequences for the rest of life.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Effect

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability for people between the ages of 1 and 44, and an often-overlooked cause of emotional, thinking, and behavioral problems. People who have experienced TBI have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, suicidality, drug and alcohol abuse, job and marital failure, incarceration, homelessness, and dementia.

Can SPECT Help?

One of the first lessons we learned was that undiagnosed brain injuries were a major cause of learning, emotional and behavior problems that were often misdiagnosed as “personality disorders” or people who just didn’t care enough to act right.

In a world literature review done by our colleagues from the U.S. and Canada, we reviewed 1,600 research studies published over the last 30 years. Of these papers, 71 studies – involving 2,634 patients – were of the highest of quality and were included in the review. Nineteen studies followed TBI patients over time and 5 looked at the effects of treatment interventions.

What Research Tells Us

• SPECT is more sensitive than any other study, showing TBI abnormalities not seen on CT and MRI in all 10 of the studies that investigated such sensitivity – 100%.
• SPECT findings correlate with the psychological and neurological symptoms of TBI.
• SPECT is effective for helping to direct TBI treatment interventions.

These same patients may have recurring psychiatric symptoms such as depression, attention problems, and impulse control issues. Commonly, they are referred to psychiatrists who generally do not use neuroimaging to diagnose and treat brain disorders.

Ultimately, how would physicians ever know if the TBI was significant unless they ordered a functional imaging study like SPECT? Brain SPECT imaging can provide answers that may guide diagnosis and treatment of patients with TBI.

We Can Help

We believe that millions of Americans are still being forced to live in the “dark ages” of psychiatric care; treated with often times harmful psychiatric drugs and given the diagnosis of having a “mental illness” when in fact there is a treatable physiological cause for their problems. This is truly a tragedy for everyone: patients, families and society as a whole.

At Amen Clinics, we can help you feel like yourself once again. We offer biomedical testing as part of our Integrative Medicine program; combining conventional medicine with complementary and alternative therapies. If you would like to explore physiologic issues that may be misdiagnosed as psychiatric disorders, connect with us online or call 888-288-9834 today.

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  1. Joan Goh says:

    It’s informative and insightful on this article. Would like to get recommendation to do INSPECT imaging and get biomedical testing Please advice. Appreciate your help.

  2. Zj says:

    It is wonderful to know about the benefits of SPECT imaging and Dr. Amen’s practice and convenient other state locations. But after I received information from your representative, it appears this is only intended for the wealthy. Several thousands in cost for out of pocket medical expense definitely deters someone from seeking needed help.


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