Most of us have misplaced car keys or forgotten a name. Some problems with memorizing or recall are common with aging, while more pronounced memory issues may be the result of treatable conditions.
How Amen Clinics Can Help
At Amen Clinics, we have tremendous compassion for those struggling with memory problems as well as their loved ones. We understand the pain memory loss can cause, and we can help by identifying decreased or otherwise compromised brain activity, then suggesting specific measures to remediate it.
SPECT imaging (which stands for single-photon emission computerized tomography) is a special kind of photograph we take of the brain to help us better understand how it works and what is going on inside of it. SPECT can specifically help patients with memory problems including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by:
- Identifying vulnerability to dementia
- Catching dementia early so that treatment may begin before further damage is done
- Helping inform treatment decisions
- Evaluating amnesia
- Seeing how well treatment is working
- Finding out if there are other co-existing conditions that need treatment
- Increasing treatment compliance by showing pictures of results
- Helping families gain a better understanding of the illness through visuals
SPECT Evaluations of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Using SPECT imaging, several types of dementia can be observed, each with its own brain activity pattern. Different activity patterns have different treatment plans.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Frontal temporal lobe dementia
- HIV dementia
- Dementia from depression
- Dementia from Brain trauma
- Alcohol or drug-related dementia
Learn more about SPECT
Visit our Science page to learn more about how SPECT works.
The Problem – Memory Problems Need to Be Taken Seriously
Losing your memory or developing brain fog in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or even 80s is NOT normal. It is a sign of trouble and needs to be looked into medically.
Keep in mind that not every case of forgetfulness is Alzheimer’s. You can also lose your memory from head trauma, alcohol abuse, vascular disease, Parkinson’s, and other causes. Specific tests done at Amen Clinics help identify the underlying problem.
And, if you happen to have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or have other risk factors for developing it, there is cause for hope: New research suggests that by doing the steps Dr. Amen advocates, more than half of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease, and the other causes of dementia, can be prevented.
Frank was a wealthy, well-educated man with a loving wife and family and a busy, active life. However, when he entered his seventies, he began to grow forgetful. At first, it hardly seemed important, since he only forgot small things: where he had left his keys, or the name of a restaurant. But as time went on, the lapses of memory became more serious: Frank forgot where he lived, his wife’s name, and even his own name. His wife and children, not understanding the changes in behavior, were angry with him for his absent-mindedness, and brought him to see Dr. Amen to see what had happened to the father and husband they loved.
Frank’s SPECT study showed a marked suppression of activity across the entire brain, especially in the frontal lobes, the parietal lobes and temporal lobes—a classic Alzheimer’s disease pattern. By showing the family these images and pointing out the cause of Frank’s forgetfulness, Dr. Amen helped them understand that he was not trying to be annoying, but had a serious medical problem.
Consequently, instead of blaming him for his memory lapses, his family began to show compassion towards him, and they developed strategies to deal more effectively with the problems of living with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Dr. Amen placed Frank on new experimental treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, which seemed to slow the progression of the illness.
At Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about the brain and how to feel and do better. Call us today at 1-866-260-8227 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.