18 Ways SPECT Can Help
1. How do you know unless you look
Psychiatrists are the only medical specialists who rarely look at the organ they treat. Psychiatrists continue to make diagnoses the same way they did 100 years ago, based on clinical exams and symptom clusters. There is a better way. SPECT imaging is a clinically useful way to look at brain function.
2. Real answers
SPECT helps provide answers to mental health problems and helps clinicians ask better and more targeted questions, such as about ADHD, head injuries, toxic exposure and past emotional traumas.
3. Tailor treatment to your brain
Imaging plus detailed histories help us better understand your brain, so treatment can be individually tailored, rather than just diagnosing and treating vague diagnostic categories such as depression or ADHD.
4. Help prevent mistakes
More information prevents clinicians from prescribing the wrong treatments, such as unnecessarily stimulating an already overactive brain or calming one that is underactive.
5. Early detection to prevent Alzheimer’s
SPECT scans can tell up to 9 years before you have symptoms whether or not you are vulnerable. Treatment and prevention strategies work early, not late.
6. Whole person approach
ACI takes a whole person approach and uses scans to help guide not only medication interventions, but also natural supplements and other innovative treatments.
7. See if your treatment is working
Follow up scans can help see which treatments are effective and which are not. It is critical to know if your treatment is helping or hurting your brain.
8. Help understand and treat addictions
A SPECT scan can help understand the reasons that underlie addictions and help guide treatment.
9. Identify brain trauma
A SPECT scan can identify specific areas of the brain hurt by trauma to better target treatment and help deal with insurance, legal and rehabilitation issues.
10. Know your type
ADD, anxiety and depression are not single or simple disorders. One treatment does not fit everyone. Dr. Amen has described 7 types of ADD, 7 types of anxiety and depression and 3 types of violence. Imaging helps you see the underlying brain problems so treatment can be more targeted.
11. Help for families
A SPECT scan can help families understand the underlying medical reasons for a problem, which helps decrease shame, self blame and conflict.
12. Check the health of your brain
Even if you are not having trouble, SPECT scans can help check the health of your individual brain. Scans can be used as a screening tool to know your vulnerabilities. They can also serve as a baseline if you develop problems in the future.
13. Most experience
ACI has the world’s largest database of brain scans related to behavior (nearly 50,000) and the most experience. We have been ordering and performing brain SPECT scans for over 16 years. ACI has seen patients from all 50 states and 71 countries.
Through research and education ACI has helped to pioneer brain SPECT imaging in clinical psychiatric practice.
15. Improve compliance
Pictures are powerful and can help influence a patient’s willingness to accept and adhere to a treatment program.
16. Decrease shame and stigma
SPECT scans help patients better understand their problems, decreasing shame, guilt, stigma and self-loathing.
17. Legal issues
Scans may be helpful in a number of legal situations, such as helping judges and juries understand difficult behavior and directing treatment.
18. The future now
SPECT scans can help you obtain individualized care for your brain. Thomas Insel, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said “Brain imaging in clinical practice is the next major advance in psychiatry.”