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Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Brain Pollution and the Real Reason You Shouldn’t Use Drugs Studying the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain has clearly been one of the most informative and fascinating parts of my work. I had a sense growing up that drugs and alcohol weren’t helpful to my overall health. I might add, this notion […]

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Anxiety

Anxiety Increased basal ganglia activity is often a finding we have seen with anxiety disorders. When there is increased activity on the left side it is often associated with anxiety and irritability (expressed anxiety) and when there is increased activity on the right side there is often anxiety, social withdrawal and conflict avoidance. Increased activity […]

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Attention Deficit Disorder ADD/ADHD

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ADD ADHD The first evidence for the brain being under stimulated was introduced with the use of more advanced electroencephalograms (EEG or brainwave studies) by Joel Lubar from the University of Tennessee. He demonstrated that when ADD children and teenagers performed a concentration task there was an increased amount of slow brain […]

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Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

IMAGES OF BIPOLAR DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA Bipolar disorder has been characterized by increased activity across the cerebral cortex. Clinically, during the manic phase the scans often look hyperactive, especially in the lateral frontal cortex, lateral parietal lobes and lateral temporal lobes, focal increased uptake in the limbic system has also been noted. Differentiating the initial […]

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Brain Trauma

IMAGES OF BRAIN TRAUMA Wear a helmet, Avoid fights No headers in soccer, Wear your seatbelt Play golf instead of football The impact of head trauma is often overlooked in psychiatry. Even minor head injuries to vulnerable parts of the brain can cause problems for years to come. SPECT is one of the best tools […]

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Dementia versus Pseudodementia

Dementia Overview As the population ages, the incidence of dementia in the U.S. will become an even more common problem and take up an even larger percentage of the health care budget. With the advent of new medications that slow the course of some dementing processes, diagnostic tools that help in the early differential diagnosis […]

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Depression

IMAGES OF DEPRESSION Decreased prefrontal cortex activity at rest, especially on the left side is a consistent SPECT finding in depression. The severity of depression is often related to the degree of frontal hypometabolism. Several studies have indicated that the hypometabolism normalizes after treatment if the patient’s mood improved. Researchers have also seen increased limbic […]

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Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders

IMAGES OF OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE SPECTRUM DISORDERS There are a number of SPECT studies that report hyperfrontality (increased right and left anterior prefrontal cortex activity and increased anterior cingulate gyrus activity) and increased basal ganglia activity in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Of interest, hyperactivity in the anterior cingulate gyrus has also been noticed in oppositional defiant […]

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PMS

IMAGES OF PMS Is Premenstual Syndrome Real? You Bet! Over the past years we have scanned many women with PMS just before the onset period, during the worst time of their cycle, and then again a week after the onset of their period, during the best time. Most often when PMS is present we see […]

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Strokes

IMAGES OF STROKES Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. They are caused by either a blood clot that chokes off blood supply to an area of the brain or by a blood vessel breaking. Cigarette smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for strokes. On SPECT, strokes […]

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Violence

IMAGES OF VIOLENCE SPECT can be helpful in understanding causes and treating aggressive behavior. I have found a consistent triad of SPECT findings common in children, teenagers and adults who exhibit aggressive behavior. These findings include: – abnormalities (either increased or decreased activity) in the left temporal lobe, often the seat of aggressive thoughts – […]

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