Another SPECT Study Confirms Better Treatment Outcomes

Blog-Another SPECT Study Confirms Better Treatment Outcomes

A study from Toronto, Canada, confirmed that patients who underwent SPECT-guided treatment experienced significantly better improvement as compared to patients who did not receive a SPECT scan.

Before we dive into the study, here is an overview of what a SPECT brain scan is.

How Do You Know Unless You Look?

SPECT imaging is a well-established nuclear medicine procedure that looks at blood flow in the brain; evaluating areas that work well, areas that work too hard, and areas that do not work hard enough.

There are particular areas within the brain that relate to certain things such as:

1. Cognitive abilities
2. Emotional states
3. Behavior changes

The information gathered from a SPECT scan – along with a detailed clinical history – helps provide critical insight into the brain patterns associated with a patient’s problems and is used to pinpoint the best plausible treatment methods that will support balanced brain function.

SPECT imaging is an integral part of The Amen Clinics Method and diagnostic approach, which sets the stage for using the least toxic, most effective treatment solutions that result in higher than average success rates.

Now, back to the study!

Improved Outcomes Using Brain SPECT-Guided Treatment Versus Treatment-as-Usual in Community Psychiatric Outpatients: A Case-Control Study

The Methods:

• 28 patients with anxiety and depression, who were not responding successfully to their current treatment received SPECT scans.
• In combination with the patient’s clinical data, the SPECT scan information was used to decide upon the initial course of treatment, or to determine modifications to an existing course of treatment – primarily the medication(s) given.
• All patients received medication, supportive therapy and education as part of their treatment.
• Patients went through a period of stabilization on their new SPECT-guided treatment plan – a time period of approximately 17 months.
• Before and after treatment, each patient’s GAF score was obtained, as per the guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV-TR.

Control Group:

• 28 control patients (from the same clinic) were matched to the 28 patients who received SPECT scans.
• The control group also received medication, supportive therapy and education as part of treatment, but not SPECT scans.


• Upon comparison of the before and after treatment GAF scores, the group who received SPECT scans showed, on average, an increase of 13.8 in their final GAF scores, versus the matched-control patients, who showed, on average, an increase of 8.6 in their final GAF scores.
• This study found greater improvement in the group who underwent SPECT scans, at a 5% significance level.

In a study conducted by the Amen Clinics:

• The addition of brain SPECT imaging modified the diagnosis and treatment plan for 79% of patients.
• 75% of patients reported considerable improvement after only 6 months when treated with The Amen Clinics Method.

What Does This Mean for our Patients?

The findings of this Canadian study reinforce our own study findings and also, what we experience day after day at Amen Clinics: That many “treatment resistant” patients who undergo SPECT-guided diagnosis and treatment experience better outcomes.

We Can Help

At Amen Clinics, we treat each patient as an individual, and take a full personal history before beginning SPECT imaging or recommending any treatment program. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

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