Inside The Brains of Mass Shooters

Blog-Inside The Brains Of Mass Shooters

Do mass shooters brains look different than non-violent brains?

The answer is yes.

Our founder, Dr. Daniel Amen, spoke with ABC reporter, Frank Elaridi on the epidemic that we are facing today.

How Do Mass Shooters Brains’ Look Different on a SPECT Scan?

(See images described in video here)

First, what appears to be holes in the brain are not actually holes, rather they are areas of low metabolic activity, low blood flow. A SPECT scan is a map of brain metabolism. It shows how well the blood is flowing through arteries and veins in the brain. This is important because the brain must have oxygen and glucose to function (oxygen and glucose are carried to the brain through blood). Thus the holes that appear on a SPECT are not areas of lost brain matter, these are areas of low blood flow therefore impaired brain activity.

In each shooter exhibited in the video’s SPECT scans, one had lower blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex which controls forethought, impulse control and focus. One had significant damage to the cerebellum.

Could SPECT Diagnose These Types of People?

Neuroscientists actually know quite a lot about the human brain and the mind it generates. Through 150,000 brain scans over nearly 30 years at Amen Clinics, we have used SPECT scans as maps to make neural connections in thousands of patients.

The future of psychiatry will be paved through imaging. Currently, psychiatrists are the only medical specialists who rarely look at the organ they treat. Most continue to make diagnoses the same way they did years ago, based on symptom clusters and clinical observations. There is a better way. SPECT imaging is a clinically valuable tool for looking at brain function to help target treatment.

We Can Help

SPECT helps provide new answers to mental health issues and helps clinicians ask better, more targeted questions; such as about brain trauma, infections, ADD symptoms, seizure issues, or past emotional traumas. If you, or someone you love, could benefit from an evaluation at Amen Clinics, call our Care Coordinators today at 888-288-9834 or tell us more online.


  1. To who reads this can you please I have Bipolar and PTSD can any one tell me a good Website I can chat with other people have Bipolar and PTSD like I have Thanks for your help hopefully and Stay Healthy.

    Comment by Arnold Cabral — April 18, 2018 @ 4:01 AM

  2. never had a drink, never had a cigarette, had 3 husbands but you can’t do everything right. You can use handwriting anaylasis to identify emotions, mental processes,
    forces to achieve, imagination,, defenses, integrity, and aptitudes . By interupting the energy flow with printing you change the person.. You should check it out. I think you will be surprised. I got into this when I was 27 and used it to get the right man and had 40 years with him.
    I have been widowed for 8 years and am 90, Still super healthy. Been on bioidentical hormones for 37 years and no drugs. Mrs Amen should go on them when she gets to menopause , Without them you lose 30% of your bone mass in the first 10 years after menopause. Check it out. My Doctor is Geeorge P Zabrecky who was only 30 when he cured my husband of heart disease in 3 months and put me on the bioidentical hormones.. He now heads the Zabrecky Institute of Biomedicene in Philly. Wonderful information in this article. We need to teach this in the schools.

    Comment by elizabeth — April 18, 2018 @ 4:38 AM

  3. Thank you for covering Dr. Amen and the SPECT brain scan. Visiting Dr. Amen’s office in Reston, VA has been life changing for my daughter. We have so many lost years of time and money in conventional treatment and it took finding this treatment to get answers. It is worth the travel and the money. The books are amazing and I would add “The Ultimate Brain Warrior” to the list.

    Comment by B — April 18, 2018 @ 5:42 AM

  4. Correction to the title of the book I also suggested! Obviously my brain was on the blink. “The Brain Warrior Way” instead of “The Ultimate Brain Warrior”!

    Comment by B — April 18, 2018 @ 5:59 AM

  5. Look fot National Allience on Mental Illness (NAMI). They have support groups that offer so much help.

    Comment by Mary — April 18, 2018 @ 7:02 AM

  6. If a person with Bipolar gets a SPECT
    Scan, and it appears different than
    normal, how can it be made normal,
    if not with meds?

    Comment by Milo Alvarez — April 18, 2018 @ 7:29 AM

  7. Arnold
    I have done research on conventional and alternative ways of treating mental illness and I have found that there is no magic pill or treatment out there that is 100% effective for everybody. The only answer is to change your lifestyle, fast, eat organic veggies, lots of healthy fats, little high quality (grass fed) protein and supplements. Getting somebody to do that is the hardest thing for doctors, counselors, spiritual leaders and many others. In the end, it’s you who has to stop living the lifestyle you have been living since you were born.

    Wish you well


    Comment by Giovanni — April 18, 2018 @ 8:16 AM

  8. Most people don’t have the money for this diagnosis/treatment. Therefore, they fall into the darkness and monopoly of the conventional affordable treatment which helps our country stay rich and powerful. In the end, they all want to be rich and powerful by taking advantage of us in many ways. Making money is first. Helping people survive their illnesses comes after.

    Comment by Giovanni — April 18, 2018 @ 8:28 AM

  9. This is fascinating! Why is the left temporal lobe significant in diagnosis?
    Why is this unilateral? Would these behaviors not show if the right temporal lobe were affected?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Jo — April 18, 2018 @ 8:37 AM

  10. Do you know what causes the holes in the brain? Could they be caused by prescription psychiatric drugs such as SSRI?
    I’m asking because I’ve seen something about all mass shooters being on them.



    Comment by Peter — April 18, 2018 @ 9:04 PM

  11. Hi Arnold, I am a Certified Irlen Screener.
    Have you looked at Irlen Syndrome Filters? I have several clients who have had significant success with their lenses and the situation you described. I also highly recommend a product line that specializes in cell repair, oxygenation, rejuvenation and inflammation management.

    To your Health!

    Comment by Rita Eissmann — April 18, 2018 @ 9:40 PM

  12. Congratulations on ur new opening in LA……..WE DESPERATELY NEED YOU TO CONSIDER THE HARRISBURG, PA AREA… There r so many like myself who have been on drugs for yrs. and yrs. and still having problems and can’t afford to travel anywhere else to stay……I want to have one of those Brain Spects done so badly. I have been on tons of meds since 1983 and have gained a LOT of wt. too which does not help the depression.

    Thank u for caring so much for people like myself, it would be so nice if family and friends would just understand………..

    Blessings to you,


    Comment by Carol A, Kleeman — April 21, 2018 @ 11:10 AM

  13. I am the founder and national training at Dynamic Instruction. I train public safety members suchs as school resource officers. One of the courses I teach is called “Developing School Threat Intelligence” where a good deal of time is focused on warning signs and how adolescent brains are different. Then I go on to explain that those brains are very different when there are disabilities and adverse childhood experiences.
    (I also have a masters focusing on the brain)
    I have worked for many years with At-Risk/troubled you as an educator/mentor. I desperately wish SPECT could be an every day occurrence BEFORE doctors prescribe medications for our youth (anyone really).
    Where are we at in the process of getting insurance to include the SPECT as a requirement? You would think the insurance companies would figure out that its cost effective to pay for a scan and allow the CORRECT diagnosis instead of “taking a stab in the dark” with “let’s try this and that and if that doesn’t work we will try something else”. They are creating TOXIC brains.
    It is all very frustrating.

    Comment by Trina L Niznik — June 4, 2018 @ 5:11 AM

  14. Dr Amen has many ways to help heal the brain. Some are nutrition, sleep, exercise, oxygen/air chambers, meditation, etc. Please check B12 levels if bi polar ASAP.

    Comment by Gail — June 19, 2018 @ 3:36 AM

  15. Dr. Amen has a clinic in Reston, VA. It’s not a bad drive from PA.

    Comment by Gail — June 19, 2018 @ 3:40 AM

  16. I want the s tart bioidentical hormone treatment
    Where do I start. I’m on Medicare care with a 20% supplement
    I can go anywhere hope it’s covered with Medicare. I’m 72

    Comment by Janice — June 28, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

  17. Carol,

    I agree w/Gail. I had scans done at the Reston clinic. It’s about 1 hour & 45 minutes from the Harrisburg, PA area, & a beautiful drive down 15 along Catoctin & South mountains.

    For a couple reasons, I’m not doing all that the clinic prescribed for me & but am planning on incorporating more of their suggestions. I believe there is HOPE. I feel that my Heavenly Father is in this for me so I will continue to pursue as much as I can.

    I would also suggest that you consider checking out the Turnpaugh Health & Wellness Center, Dr. Chris Turnpaugh. Chris is a Chiropractic Neurologist. The center is located just off the Carlisle Pike in the Mechanicsburg, PA area right here in the Harrisburg, PA area. His number is 717-795-9566. The center has blood testing done for food sensitivities/allergies, etc. Food sensitivities such as a Gluten sensitivity can affect brain function. The Amen Clinic would have you get blood work done as well & would agree that Gluten sensitivity, etc. affects brain function.

    Along w/the Amen Clinic’s prescription, I’m working w/Dr. Turnpaugh myself to help improve my situation. My scans indicated that I have a form of ADD, & also, the late Dr. Joe Annibali, the Chief Psychiatrist, back in 2016 at the Reston Clinic at the time of my scans said to me basically that he was surprised by the appearance of my scans that I had lived as well as I had. Life has still been a struggle. I believe it’s only by the Grace of God that I’ve made it to the age of almost 65 without crashing.

    There is HOPE!

    Bless You!

    Bob Z.

    Comment by Robert D. Zold — August 16, 2019 @ 4:47 AM

  18. or vax injuries

    Comment by nasreen johnson — August 17, 2019 @ 9:41 PM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us