Reversing Depression and Memory Problems: Leiza’s Story

FBF-Blog-Reversing Depression and Memory Problems Leiza’s Story

When you hurt, you want to feel better now, fast, pronto! That is what hurting people want. No one wants to be patient. No one wants a prolonged process. They want to feel better fast, and they want it to last.

Meet Leiza

Leiza was 50 years old when she first came to Amen Clinics Atlanta. She brought her teenage son to us for ADHD because he had not responded to treatment. She also decided to be scanned because, as she said, “I’m very scattered, always late, and my memory is poor. My father and his mother had dementia, and I don’t want it.”

Chronic Memory Problems

She had been an actor and then a stay-at-home mother for 20 years. As her children were becoming more independent, she wanted to act again, but she didn’t believe she could. She told one of her friends, “I could never go back to work. I can’t remember anything. I can’t focus. I can’t make any decisions.”

The two years before Leiza came to see us were the most challenging in her life. She had felt a lot of anxiety while taking care of her son’s learning disabilities, her daughter’s depression, and her father’s dementia, and in dealing with the death of her mother-in-law. With the chronic stress, Leiza noticed more problems with her memory. She would make appointments and then forget to show up, despite having put the appointment on her calendar.

How SPECT Helped Leiza

As part of our workup of Leiza, we did a brain imaging study called SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography), which looks at blood flow and activity—essentially, how the brain works. Her SPECT scan showed severely decreased blood flow across her whole brain, which was very concerning given the family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Our research and that of others has shown that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia start in the brain decades before people have any symptoms. Leiza was already symptomatic, and her brain showed that she was headed for the same fate as her father and grandmother.

Leiza’s scan was the wake-up call she needed to get serious about rehabilitating her brain now if she wanted to feel better fast. She started taking targeted supplements and doing a treatment called hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Within several months she noticed a significant improvement in her mood, focus, and memory. She started to audition for television and landed a lead role in a TV pilot as the FBI Director. She said none of it would have been possible without rehabilitating and caring for her brain. Her follow-up scan two years later showed remarkable improvement, which is something we have seen repeatedly over the past three decades. Your brain can be better and you can feel better!

The Missing Strategy To Feeling Better Fast

One of the most important secrets to our success at Amen Clinics is that we focus first on understanding, healing, and optimizing the physical functioning of the brain (hardware), and second on properly programming it (software). Both always work together, and if you ignore one while only working on the other, you will have a harder time consistently feeling better.

Dealing with a condition like Leiza’s can be challenging, especially when symptoms are compounded by a number of other issues. Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain optimal brain health. One of the best ways we can accomplish that is with the use of brain SPECT imaging. If you want to read more stories like Leiza’s, we recommend reading Dr. Amen’s new book, “Feel Better Fast and Make It Last.” You can order the book by clicking here.

For more information on how SPECT imaging can help provide a customized treatment plan to help heal your brain, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.


  1. Can you recommend a place that does all these tests near me.

    Comment by Kathleen Cooper — October 12, 2018 @ 6:33 AM

  2. I am 64 years old, and my mother died from Alzheimer’s disease. I was diagnosed 30 years ago with severe clinical depression, and have been on antidepressants continually since then. I have especially struggled for the past few years with chronic fatigue, because my doctor (after running multiple tests) can’t find any other diagnosis to explain my brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, confusion, constant tiredness, weakness, and pain in my joints and muscles all over the body every day of my life. I can’t remember simple things… people’s names, places, terms when speaking (although I know in my mind what I want to say, but the right words just don’t come to me). I’m desperate for help.

    Comment by Carolyn Flinchum — October 12, 2018 @ 3:04 PM

  3. Hello Carolyn, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you via email to discuss further and review treatment options that we offer. If you’d like to reach us directly, please call 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 12, 2018 @ 3:20 PM

  4. Would like to talk to someone

    Comment by Donna Campbell — October 12, 2018 @ 7:26 PM

  5. I really need help. I have lost my spouse and my daughter. My problem is I am on a fixed income. I have Medicare and a supplement and I don’t th8 k I can afford help. Do you have any suggestions?

    Comment by Jennifer Langford — October 17, 2018 @ 12:03 PM

  6. Primary Lateral sclerosis a Moter Nueron Diease that I was diagnosis now a year ago. I appreciate the encouragement by this article, thank you. I needed a boost on being a better person.
    I’m pretty lost in my thoughts, actions & nutrition &
    that there’s no cure at least yet!
    I had a brain scan maybe 8 years ago & appreciate the knowledge shown from brain scan. Any advice in regards nutrition & supplements?

    Comment by Kathy Stafford — October 17, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

  7. Hello Kathy, thank you for reaching out and sharing. Dr. Amen’s recommended supplements can be found here: He has also written a cookbook that has recipes that are gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free, you can view it here: Dr. Amen’s new book, Feel Better Fast And Make It Last is available for pre-order (on sale November 13) and has many new recommendations about nutrition and alternative approaches to medicine and treatments:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 17, 2018 @ 12:53 PM

  8. Hello Jennifer, thank you for reaching out. We would like to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you via email to discuss your situation further and present treatment options.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 17, 2018 @ 12:54 PM

  9. What supplements help memory and mood?

    Comment by Natalie — October 24, 2018 @ 3:41 AM

  10. I’m also on a fixed income. When I followed the link you posted above for dr amens recommended supplements I was overwhelmed! Does he recommend allllll of those? Sigh. What one or maybe two products might help most? Thanks.

    Comment by Julie — October 24, 2018 @ 4:50 AM

  11. My father passed with Alzheimer at the age of 92. I would like to know how I can increase my chances of avoiding this aweful condition

    Comment by Jt — October 24, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

  12. Do you have a clinic in FLORIDA?

    Comment by Louise Spellman — October 24, 2018 @ 6:18 AM

  13. Carolyn Flinchum’s sound exactly like mine 17 years ago. All the symptoms came on suddenly as I was taking Lipitor and Wellbutrin. I quit the medication and have worked very hard to reverse my problems
    Many have abated, but some continue. Please have
    her review any medications she is taking. I couldn’t
    accept the doctors assessment of the fact that I was
    getting older. I was 65 now I’m 82, and feel better than at 65.

    Comment by Donna Ashmore — October 24, 2018 @ 6:31 AM

  14. I am a cancer survivor from 2010 & I struggle with Chemo Brain. For the past couple years I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with even the simplest of tasks. I’m trying everything possible, but not seeing any progress.

    Comment by Eric Rizzo — October 24, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

  15. Hello Louise, we don’t have a clinic there yet. Here is the list of our 8 current locations:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 24, 2018 @ 8:25 AM

  16. Hello Natalie, thank you for reaching out. On BrainMD Health you can view supplements by category.
    Stress & Mood:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 24, 2018 @ 8:27 AM

  17. Hello Julie, thank you for reaching out. On BrainMD Health you can look through the supplements by category based on your needs. There is also an Essentials Category ( We recommend that you consult your primary doctor or physician about the vitamins and supplements you’d like to take. At Amen Clinics we evaluate our patient’s individual needs before prescribing supplements for treatment of mental health conditions.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — October 24, 2018 @ 8:29 AM

  18. Have you been tested for brain injury?
    A 5 hour neuropsychological test can detect this. Please look for a neuropsychologist that is well versed in brain injury though.
    Best to you

    Comment by Mary — October 26, 2018 @ 7:17 AM

  19. Hi My name is Juanita Kinsley and my age is 69 and overall I have a good mind but I know I can improve it more. sometime I go into a room and do not rememenber what I came there for. I also would like to know what I can give my husband for Parkinson. I do not want to loose my mind. Thanks.

    Comment by Juanita Kinsley — November 2, 2018 @ 10:31 AM

  20. I live in Orlando, FL and would like know if there is a clinic near me that does all the tests .

    Comment by Susan van Roijen — November 3, 2018 @ 11:54 AM

  21. Can your clinic assess chronic inflammation and digestive difficulties as well?

    Comment by carol dawn — November 10, 2018 @ 11:36 PM

  22. I live with the exact same thing and it scares me! I take antidepressants but still feel down because of all of this. What have you done to get the proper help? I am going to reach out to Amen Clinic.

    Comment by Regina Eason — January 10, 2019 @ 10:29 AM

  23. Dou you have a clinic in Philippines? My son has ADHD.I am looking for alternative treatment for him.Thank you!

    Comment by piya — January 19, 2019 @ 10:31 AM

  24. Hello Piya, currently our 8 clinic locations are in the U.S.: Our Care Coordinators can assist you with appointment options or referrals in other areas that could help you. They can be reached at 949-266-3715.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 21, 2019 @ 2:24 PM

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