SPECT Imaging Study Enhances Clinical Psychiatric Practice

Blog-SPECT imaging study enhances clinic practice

Can you name a medical profession that prescribes medication or treatment without looking at the organ it treats?

Psychiatry is the unfortunate answer, but here at Amen Clinics we’re changing that.

Why SPECT Imaging?

A study titled “Specific Ways Brain SPECT Imaging Enhances Clinical Psychiatric Practice” was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, an authoritative peer-reviewed periodical containing timely information of a multidisciplinary nature for clinicians and other professionals in the drug abuse field.

The study revealed how brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging can help clinicians more accurately diagnose and treat a wide variety of mental conditions by looking at the organ responsible for the decision-making, behaviors and overall cognitive functioning.

Co-authored by Dr. Amen, Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D. and Joseph Annibali, M.D., the study asked seven board certified psychiatrists to evaluate 109 patients’ files—without the SPECT images—and give their professional diagnosis and recommended treatment.

After they saw the SPECT scans:
1. 79% of the diagnosis and/or treatment would have been different.
2. 22% of the patients showed unexpected brain injury and toxicity.
3. 60% showed new targets for medication or supplements.

What SPECT Tells Us

The SPECT images help the clinician understand where the brain is not functioning properly so they can give a more accurate diagnosis and treatment offering. In our study, the use of SPECT neuroimaging modified the diagnostic thinking and led clinicians to make different, specific treatment recommendations in a high percentage of cases.

Brain SPECT imaging is a form of neuroimaging that reveals the underlying physiology of emotional, behavioral and cognitive disorders such as:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Memory loss
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Addiction
• Autism
• Seizures
• Strokes
• Toxic exposure
• Post-traumatic stress disorder

There are many ways to optimize your brain and your mind. You CAN create a brain healthy life by learning how to love and care for your brain.

We Can Help

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. Gentlemen,

    I am 77 yrs old and feel I may have some elements of depression resulting in societal withdrawal in many ways. I was wondering about the cost of brain scan imaging? I also seem to have some loss of memory. This manifests itself in being able to recognize an individual but cannot recall their name. Another observation is the recognition of old movies and the stars but not being again to recall their names. It’s like some of the memory files have been deleted or I can’t find the path to them. Also seem to have some “real time” memory issues.

    Not sure if my Medicare advantage plan would cover any of the cost. Since I am on limited income during my retirement the cost is a key factor.

    I have watched Dr. Amen and his wife’s presentation on public TV a couple of times and was very impressed. I do have their publications also.

    Thanks for your feedback in advance.

    Best regards

    Harold Patrick

    Comment by Harold Patrick — February 10, 2018 @ 3:08 AM

  2. Hi,

    I’m curious about a diagnosis not mentioned on the list Bipolar. I wonder if brain SPECT can really help individuals with this disease. please advice.

    Comment by ofra — February 10, 2018 @ 5:45 AM

  3. I live in Georgia, are there any clinics here?

    Comment by Janice Shaw — February 10, 2018 @ 7:01 AM

  4. My son had head surgery at 26 mos due to craniosyostosis. He is a twin who was a little squooshed by his sister.
    Fast forward. He is now 18 and academically excellent. Physically, his skull is very bumpy.
    We are questioning some changes in mood and I wanted to leave no stone unturned and have a SPECT scan.
    Have you ever had a post craniosynostosis before? And if so, can you share basic details

    Thank you.

    Comment by Urbanski Mo — February 10, 2018 @ 2:02 PM

  5. Dear Dr. Amen,
    My wife has continuing diarrhea that appears to be related to fear and anxiety.
    She is now taking medications from a psychiatrist without a SPECT SCAN.
    She is fearful of getting a scan for fear that the radioactive material used with the scan
    can cause serious damage to her brain. Your comment would be helpful. Thank you.

    Comment by Tom Andrusky — February 10, 2018 @ 8:15 PM

  6. Thank you for reaching out Tom, we will have a Care Coordinator get in touch with you right away. If you’d like to call us, our number is 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 11:51 AM

  7. Hello Janice, we do have a clinic in Atlanta. That location is listed here – https://amenclinics.com/atlanta/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

  8. Hello ofra, thank you for reaching out. We have information on our website here for Bipolar Disorder, and some videos on this page as well – https://amenclinics.com/conditions/bipolar-disorder/. Please contact us if you have further questions, we can be reached at 888-288-9834 or by completing this form with your questions – https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 11:53 AM

  9. Hello Harold, we will have a Care Coordinator reach out to right away. Thank you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 12, 2018 @ 11:54 AM

  10. Hello,
    I am writing from Calgary, Alberta Canada. Please advise where the nearest Clinic is that offers SPECT.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Loretta — March 6, 2018 @ 8:53 AM

  11. Hello Loretta, thank you for reaching out to us. Our Care Coordinators are able to provide referrals in your area that practice The Amen Clinics Method, and offer Brain SPECT Imaging. Please call 949-266-3715 or submit this form – https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 6, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

  12. I live in central Florida and suffer from seizures and they can’t tell me why, although we keep trying meds. Do you have clinics in central Florida or doctors? I’ve had multiple mris and sleep studies as my sleep is very affected?

    Comment by Brooke — September 16, 2018 @ 8:09 AM

  13. Hello Brooke, thank you for reaching out. We don’t have a location in Florida, however we have a few East Coast clinics. Here is a list of our current locations: https://amenclinics.com/locations/. Also, our Care Coordinators are able to provide referrals to you in your area of practices that utilize Brain SPECT Imaging and/or follow The Amen Clinics Method. Our Care Coordinators can be reached at 888-288-9834 or by submitting this form on our website to receive a response via email: https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 17, 2018 @ 9:37 AM

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