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Why Brain SPECT Imaging Works

How Looking at Your Brain Changes Everything

At Amen Clinics, we believe that you can’t possibly know what’s going on inside your brain until you take a look. Imaging changes everything. It removes the guesswork from the standard psychiatric approach of prescribing high-powered medications to mask symptoms, which is like throwing darts at a dartboard in the dark. By contrast, our approach is to look inside the brain and to treat it with as natural a regimen as possible. We treat the root of the problem rather than just the symptom.

Why SPECT?

Your brain is involved in everything you do. How you think, act, and interact with other people is related to the moment-by-moment functioning of your brain.

When the brain works right, people tend to work right. When the brain is troubled, people tend to struggle to be their best selves. If mental disorders and aberrant behaviors are related to functional problems in the brain, the logical next step is to physically evaluate the brain. Why then are psychiatrists the only physicians who rarely look at the organ they treat?

It’s time for a change. Amen Clinics provides education and insight on the clinical use of brain imaging in psychiatry. Over the past 30 years Amen Clinics has built the world’s largest database of brain scans related to emotional, learning and behavioral problems.

Our study is comprised of brain SPECT images. SPECT stands for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography. Because brain activity is directly related to blood flow, SPECT effectively shows us the patterns of activity in the brain. SPECT allows physicians to look deep inside the brain to observe three things: areas of the brain that work well, areas of the brain that work too hard and areas of the brain that don’t work hard enough.

Amen Clinics has performed over 145,000 scans on patients from age 9 months to 105 years. In addition to diagnosing and treating patients with symptoms such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, autism, addiction, head trauma and many other complex or resistant psychiatric problems, we’ve also scanned many health-conscious individuals interested in learning more about their brains and how to keep them optimized far into the future.

What is a Full Evaluation?

The Full Evaluation is a comprehensive diagnostic process which allows our doctors to create a personalized and targeted treatment plan that’s designed to address your unique needs. The evaluation takes place in one of our clinics over a 2 to 3-day period. It involves several highly-trained professionals including your physician, who you will meet with on the last day.

The Full Evaluation includes several different appointments. Here’s a brief description of those appointments and what takes place at each step of the procedure:

SPECT Scans

SPECT is a nuclear medicine procedure which creates a functional 3D image of your brain. We conduct two brain SPECT imaging scans, one while you’re doing a concentration task, and one while you’re at rest. Prior to the concentration scan, you’ll take a 15-minute computerized test that measures attention and focus. During the resting scan, you’ll sit back and remain in a relaxed state.

The SPECT process typically takes 20 to 25 minutes for each scan and requires that you remain completely still during that time. A trained scan technologist will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Clinical History

During this appointment, one of our trained Outcome Managers will discuss your symptoms, medical and mental health history. Everything discussed during your intake appointment may be included in your final report (unless otherwise specified by you). The open and accurate answers you provide will allow our doctor to develop the best treatment plan for you.

WebNeuro Online Testing

WebNeuro is an objective, web-based emotional and cognitive neuro-diagnostic testing service. It asks questions that examine how you’ve been feeling and functioning over the past week or so. It also gives you game-like tasks to complete. There’s no pass or fail. Testing takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.

Final Evaluation with the Doctor

After all appointments have been completed, you’ll meet with a physician for your final evaluation. Though you won’t meet with Dr. Amen, you can be confident that each of our physicians has been selected, trained and approved by him.

During the appointment, the physician will review your test results, clinical history, and scans. Additional information may be requested from you, and any questions you may have will be addressed at this time. Your physician will develop an individualized treatment plan for you. Our recommendations often include treatments other than prescription medications (e.g. natural supplements, dietary changes, nutrition plans, exercise, and various forms of therapy) that can be implemented at an Amen Clinics location, at home or with a local practitioner.

Follow-up Appointment

The follow-up appointment with your physician is typically scheduled 2 to 4 weeks after your final evaluation. This appointment is used to discuss treatment progress and address any remaining questions or concerns. Patients who live at a distance from our clinics can do their follow-up appointment over the phone.

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.

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COMMENTS

  1. Janice Bartels says:

    we do not live near one of Dr. Amen’s clinic and I am wondering if brain scans can be done in other locations. We live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Are these brain scans done at area hospitals and if so can the results be provided to your clinics for review ?
    We are interested in Dr. Amen’s program but my husband feels as though the scan would give him a base line and a direction as Dr.Amen states in his video.
    Thank you

  2. Jean says:

    As a medical phiciailty are you able to give recommendations for a individual to be approved for ssi like a physicist can please reply

  3. Rebecca Neeley says:

    I, also, would like to know if there are any physicians around the Dayton, OH area that do SPECT scans.

  4. Adelia Hitt says:

    Is a spectrum scan different than the MRI you get after a stroke? I had a TIA last November and the MRI and the echocardiogram failed to reveal anything. I am not co with that.

  5. Cathy says:

    Do you treat Bipolar disease? With what effect?

  6. Marie bocchino says:

    I saw Dr Bennett a few years ago.
    I’m interested in the SPECT scan. How much is it and the follow up appointments?
    I have Medicare primary and CHAMVA secondary. I havya hard time filling insurance claims. Do you now help with this?

  7. Tiberio Faria says:

    Are there any medical facilities in the Miami area who perform SPECT imaging?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Tiberio, thank you for reaching out. We hope to open a clinic in the coming year in FL! For now, we have clinics nearby that you can see here: https://www.amenclinics.com/locations/. Also, our Care Coordinators are available to help you with referrals in your area if you’re unable to travel to one of our clinic locations. We will have a Care Coordinator contact you.

  8. Sue says:

    I wonder if the spect scan has any radiation or EMF. How safe is it.

  9. letty fisher says:

    how much does the full evaluation cost?

  10. John says:

    My wife and daughter suffer terribly from depression and bipolarity. They have been seeing psychiatrists for many years here in Mexico. They still have a really hard time coping. We’ve been missionaries here for 43 years. We would like to know if we would have to travel to the US or if tests can de done here?

  11. Yoella Waasdorp says:

    Hi I live in The Netherlands and like a brain spect scan for my clients who suffer anxiety etc. how can we proceed?

  12. Nancy Orr says:

    My husband has been diagnosed with Warneke Korsakoff. Can you help him?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Nancy, thank you for reaching out. We will have a Care Coordinator reach out to you to discuss this diagnosis further. If you’d like to reach us directly, please call 888-288-9834.

  13. Tom says:

    How much does this cost and is it covered by any medicare insurance? Is there any facilities near Hartford,CT?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Tom, thank you for reaching out. We will have a Care Coordinator reach out to you. Our Care Coordinators are available to review insurance, reimbursement and financing options with you, as well as provide referrals to practices near you that utilize brain SPECT imaging and The Amen Clinics Method; our 8 locations can be found here: https://www.amenclinics.com/locations/.

  14. jillian says:

    I had a MRI 2 yrs ago, the impression is mild chronic white matter ischemic change and tiny old right frontal centrum semiovale lacunar infarct. I cannot afford the scan right now but I did your brain assessment . the score is 9/ 57 , should I take the supplement prescribed for me or should I wait? Next , do you have the supplement ? where do I get it?

  15. Megan says:

    Hi, we are in Miami and would like to do a scan. Do you have a clinic in Miami?

  16. Rosalie Kinney says:

    I am 53 and have struggled my whole life with what I truly believe is ADD. It has caused me to lose many relationships with others, including co workers. friends. i have been following your educational e mails and believe that I may have innattentive ADD/ . I live in Ohio. I would like to know how much a scan and consultation costs, if it is covered by insurance such as Blue Cross Blue Shield.
    Thanks

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Rosalie, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We will have a Care Coordinator reach out to you to assist with treatment options and referrals in your area if you aren’t able to travel to our Bannockburn, IL clinic: https://www.amenclinics.com/locations/chicago/. We are a fee-for-service clinic and don’t accept insurance. We do offer financing options through Care Credit. There are many different types of consultations and evaluations, our Care Coordinators will discuss these further with you.

  17. Stevie Farrand says:

    Hi, I am 70 yrs old and fairly young for my age (ha). I had a head injury at 8 yrs old, falling out if a swing backwards while swinging high. I had bad headaches for 3 weeks after and couldn’t go to school. I have a diagnosis of ADHD and have problems concentrating but have gotten thru life and kept jobs to retirement because of luck and kindness of the universe. At this late stage is there any hope for corection of this situation? Thank you!!!

  18. Cyndi Culp says:

    There’s absolutely no doubt that the SPECT Would detect clearly ina few minutes what Dr.s spend years trying to get a glimpse of- inaccurately .
    But your procedure is not covered by insurance or Medicare and is hugely expensive.
    I was diagnosed with ADD in my forties at the AMEN. Center in Fairfield and had to pay out of pocket even then. I wanted to add a SPECT Scan but it was far too expensive.
    If you could get these procedures covered even partially by insurance there would be a huge number of people taking advantage of this wonderful tool.
    Just curious as to how much it costs now?… I am now on a fixed income and figure it’s way out of my budget. Is there a way to cut down the cost of this and why is it so much $$?
    C

  19. alex klerian says:

    I live in Mexico City; it is difficult for me to go to the US; ¿whom do you suggest me to see in Mexico City? do you have anybody that represents you in Mexico? thanks,

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