News | July 06, 2012

New Study Shows Brain SPECT Imaging Enhances Clinical Psychiatric Practice

Study reports 79 percent of diagnosis/treatment differed after review of brain SPECT images

July 6, 2012 — A new study titled “Specific Ways Brain SPECT Imaging Enhances Clinical Psychiatric Practice” was published June in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. It reveals 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 Daniel G. Amen, M.D., founder of Amen Clinics Inc; 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, 79 percent of the diagnosis and/or treatment would have been different. Additionally 22 percent of the patients showed unexpected brain injury and/or toxicity, while 60 percent showed new targets for medication or supplements.

"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," said Amen. He has conducted more than 73,000 SPECT scans on patients from 90 countries in the last 20 years.

"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," wrote Amen, a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist.

Brain SPECT imaging is a form of neuroimaging that reveals the underlying physiology of emotional, behavioral and cognitive disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADD, memory loss, Alzheimer's, addiction, autism, seizures, strokes, toxic exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder.

For more information: www.amenclinics.com

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