Is Brain Imaging Clinically Useful for Psychiatrists?
Amen, Daniel G., Flaherty, Lois T., Clinical Psychiatry News
SPECT helps illuminate the variance of illnesses.
Psychiatry remains the only medical specialty that rarely looks at the organ it treats.
If we agree that mental disorders and aberrant behaviors are related to functional brain problems, and that single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging is a reliable measure of regional cerebral blood flow and thus activity patterns, how can we not take advantage of this valuable tool when faced with complex and unresponsive patients? How can we evaluate brain function unless we look? Otherwise, we are left to deduce or guess what may be going on in our patients' brains.
In experienced hands, SPECT scans can be helpful in numerous problems that commonly present to psychiatrists. A scan can show brain areas implicated with specific clinical problems, such as the prefrontal cortex with impulsivity and the hippocampus with memory issues. SPECT frequently uncovers unexpected findings that may be contributing to presenting problems, such as toxicity or brain trauma. SPECT can help types of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or …
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Publication information: Article title: Is Brain Imaging Clinically Useful for Psychiatrists?. Contributors: Amen, Daniel G. - Author, Flaherty, Lois T. - Author. Magazine title: Clinical Psychiatry News. Volume: 34. Issue: 9 Publication date: September 2006. Page number: 11. © 2009 International Medical News Group. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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