Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 14:14 EDT

Addicted? New Study Shows Brain SPECT Imaging Sheds Light on Brain Functions That Lead to Bad Decisions

March 14, 2012

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Sex, food, alcohol and drug addictions may be more of a brain-health problem than a bad habit gone wrong, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs this month, which examines “The Clinical Utility of Brain SPECT Imaging in Process Addictions,” which is available at no charge until June at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2012.660101.

Co-authored by Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D. and Robert Johnson, medical director at Sierra Tucson, a world-renowned psychiatric and addiction treatment hospital, the study reports brain SPECT imaging (single photon emission computed tomography) has the potential to be useful to clinicians in helping understand and direct treatment for complex cases of chemical and behavioral addictions, including sexual compulsivity, over-eating, self-harm, purging, gambling, compulsive video-game playing, and spending/shopping.

“The SPECT images help the clinician understand what parts of the brain may be troubled so they can give a more accurate diagnosis and more targeted, effective treatment,” said Dr. Amen, founder and CEO of Amen Clinics, Inc. and perhaps the world’s foremost expert on applying brain imaging science to clinical psychiatric practice. “But the scan also motivates the patient when they realize they are hurting their brain.”

Dr. Amen said the irony of the mental health profession is with mental disorders, many psychiatrists will prescribe medications without examining the organ responsible. “I want to change that,” he said.

Dr. Amen is hosting “Opening the Mind, Healing the Brain: The Clinical Application of Brain SPECT Imaging in Psychiatry,” April 20-22 in Newport Beach, California, to train physicians and mental health professionals how brain SPECT imaging assists with diagnoses and treatment of various mental disorders. http://www.spect-conference2012.com

“SPECT imaging gives doctors the ability to see what’s going on under the hood,” said Dr. Amen, whose clinics have performed more than 72,000 SPECT imaging scans on patients from 90 countries in the last 20 years. “The SPECT brain scans provide practitioners valuable insight, which helps them offer a more accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment.”

To register for Opening the Mind, Healing the Brain, call (949) 266-3749 or visit http://www.spect-conference2012.com. The conference will be held at The Atrium Hotel in Newport Beach, California (18700 MacArthur Blvd., 949-833-2770)

“I believe the most exciting discovery in medicine today is that with an accurate diagnosis using SPECT scans and a customized protocol, you can improve your brain health, and literally change your entire life,” said Dr. Amen, who is a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist and a Distinguished Fellow of American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Amen has demonstrated significant scientific evidence verifying SPECT imaging as a valid tool, including the following clinical studies which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

  • Brain SPECT Imaging in Complex Psychiatric Cases: An evidence-based, underutilized tool, Journal of Neuroimaging, July, 2011
  • Brain SPECT Imaging: A powerful, evidence-based tool for transforming clinical psychiatric practice, Minerva Psichiatrica, September, 2011

The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs publishes quarterly and is considered an authoritative peer-reviewed periodical containing timely information of a multidisciplinary nature for clinicians and other professionals in the drug abuse field. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs consistently addresses complex issues such as the disease concept of addiction, drugs and mental health, use and abuse of hallucinogens, ethnographic drug research, drug dependence and the family and more!

DANIEL G. AMEN, M.D. is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and brain-imaging expert who heads Amen Clinics, Inc. with locations in Newport Beach, California; San Francisco; Reston, Virginia; and Bellevue, Washington (http://www.amenclinics.com). He authored five New York Times bestsellers, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body,” “Magnificent Mind At Any Age,” “The Amen Solution,” and his latest, “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age.”

Photo: http://www.ereleases.com/pic/2012-Daniel-Amen-Photo.jpg

Media Contact: David Jahr, (949) 874-2667, davidjahr@mac.com

This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Amen Clinics, Inc.

Source: PR Newswire