Brain SPECT Imaging

Helps in Assessing and Treating Complex Neuropsychiatric Conditions



A number of complex neuropsychiatric disorders are difficult to treat. There are two main reasons for this. First is the frequent presence of coexisting conditions, which in turn generate multiple signs and symptoms. The reason for these can be found in abnormal functioning of different parts of the brain, and can be due to a state of local or regional hyper-functioning, or conversely to a state of under-functioning.

         Second is the fact that before deciding upon an effective treatment, the physician needs to know details about the functional status of the gray matter structures in the brain. In the presence of multiple coexisting conditions, this is difficult based only on the patient’s history, signs and symptoms. As a consequence, a trial-and-error approach is often taken by trying a succession of medications and procedures that can ultimately lead to the “treatment-resistant” label.

         In order to avoid this and correctly identify the effects of multiple conditions on the brain, the use of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is recommended. It is a non-invasive procedure for functional imaging of the brain; very useful and effective for the evaluation of patients with coexisting neuropsychiatric conditions. Other types of scans such as CT and MRI reveal structure, but not function.

         As a practical example, depression can be often treated successfully; nonetheless, when co-existing conditions are present, it will frequently progress to become what is known as treatment-resistant depression. Brain SPECT allows specialists to thoroughly evaluate the functional consequences of coexisting conditions by viewing those gray matter structures which may be in a state of hyper-function and/or which ones may show up as under-functioning. In addition, it can show how pronounced and extensive those changes are.

         Once this information is obtained, it contributes significantly to the decision-making process, which ultimately leads to a treatment strategy personally tailored to each patient. Depending on the stage of the disorder, its duration and functional status, the treatment may require such novel approaches as, for example, transcranial magnetic stimulation simultaneous with an infusion of ketamine.

         Brain SPECT is used not only for evaluating depression, but also for head trauma, concussion, complex variants of epilepsy, degenerative disorders, chronic pain, ADHD, autism, learning disorders, alcohol and substance misuse and more. A customized software variant generates a set of detailed color images displayed in a variety of complementary views that make them easy to read and understand, even by non-specialists.

Dan Pavel, M.D., practices at The Neuroscience Center, located at 440 Lake Cook Rd., Bldg. 2, in Deerfield. For more information, call 847-945-7284 or visit Pathfinder.md and Neuroscience.md. See ad on page 13 and in the Community Resource Guide.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Basic Concepts for Adoption Awareness Month

Our state and federal officials long ago declared November as Adoption Awareness Month, a time when families can learn about resources for older youth and about the many types of adoption available.

3 Preventive Herbs for Cold and Flu Season

The smell of fall is in the air, with leaves dropping, rain falling and temperatures cooling. The holidays are coming, people are shopping, feeling stressed and spending more time indoors—a perfect breeding ground for cold and flu viruses.

thriveMD

When we give our body the tools and treatments to function as optimally and efficiently as possible, health and well-being are natural outcomes.

Floating Away Stress

Sensory isolation in a floatation tank is known for inducing deep relaxation with subsequent improved health.

Hypoallergenic

Here is a wish list for allergy and asthma patients going off to prep school or college.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Toothpastes are Not All Created Equal

As the toothpaste aisle grows in all of its variations, there can be much confusion for those wanting to improve their dental hygiene without compromising overall health. Here is a list of common ingredients used in conventional toothpaste we may want to avoid:

Zwier Digital Arts Mandalas are Fascinating and Inspiring

Maureen Zwier’s art is a personal journey to discover the deepest essence within the natural world. A former microbiologist, she traded her microscope for a camera and then turned to digital art when she found there was so much more to her subjects than could be captured by a lens. Her latest work focuses on creating mandalas from images of people, pets and nature.

Functional Medicine Finds New Home in Chicago Suburbs

Healthyon Institute, in Glenview, is accepting new patients at its Glenview location with a focus on personalized functional medicine.

Brain SPECT Imaging

A number of complex neuropsychiatric disorders are difficult to treat. There are two main reasons for this. First is the frequent presence of coexisting conditions, which in turn generate multiple signs and symptoms.

Chicago Flower & Garden Show Brings Spring to Navy Pier

With more than 40,000 visitors expected, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show will inspire, educate and motivate gardeners and non-gardeners with practical tips and creative ideas from March 18 through 26 at Navy Pier.

Letter from Publisher

For home gardeners, March is the time to start our late spring and summer vegetables from seed indoors. We get to try new heirlooms, experiment with varieties we’ve not grown before (fish peppers, anyone?), try new seed-starting methods (I’m using LED lights instead of fluorescent bulbs) and maybe learn a few lessons about what does and doesn’t grow well from seed. And if you’re brand new to starting veggies from seed, congratulations and welcome to the fun.