Functional Brain Imaging

Identifies Depression Conditions Successfully



Depression is a real and common problem that can occur due to both well-known and lesser-known causes including grief, which may initiate or accentuate it. While the condition can be treated successfully it can often progress, despite multiple treatment attempts, to become what is known as treatment-resistant depression, even after lengthy periods of treatment, because underlying coexisting conditions are not properly addressed.

                One solution is to correctly identify the effects of multiple conditions on the brain by using brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a non-invasive procedure for functional imaging of the brain. This is an effective resource for the evaluation of patients with coexisting neuropsychiatric conditions. Other types of scans, such as CT and MRI, reveal structure, but not function.

                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.

                Brain SPECT allows specialists to more thoroughly evaluate the functional consequences of coexisting conditions and thus provide a treatment strategy that is specifically tailored to each patient. In depression with coexisting conditions, the information provided by Brain SPECT determines which gray matter structures are in a state of hyper-function and which are in a state of under-function; and how pronounced they are (extreme, marked or moderate).

                This information is then used to determine a treatment specific to the particular patient. Depending on the disorder stage, its duration and functional status, the treatment may require novel treatment approaches; for example, combined transcranial magnetic stimulation with the infusion of ketamine.

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 9 and in the Community Resource Guide.

 

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