Brain SPECT Imaging (BSI) is a nuclear medicine study that gives a sophisticated look at cerebral blood flow which is a measure of activity in the different regions of the Brain. BSI provides clinically useful information in several areas relevant to Neuropsychiatry. Currently there is an extensive amount of clinical and research data available to substantiate the use of Brain SPECT Imaging in evaluating brain trauma, dementia and cognitive decline, atypical psychiatric disorders, cerebral vascular disorders, and temporal lobe epilepsy. BSI is extremely helpful in evaluating Mood Disorders, like Depression and Bipolar Disorder, Cyclothymia and Dysthymia, or Anxiety Disorders, like Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, clinician’s are finding BSI to be helpful in assessing and treating Substance Abuse Disorders, Asperger’s Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, certain Language Disabilities and Psychotic Disorders.
Brain SPECT Imaging can provide crucial information that otherwise would not be available to assist the clinician in understanding the underlying physiology of the Brain that is causing the symptoms to occur. With this information now readily available to the clinician, whether it be a physician or a therapist, we are able to more rapidly arrive at a rational and medically informed treatment plan. BSI is a valuable tool available to the clinician, the therapist, and to the patient to assist all in working together to treat psychiatric/ Brain function problems more quickly and effectively.
BSI is also being used to look at the effects of certain medications on Brain physiology and to follow the treatment effects of medications and non medication therapies ( for example, EMDR therapy’s effects on PTSD and Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy’s effects on global cerebral perfusion, to name just a couple ).
A medical test should only be ordered when it adds relevant clinical information to the case and helps the doctor/ clinician better target treatment (do something different because of the information). Brain SPECT Imaging has been shown, in our experience, to reduce hospital stays, more quickly and effectively target treatment, increase patient compliance, and improve family participation in the treatment process. Brain SPECT Imaging (BSI) has also proven to be a phenomenal educational tool for substance abuse and brain injury prevention, especially with teenagers.