Spect Scans – Looking for Opinions

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Spect Scans – Looking for Opinions 2010-09-25T14:03:53+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Spect Scans – Looking for Opinions

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  • #88548

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    I’ve been hearing about a technique for discovering the type of ADD a person has, and the specific treatments for each type. The pioneer in this field appears to be a psychiatrist named Dr. Daniel Amen, and he advocates that doctors perform a spect image of the patient’s brain to get a better understanding of the type of ADD involved.

    Since finally getting my diagnosis this week, I’m anxious to go down the right path for treatment and therapies. My question on spect scans and Dr. Amen’s treatments are twofold: 1) is there validity to what he’s talking about?; 2) does CAMH or any other treatment center provide for focused diagnosis of the type of ADD via spect scnas, which would result perhaps in a focused treatment plan?

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    #95550

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I’ve never heard of this myself. That shouldn’t be taken as invalidating just I never heard of it LOL. Contrary to my own beliefs I don’t know everything and stuff I don’t know can be important :)

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    #95551

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    Not surprised you haven’t heard of it. I’ve been on these forums for a while and hadn’t heard about this before, either. Someone commented on my MySpace blog, and told me about amenclinics.com , suggesting I take a look. After watching a few of the videos there, I’ve come away a little intrigued.

    You know what? I think I may repost this, and ask Dr. J. to weigh in (in the subject line).

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    #95552

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    Have you tried reading any of Dr. Amen’s books?

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    #95553

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    I don’t buy this theory AT ALL. Recently had an argument with a friend of a friend on Facebook who got the idea that the only way to accurately diagnosis ADHD is by a brain scan. Given that the DSM is quite specific that the symptoms must have been present before the age of 7, how the heck are you supposed to have a retroactive brain scan?

    I’ve seen a PET scan on the NIMH website which shows the difference between a “normal” brain and an ADD brain, however a scan is only a snapshot and over the course of a day, depending on the tasks we are attempting, our brains are going to have a lot of different things going on.

    Don’t get all hung up on what type of ADHD you have. Figure out what symptoms are messing up your life and look for a medication protocol that will address those symptoms.

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    #95554

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    @MerryMac: no. Not yet. I’ve just been to his website and have seen his video.

    @BuxomDiva: I don’t believe he uses brain images to determine whether a patient has ADHD. He uses the usual investigative techniques, including an analysis of a patient’s childhood.

    It’s *after* they make the diagnosis that he turns to spect imaging to determine the type of ADHD. And only then ,to determine the best course of action. That’s all I’m after, really – the best course of action, in terms of medication and treatment.

    P.S. He’s not a “natural medicine” guy. He’s a psychiatrist.

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    #95555

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    If the diagnosis was based on the type of thorough questionnaires used by real experts like Dr. J, then there would be no need for a brain scan.

    Just think about all the different tasks you do over the course of a day/week/month. A scan only reflects what’s going on in one moment; great for finding a tumour but not so great to ascertain what type of ADHD you have. I came across a book a while ago, might have been his, that had lots of pretty pictures and lots of invented types of ADHD.

    Have you taken the test on this site? That will give you a more accurate answer than a brain scan, imho (and I’ve been reading up on ADHD for about 13 years now).

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    #95556

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    Yes, I have taken the test on this site. Also, I went through a barrage of tests provided by a psychiatrist, and psychometrist, and was interviewed by a psychologist as well. You’re quite right – Dr. Amen talks about there being at least six different types of ADHD.

    I guess that’s the real question: is the brain imaging thing a type of gimmic, or is it real? He seems sincere, but I’ve noticed that some of his patients mentioned that there’s a fairly hefty charge involved. Like you said – any picture of the brain is good for that moment only. So I’m really curious about the science of it all.

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    #95557

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Hi wolfshades

    Here is a link to his website

    http://www.amenclinics.com/brain-science/

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    #95558

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    Thanks MerryMac. I’ve been there. What do you think of his theory?

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    #95559

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I always think things are worth investigating.

    My opinion is that the more knowledge you have, the better.

    I read about him years ago when I was doing a paper on ADHD (Nature or Nurture?) at Ryerson and his scans made sense to me.

    If this can help pinpoint the problem areas and what types of medication , why not?

    Personally, I abhor the idea of trial and error medications. I am self-employed, support myself and have to be functioning to the best of my abilities every single day. I also understand that most people repond well to routine medications…. but why not see if this is a tool that may enable a more accurate medical, psychological diagnosis and course of action?

    I also don’t believe the DSM is the ultimate and final arbiter in diagnosis. Why do you think they keep revising it?

    New information comes to light. Change comes slowly to certain fields, especially when quite a few people have to agree on what is to be published.

    I do believe there are many, many different types of ADD/HD based upon my personal experiences.

    Most of my family and friends are in our gang and although we share similarities, none of us are alike. I have been in the hairstyling industry for 28 years…do you know how many one on one conversations I’ve had with people, most of whom I have know for 20 years or more??? Tens of thousands…!

    Tracking the blood flow to and around the brain does make sense. Even better if you could do it while the client is performing a variety of tasks as well as resting. I think his theories bear weight and are worth investigating further. Why slam the door?

    People may have a problem with his marketing approach….it seems that if you are dedicated to your work, then being an enterpreneur is verboten if you want to be taken seriously.

    This is my opinion based on my personal knowledge and experiences.

    Other folks may have different ones based on their experiences, which is fine, too.

    It’s all about learning about oneself and trying to improve upon what hand we were dealt.

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    #95560

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    That’s kind of the way I look at it too. I had wondered if anyone here at actually considered his theory, so I’m glad to read what you have to say on it.

    Near as I can tell, the man just wasn’t happy with the fact that in some cases it took up to two years to get a viable regimen going for some of his patients. The “hit or miss” deal wasn’t satisfactory – to him or his patients. And it’s not for me, either. Although, if it gets right down to it, I’ll take whatever time is required to get to the right combination of drugs and therapy. It’s worth it. But, like many things, sooner is better than later.

    I’m going to check out CAMH and see what they have to say about it as well. If I learn anything I’ll definitely post it here.

    Speaking of the DSM – I’m really kind of curious what the next version will have to say about ADHD. Should be interesting.

    Thanks again for chiming in, MerryMac!

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    #95561

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109

    I know what CAMH says about it as I’ve been seeing a specialist there for over a decade. They make the diagnosis based on extensive q & a – as I recall my assessment took over 50 pages of questions I had to answer – and it has never been suggested that a brain scan was in any way necessary or advisable.

    If it took him 2 years to get his patients stable on meds then he must have been doing something wrong! Although to be fair my specialist also has a degree in pharmacology so he REALLY understands all the ins and outs of the pharmacological options.

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    #95562

    BuxomDiva
    Participant
    Post count: 109
    #95563

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    Hey thanks BuxomDiva! I noticed there was nothing in the summary having to do with ADHD or ADD so I guess it’s full steam ahead (though we’ll know for sure by May 2013).

    Dr. Amen mentioned that some of his patients had difficulty with medication for up to two years. Didn’t mean to imply that all of them were so afflicted. A quick read of some of the stories in the addforums.com discussion area will net a lot of anecdotal information from ADHD folk who experience varying successes and failures with medication. Doesn’t seem to be (yet) a pure cut-and-dried science. It’s not – I suppose – like taking an aspirin for a headache, or an antibiotic for an infection.

    Maybe Dr. Amen is overly optimistic in supposing that a brain scan would net a more accurate picture of the ADHD condition. I honestly don’t know. Hence, my ignorance, resulting in the question posed here.

    I appreciate your insight into CAMH – thank you very much for that.

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