brain spect imaging - would you recommend?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So the Dr today asked if I would be interested in having M get a brain imaging SPECT from one of the Amen clinics.

    Has anyone had this done, and if so, what were your feelings about the results? Were they helpful? If so, in what way?

    Thanks guys.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hey! I'm glad you checked in. I haven't had this on difficult child but of course, have heard that there is no relaible "test" for BiPolar (BP). But, in my humble opinion, if they are asking for research purposes instead of "sole diagnosis" purposes, I would probably allow it. I say that without knowing the details of what it entails.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It costs a lot of money and mainstream medicine doesn't find it valid. If you have the bucks...but there is no one other than Dr. Amen (maybe a few of his students) who believe you can find what is wrong with a child by a SPECT scan. Insurance would cover it if it was accepted medical practice. So it is up to each parent.
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    We did it as a way to get access to docs with significant experience in prescribing medications for very difficult cases, of which we have two. It yielded some insights into our two kids--the oldest, whom we thought maybe had ADHD in addition to everything else, had a brain that was so overactive it was overwhelming the frontal lobe--not the typical ADHD pattern.

    It is no magic diagnostic fix, but I firmly believe that as time goes on we will see much more in the way of actual biolgoical markers for many of the mental iillnesses our kids suffer. This is I believe one of the starting points, and some of the top bipolar clinics in the country as doing imagining studies on patients.

    If you are at your wit's end, and want a second opinion on medications etc, it may be worth your time. Are there other places to go, docs to see, no doubt.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    It would depend. How is it paid for? If somehow they can get insurance to pay for it, then as long as it is a non invasive procedure, then what can it hurt? I have heard of this before, and it is in the research stages as far as I can tell. I thought the Amen clinics were for ADHD mainly? Daniel Amen has a book out about ADHD, I can't remember the title but I read it years ago. There is his website, that should give you some info. Good luck Steely, I am pulling for matt with all I have.
  6. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    We had 2 done. Every professional we've been to can't understand the pictures. We paid for both of them out of pocket too. This is how we know there are areas in her brain that should have activity - don't. but no one can tell me why.

    I would say that if it's covered, do it. If not, well ask a lot of questions about what you can do with the results and what they might mean.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well interestingly the dr we are working with knows how to read these results, however, has never recommended them as a type of test for his patients. However he has found them helpful in being able to address what medications might work best to some extent, and to explain to the patient what exactly is going on in their brain.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Steely - I would totally do it. Especially if this dr has experience with reading the results. The only thing is I believe that if you have never had one before, you have no baseline to compare to. I read up that certain areas in the brain can def. show marked difference when depressed or in a manic state. Now, if he's done these tests before he's got his own mental baseline from previous patients, he'll know what to look for.

    Can you get insurance to cover this for you?? I'm glad you checked in also. we were all thinking about you today
  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Steley: Intresting that your doctor asked you. Initially after I read the book I did want very much to have the imaging because the brain is a mystery and in the future I hope a lot less check to test through pharmacuticals and wait and see willl be look and see. We have to start somewhere. Also I am enthusiastic about physicians who are following their own intiative as Amen is by using his profession to reseaarh. And if there is something that is located, or not, it rules out as well as leaving open the case for future breakthroughs. It may one day be such a good thing if you did it. Maybe do all your family.
    I am totally unaware of the costs.
    And if insurace was on the side of research everyone would have a baseline imaging done to compare the befor and afters of all injuries and to have a baseline for any other type of health issue. And the equiptment that is everywhere would be cranking 24/7.
    I think the book was the five or six types of ADHD. He showed the variations.
    And the one he called (ring of fire).
    Go on and look into it. What does the benefit seem to be from their end? Talking to the stagg may also give you some other insight and ideas as to how to proceed.
    Good luck.
  10. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Yes, one of the main reasons we did the scans is to compare difficult child on and off ADHD drugs but also to map out the areas of her brain. If this doctor can interpret the results of the scan I would recommend getting one. I've just found the docs around here to be less enthusiastic about seeing them (or just uninformed aobut their meaning). They're over $1300 a pop around here (to give you an estimate of the cost)

    My mother (a PsyD) is very much interested in Amen's work. She's the one that wanted to fly us out to CA to get one done but we ended up finding a place in my area that does it.