September 2, 2010

SPECT Imaging

The Spect

What is SPECT Imaging?
SPECT stands for “Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography.” It is a sophisticated nuclear medicine study that measures the cerebral blood flow and activity patterns of your brain. It utilizes a radiopharmaceutical to create images of actual brain function by identifying blood flow patterns throughout the brain. These images assist your doctor in making a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for you. Most of our patients find that being able to “see” the areas of their brain that are contributing to their symptoms gives them a much better understanding of their condition and increase motivation to comply with their treatment recommendations. The study is performed by injecting a very small dose of a radioactively tagged compound (Ceretec) that is taken up by the brain. Once in the brain the Ceretec emits energy for the next few hours. The cameras in the SPECT scanner slowly rotate around your head and dectect this energy in the form of light. The most active brain cells will emit the most energy and the last active ones will emit the least energy.

This has been made known by Dr. Amen. This imaging can be helpful in understanding AD/HD and medication. It can be very helpful when many medications have been tried and are unsuccessful. For the first time we are able to see the organ that we are treating. It’s not a guessing game as to which medications might be most effective.