1. What is Brain SPECT Imaging?
Brain SPECT Imaging is a metabolic radiologic exam that demonstrates brain function and the parts of the brain that control behavior. This procedure then allows physicians to evaluate regions of the brain that are either over active (Hyperactive) or under active (Hypoactive) when compared to normal brain function.
2. Is it safe?
Yes, it is quite safe. Also known as Nuclear Medicine it has been used for over 35 years for cardiac, bone, and thyroid scans. A small radio tracer is injected that allows the imaging equipment to develop a picture of the different aspects of the brain and its metabolic function. The tracer used has no iodine or dyes and has minimal exposure that is less than a CAT scan of the chest.
3. How is this different than an MRI or CT of the brain?
CAT scan and MRI are excellent brain imaging modalities to demonstrate your brain’s anatomy, rule out foreign objects, tumors and evaluate blood flow but cannot demonstrate your metabolic brain function. Brain Function in essence, is how you feel and determines the decisions you make.
4. What age can have a brain SPECT?
Generally almost any age is a candidate for a Brain SPECT. The scan takes 20-30 minutes. There can be very little movement so young children and patients that cannot lie still can have the exam performed under conscious or twilight sedation with the supervision of one of our specialized doctors.
5. What are some of the uses for Spect scan in children?
Brain SPECT scanning in children can be helpful in identifying underlying causes of behavorial disorders to include: Hyperactive Attention Deficit Disorder, Autistic Spectrum, rule out seizure disorders, depression, anxiety, and compulsive behavior.
6. How about teenagers?
There are many applications that can help teenagers with problems such as, head injury/concussion, depression, compulsion, lack of concentration, effects of substance and alcohol abuse, toxic exposure such as carbon monoxide, and Lyme disease.
7. What about Soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq?
Brain SPECT imaging is particularly helpful with veterans that have been injured in an IED blasts and or have suffered PTSD. We can see the effects of the injuries and can also track improvements if undergoing therapies known to help, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
8. Can this technology help to demonstrate the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease or early dementia?
Brain SPECT Imaging is extremely helpful in evaluating loss of brain function due to dementias and also can help in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. This can help a person seek early treatment and strengthen brain cognition.
9. Can I have a brain SPECT scan in a hospital or any office that performs Nuclear Imaging?
Brain SPECT Imaging with the appropriate resolution should be performed by a triple detector scanner. This equipment is rare and requires physicians that are specially trained in reading these types of exams. M.I.N.D. in Delray Beach has one of these systems which utilizes special three Dimensional software to obtain accurate information about your brain’s function. We work with highly trained Doctors who are uniquely qualified for this type of imaging and have decades of experience with Brain SPECT.
10. Is Brain SPECT covered by my insurance?
Brain SPECT Imaging is FDA approved for only a very limited number of indications although it has been utilizied for over 35 years. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of the exam. Give us a call and let our friendly staff assist you in finding an affordable payment option.
11. How do I get a Brain SPECT scan ordered?
Brain SPECT scan is a medical imaging procedure and needs to be ordered by a physician. Please call for information regarding referral to our partnering physician should you not have a referring physician. We are here to help.