Author(s): Amen DG
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Abstract Brain SPECT imaging is a nuclear medicine study that uses isotopes bound to neurospecific pharmaceuticals to evaluate regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and indirectly metabolic activity. With current available technology and knowledge SPECT has the potential to add important clinical information to benefit patient care in many different areas of a substance abuse practice. This article explores the clinical controversies and limitations of brain SPECT, plus seven ways it has the potential to be immediately useful in clinical substance abuse practice, including: adding valuable information to the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of substance abusers; helping clinicians ask better questions; helping them in making more complete diagnoses and preventing mistakes; evaluating underlying brain system pathology in individual patients; decreasing stigma and increasing compliance; visualizing effectiveness via follow-up evaluations; and encouraging the exploration of innovative and alternative treatments.
This article was published in J Psychoactive Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy