Brain SPECT Imaging in Complex Psychiatric Cases: An Evidence-Based, Underutilized Tool

Daniel G Amen*, 1, Manuel Trujillo2, Andrew Newberg3, Kristen Willeumier1, Robert Tarzwell4, Joseph C Wu5, Barry Chaitin5
1 Amen Clinics, Inc.
2 New York University
3 Thomas Jefferson University
4 University of British Columbia
5 University of California, Irvine

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© Amen et al; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Amen Clinics, Inc. 4019 Westerly Place Suite 100, Newport Beach, CA 92660, USA; Tel: 949-266-3717; Fax: 949-266-3766; E-mail:


Over the past 20 years brain Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) imaging has developed a substantial, evidence-based foundation and is now recommended by professional societies for numerous indications relevant to psychiatric practice. Unfortunately, SPECT in clinical practice is utilized by only a handful of clinicians. This article presents a rationale for a more widespread use of SPECT in clinical practice for complex cases, and includes seven clinical applications where it may help optimize patient care.

Keywords: Brain SPECT, evidence based, brain trauma, dementia, toxicity, complex cases.