Since the 1980s, there have been thousands of scientific papers on brain SPECT imaging for evaluating many psychiatric and neurological disorders. The Amen Clinics’ Research Library contains our own scientific research along with abstracts from thousands of studies conducted in the U.S. and around the world.

The success rate of the Amen Clinics Method, a “whole person” approach to treating psychiatric and behavioral problems, was scientifically validated through a multi-site study that followed 500 complex patients for 6 months.

The clinical history, including biological, psychological, social and spiritual influences as well as brain SPECT imaging were obtained for each patient who was then given an individualized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.

Well-known, structured clinical assessments measuring important factors such as symptoms, level of depression, and quality of life were administered before starting treatment and again after 6 months.

The data was objectively analyzed and results were very exciting!

77% of the study’s participants reported significant clinical improvement after only 6 months when treated with the Amen Clinics Method
85% reported an improved quality of life
The more compliant the study participants were with their treatment plans, the better they felt

This study is confirmation that even though many patients have tried—but failed—to find answers and relief for symptoms through conventional psychiatry, the Amen Clinics Method offers real solutions and positive outcomes to help patients feel better, more quickly.

Click here to read more about this 2013 study published in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine


A 2011 study published by the Amen Clinics, in collaboration with Joseph Wu, M.D., from the University of California at Irvine, found (statistically significant) improved brain function in retired NFL players who followed a novel brain health regimen.

Since most NFL players are subjected to repeated blows to the head during the course of their careers, they tend to be at a higher risk for memory and cognitive problems—including dementia, depression and substance abuse.

In this study, 30 retired NFL players with documented brain injuries and cognitive impairment participated in a brain rehabilitation program utilizing several “real-world” interventions, which included:

  • Education about a brain healthy lifestyle, such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, limiting alcohol, abstaining from drug abuse and cigarette smoking, getting enough sleep and treatment for sleep apnea, if warranted
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (1720 mg of EPA / 1160 mg of DHA)
  • High potency multi-vitamin supplementation
  • Brain enhancement supplementation—a mixture of gingko, vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine, acetyl-l-carnitine, huperzine and n-acetyl-cysteine
  • Encouragement to lose weight, if obese

Prior to beginning the treatment phase of the study, each participant underwent a detailed clinical interview, cognitive testing and brain SPECT imaging to obtain baseline information. At the end of treatment, each participant repeated these measures. The differences between the pre and post treatment results were extremely encouraging:

  • There were statistically significant improvements in cognitive test scores in the areas
    • general cognitive functioning
    • information processing speed
    • attention
    • memory
  • The SPECT scans revealed significant increases in blood flow patterns in several areas of the participants’ brains

This study demonstrated that a brain healthy lifestyle really can improve brain function, even if it has been years since a brain injury occurred. At the Amen Clinics, we support choices that enhance brain health and overall well-being. We believe it’s never too late to have a better brain!

You can read the abstract in PubMed by clicking here


In 2013, neuroscientists from the University of British Columbia published an article about the use of brain imaging in clinical practice. They interviewed 3 groups of people:

  1. Academic researchers
  2. Physicians using brain imaging to more clearly understand their patients’ problems (such as the Amen Clinics’ physicians)
  3. Patients who had undergone brain imaging as part of a clinical assessment

The findings were interesting:

  • All 3 groups agreed that brain imaging widens the scope of treatment choices for people struggling with mental health issues
  • 89% of consumers reported having a positive experience with imaging
  • 96% of consumers had their expectations fully or partially met by brain imaging services
  • The doctors used imaging because of the inherent limitations of conventional psychiatry’s DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) and its symptom-based clusters for diagnosing patients
  • The researchers believed the DSM was stronger than imaging to diagnose conditions

The consumers’ primary motivations for pursuing brain imaging were “hope for better treatment and distrust of traditional psychiatry” and “the desire for a clear and objective diagnosis.” (We understand this!)

For more than 23 years, the Amen Clinics have used brain SPECT imaging as part of our multi faceted approach to evaluating and treating patients. We know how important it is to “look” at each person’s brain to see what’s really going on, and to use this information in conjunction with a detailed history, neuropsychological testing and lab studies (when necessary) in order to create the best possible treatment plan for each patient who comes to us in search of a better life.

You can read the full article from the University of British Columbia here:
Triangulating Perspectives on Functional Neuroimaging for Disorders of Mental Health.


If you want to speak to someone immediately, you can call a qualified Patient Care Coordinator with Amen Clinics. We can start to answer your questions and help you book a Full Evaluation with Amen Clinics. Call Today! 888-288-9834

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