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 of thousands of studies from the U.S. and around the world.



# Patients Author Date of Study Type Age Notes
13 antisocial personality disorder (APD)/13 schizophrenic with history of violence/15 schizophrenic w/o violent history/15 normals Barkataki 2006 MRI Adult The finding of temporal lobe reductions prevalent among those with APD and hippocampal reduction in the violent men with schizophrenia contributes support for the importance of this region in mediating violent behavior.
10 with major depressive disorder and anger attacks (MDD+A)/10 normals Dougherty 2006 PET Adult Results implicate striatal D1 receptor dysfunction in MDD+A and further suggest an association between dopaminergic transmission and anger or aggression.
13 schizophrenic with history of violence/12 schizophrenic w/o history of violence/10 antisocial personality disorder (APD) and history of violence/13 with no history of violence or mental disorder Kumari 2006 fMRI Adult It is concluded that reduced functional response in the frontal and inferior parietal regions leads to serious violence in schizophrenia perhaps via impaired executive functioning.
10 male psychopaths/10 normals Birbaumer 2005 fMRI Adult This dissociation of emotional and cognitive processing may be the neural basis of the lack of anticipation of aversive events in criminal psychopaths.
10 with impulsive aggression/10 normals Frankle 2005 PET Adult Pathological impulsive aggressiveness might be associated with lower serotonergic innervation in the anterior cingulate cortex.
17 recently abstinent cocaine dependent/16 normals Goldstein 2005 FDG-PET Adult Study confirms earlier reports in demonstrating a positive association between relative metabolism at rest in the LOFG and cognitive-behavioral and personality measures of inhibitory control in drug addiction: the higher the metabolism, the better the inhibitory control.
71 being exposed to violent media Mathews 2005 fMRI Children Findings suggest that media violence exposure may be associated with alterations in brain functioning whether or not trait aggression is present.
30 aggressive AD/19 non-aggressive AD Lanctot 2004 SPECT Adult In this sample of patients with AD, the right middle medial temporal region emerged as an important neural correlate of aggression.
10 impulsive aggressive patients with borderline personality disorder receiving SSRIs New 2004 FDG-PET Adult Changes are consistent with a normalizing effect of fluoxetine on prefrontal cortex metabolism in impulsive aggressive disorder.
8 male perpetrators of domestic violence who fulfilled criteria for alcohol dependence/11 males who fulfilled criteria for alcohol dependence and no history of interpersonal aggression/10 normals George 2004 PET Adult Findings show that some perpetrators of domestic violence differ from control participants in showing lower metabolism in the right hypothalamus and decreased correlations between cortical and subcortical brain structures.
6 male psychopaths/6 normals Muller 2003 fMRI Adult Findings underline the hypotheses that psychopathy is neurobiologically reflected by deregulation and disturbed functional connectivity of emotion-related brain regions.
25 Croatian War veterans with combat-related PTSD and impulsive aggressiveness Pavic 2003 SPECT Adult We believe that some PTSD symptoms, and especially the impulsive aggression, can be associated with increased regional cerebral blood flow in the projection area of nucleus accumbens.
2 with histories of unusually aggressive and antisocial behavior and temporal lobe masses Nakaji 2003 MRI Children Tumors in the temporal lobe may be associated with behavioral problems, including aggression and rage attacks, which can be alleviated with surgical intervention.
24 non-psychotic, violent males with antisocial personality disorder (ASP) and type 2 alcoholism/33 normals Laakso 2002 MRI Adult The observed volume deficits in this sample were related more to alcoholism or differences in education rather than to the diagnosis of ASP. No significant correlations between any of the volumes and the degree of psychopathy were found.
32 violent offenders Soderstrom 2002 HMPAO/MRI Adult These findings in a group of violent offenders living under the same conditions add to the evidence indicating that aberrant frontotemporal activity may be a factor in violent behavior.
6 with intractable partial epilepsy and aggressive behavior Juhasz 2001 FDG-PET Children Bilateral prefrontal and temporal neocortical brain glucose hypometabolism in children with epilepsy and aggressive behavior may indicate a widespread dysfunction of cortical regions, which normally exert an inhibitory effect on subcortical aggressive impulses.
12 with history of gelastic seizures and hypothalamic hamartomas Weissenberger 2001 MRI/EEG Children Children with hypothalamic hamartomas and gelastic seizures had high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and aggression.
21 convicted of impulsive violent crimes/11 normals Soderstrom 2000 HMPAO/MRI Adult Visual assessment of SPECT scans showed some hypoperfusion in the temporal and/or frontal lobes. MRI showed no corresponding structural damage.
20 Hirono 2000 HMPAO Adult Results indicated an association between aggression and decreased perfusion in the left anterior temporal cortex.
10 cocaine dependent men Drexler 2000 PET Adult Study showed that cue-induced anger in cocaine-dependent men was associated with decreased activity in frontal cortical areas involved in response monitoring and inhibition.
25 temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with history of intermittent explosive disorder (IED)/25 TLE without a history of IED van Elst 2000 MRI/EEG Adult IED was associated with left-sided or bilateral EEG and MRI abnormalities, low IQ and high scores in depression and anxiety.
24 temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with history of episodes of aggression/24 TLE without episodes of aggression/35 normals Woermann 2000 MRI Adult Findings suggest that a reduction of frontal neocortical grey matter might underly the pathophysiology of aggression in TLE.
1 alcohol-induced violence Amen 1999 SPECT Adult Study suggests that this man may have been “self-medicating” an overactive brain, but in the process induced a state that increased the likelihood for aggressive behavior.
141 children and a community sample of 36 children who were cruel to animals Luk 1999 PET Children Being cruel to animals is possibly a marker of a subgroup of conduct disorder which has a poor prognosis.
1 affected by a severe neurological and psychopathological disorder Pascual-Castroviejo 1999 MRI Adult Case shows the clear relationship between the bilateral frontal lesion and psychopathological disease, especially aggressivity and irritability.
21 impulsive violent offenders/10 non-violent alcoholics/21 normals Kuikka 1998 123I-Beta-CIT SPECT Both In young violent offenders there was no normal left-to-right asymmetry observed in control subjects of the same age. The normalization of the left-to-right asymmetry may reflect late neurobiological maturation.
20 repetitive violent offenders (RVOs)/19 non-repetitive violent offenders Wong 1997 PET/MRI Adult Different structural and metabolic changes in the brain were associated with different violent offending behaviors.
21 impulsive violent offenders/10 non-violent alcoholics/21 normals Tiihonen 1997 123I-Beta-CIT SPECT Adult Results imply that habitual impulsive aggressive behavior in man is associated with a decrease in the 5-HT transporter density.
41 murderers pleading not guilty by reason of insanity(NGRI)/41 normals Raine 1997 SPECT Adult Preliminary findings provide initial indications of a network of abnormal cortical and subcortical brain processes that may predispose to violence in murderers pleading NGRI.
7 with histories of extremely violent behavior Seidenwurm 1997 FDG-PET Adult In this population of violent subjects, FDG-PET scans showed metabolic abnormalities in the temporal lobes. These abnormalities correlated with limbic abnormalities seen at electrophysiological and neuropsychiatric evaluation.
17 with repetitive violent history (RVO)/14 without a repetitive violent history (NRVO), all with schizophrenia/6 normals Wong 1997 FDG-PET Adult Findings suggest that metabolic changes at AIT may be related to different patterns of violent offending in patients with schizophrenia.
40/40 normals Amen 1996 SPECT Adult Findings indicate a possible cerebral perfusion profile for those who exhibit violent or aggressive behavior.
40 alcohol dependent including 15 with antisocial personality disorder (ASP)/10 normals Kuruoglu 1996 SPECT/CT Adult Patients with ASP are more sensitive to toxic effects of alcohol. Alternatively chronic alcoholism leads to frontal lobe dysfunction recognized as ASP in the clinical setting.
1 with no past history of violent or criminal behavior abruptly strangled his wife Relkin 1996 PET/MRI/EEG Adult Findings suggest that his violent behavior represents stimulus-bound aggression, triggered by a novel physical threat and unchecked by learned social restraints owing to the presence of ventral prefrontal dysfunction.
31 waiting trial or sentencing for murder Blake 1995 MRI/CT/EEG Adult It is likely that prolonged, severe physical abuse, paranoia, and neurologic brain dysfunction interact to form the matrix of violent behavior.
19 habitually impulsive violent alcoholics/10 non-violent alcoholics/19 normals Tiihonen 1995 123I-Beta-CIT SPECT Adult Results indicate that both types of alcoholics have alterations in striatal dopaminergic system, though these occur in opposite directions.
22 accused of murder/22 normals Raine 1994 SPECT Adult These preliminary results suggest that deficits localized to the prefrontal cortex may be related to violence in a selected group of offenders.
36 with aggressive behavior following head injury Oder 1992 SPECT Adult Results support the importance of lesion location in the production of post traumatic behavioral disorders.
2 with intermittent explosive disorder Tonkonogy 1992 fMRI Adult It is suggested that hypothalamic lesions played a major role in the development of aggressive behavior in both cases.
23 with organic mental syndromes, 14 of which had violent behavior Tonkonogy 1991 fMRI/CT Adult The release of programs for violent behavior may result from the unilateral destruction of amygdaloid nuclei or adjacent structures coupled with the paroxysmal stimulation of preserved limbic structures by the mechanisms of kindling.
4 with a history of repetitive purposeless violent behavior Volkow 1987 PET/EEG/CT Adult PET showed evidence of blood flow and metabolic abnormalities in the left temporal lobe. The patients showing the largest defects with PET were those whose CT scans were reported as normal. This paper shows the utility of PET in investigating possible brain derangements that could lead to violent behavior.
Total Patients Total Authors Total Studies
1,468 35 41


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