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Brain SPECT Imaging – Experts Challenge Neurologists To Re-Evaluate

ISAN dedicated to educating physicians about using SPECT functional neuroimaging and integrating brain-based view of brain disease and brain health.

SPECT scans get encyclopedic review that challenges 25 year old position in Neurology. Henderson & Pavel show SPECT useful in brain injury & other disorders.

This is the most exceptional review of the state-of-the-art in Brain SPECT. It is encyclopedic. The 1996 TTASAAN report...should be seen for what it is, an embarrassment to neurologists”
— Dr. Phil Cohen
DENVER, CO, UNITED STATES, March 29, 2022 / -- Denver-based psychiatrist Theodore Henderson, M.D., Ph.D and renowned Nuclear Medicine physician, Dan G. Pavel, M.D. based in Chicago take a fresh look at the research on SPECT and spurs neurologists to do the same. The duo challenge a 25-year-old position paper by the American Academy of Neurology, which has colored the view of SPECT brain scans for decades. Neurologists have relied upon the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology (TTASAAN) report issued in 1996, to argue that SPECT scans offer little to neurologists or psychiatrists.

In The Legacy of the TTASAAN Report – Premature Conclusions and Forgotten Promises: A Review of Policy and Practice Part I, Drs. Pavel and Henderson, with the help of Simon DeBruin (Good Lion Imaging LLC), have reviewed the entirety of the research literature and shown in a detailed, readable, and comprehensive review that SPECT brain scans have evolved dramatically since 1996. This summary shuts down the arguments of neurologists that SPECT brain scans are not useful in the evaluation of traumatic brain injury (TBI). They also detail the growth in data that supports the use of SPECT scans in the evaluation of seizures, stroke, dementia, toxic brain injury, and psychiatric disorders. This review is Part I of a 2-part series which will provide a roadmap for revising guidelines and practice parameters of both the American Academy of Neurology and the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Phillip Cohen, first author on the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine Guidelines for Brain Perfusion Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), said, “This is the most exceptional review of the state-of-the-art in Brain SPECT. It is encyclopedic. The 1996 TTASAAN report is still used to criticize and demonize the use of brain perfusion SPECT in neurology and psychiatry, despite massive advances. This stance should be seen for what it is, an embarrassment to neurologists, equivalent to basing criticisms of the Iphone based on cell phone technology in 1996.”

Drs. Henderson is and the late Dr. Pavel (was) a member of the International Society of Applied Neuroimaging (ISAN), an international consortium of neuroimaging experts and clinicians. ISAN was founded to foster education about functional neuroimaging, research psychiatric and medical applications of functional neuroimaging, and assist clinicians in incorporating functional neuroimaging into their clinical practices. The group has also published papers in Frontiers in Psychiatry and Interventional Medicine and Clinical Imaging, to educate practicing psychiatrists about functional neuro-imaging. The group has collective experience of hundreds of years of using functional neuro-imaging, particularly SPECT imaging, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients and they have collectively read more than 280,000 SPECT scans.

Dr. Henderson, co-founder of Neuro-Luminance Inc., summarized the provocative paper this way, “Given the major advances in SPECT functional neuroimaging for both neurological and psychiatric conditions, the positions assumed by Neurology and Psychiatry are no longer tenable”.

“SPECT neuro-imaging gets a bad rap in psychiatry and neurology. We are going to keep putting the science out in front of them to hopefully change their prejudice”, Dr. Henderson quipped.

Neuro-Luminance Inc., based in Denver, Colorado, offers revolutionary new treatments for neurological and psychiatric conditions. Learn more at

Theodore Henderson
Dr. Theodore Henderson Inc
+1 720-493-1101
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