Day 690

“Everything starts and ends in your Brain-Soul connection.
How your brain and soul work together determines how happy you feel, how successful you become, and how well you connect with others. The brain-soul connection is vastly more powerful than your conscious will. Will power falters when the physical functioning of the brain and the health of your soul fail to support your desires, as seen by illogical behaviours like overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and compulsive spending.

It is the aim of The Amen Clinics to provide instructional programs and materials, evaluations and medical treatment where necessary to help you to understand and direct your mind to enhance your relationships, your work, and your health!”

Dr Daniel Amen is a psychiatrist in America who is a strong proponent of SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computerised Tomography) imaging of the brain. It bothers him that psychiatrists are the only medical specialists that never look at the organ they treat. Cardiologists, orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists look, whereas psychiatrists guess. As a result of which diagnoses are still made in the same way they were in the 1840s, based on symptom clusters. It’s like shooting in the dark especially when most psychiatric medications come with black box warnings that they might make the situation worse.

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Simply put, the images tell us 3 things about the brain – areas of good activity, too much and too little activity. In his TED talk he shows some very convincing pictures of brains ‘before’ and ‘after’ interventions. He also shows scans of 2 patients with clinical depression but very different scans, one showing gross under-activity and the other significant over-activity.

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He expresses great concern about the homeless people, criminals and soldiers returning from war zones who are not getting appropriate care as no one is looking at their brains and tailoring the care of their mental state.

He claims to have helped many people over the years using this technology but his work has been much criticised, firstly for not having enough evidence in its favour and secondly for the potentially harmful effect of the radio-nucleotide dye that needs to be injected in every patient. He has also amassed a great amount of wealth doing this work that insurers will not pay for. This  fact further discredits him within the medical community.

Would I have paid 3500 dollars for Saagar’s first assessment and scans at one of ‘The Amen Clinics’? Probably not. But it would have been good to have a more scientific approach to the diagnosis and management of his illness. It was like throwing darts in the dark. 



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