SPECT Scans, Book Report Part 2

4 Mar

From This is Your Brain on Joy by Dr. Earl Henslin

If you haven’t seen a SPECT scan of the brain, seriously – do it!!  So cool!!  http://www.amenclinics.com/the-science/spect-gallery, you can see brains on meth, marijuana, AD/HD, etc.

Henslin, like many therapists and pastors, assumed that all brains are created equal, meaning everyone has the same capacity to choose and functions from the same level of free will.  Based on the brain’s inner workings, it is now evident that all brains are not equal and not everyone has the same power to choose.

If a brain isn’t working correctly, all the counseling, trying, discipline and theology will only work partially, at best.  (This does not take people off the hook for their anger, anxiety, depression or hyperactivity; however, understanding how their unique brain is wired can offer new insights and answers.)

Much of Henslin’s book is based on Dr. Amen’s area of expertise, SPECT scans (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) – a type of imaging that shows how blood flows through the brain. SPECT scans might be more sensitive to brain injury than either MRI or CT scanning because it can detect reduced blood flow to injured sites.   To read more about the scans: http://www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-SPECT.htm

The book examines common brain issues associated with ADD/ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, anger and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   SPECT scan can offer enormous insight into these issues.  For example it is quite common to find a person with rage issues has had damage done to their temporal lobe, causing reduced blood flow.  This is often correctable.

As cool as it would be to get a SPECT scan, not everyone can afford one. Even if you lived by one of the Amen Clinics, they reportedly cost $3,300 and health insurance probably isn’t going to help.

There is a no cost alternative that you might want to look at.  Dr. Amen has created a questionnaire, or a checklist, to help establish if there is an imbalance that might require medical assistance.  Here is a link to the questionnaire.   The ‘key’ for the checklist and instruction for taking the quiz are in the book report on page 5.

The choice I’d ask you to focus on today has to do with judgment.   We are often quick to judge those that behave in ways we do not appreciate.  We might assume they are not trying hard enough to change or aren’t disciplines enough or don’t have enough faith to be better.

Today’s point of choice, identify 3 people whose behaviors bug you enough to distract you.  Can you consider the possibility that they really are doing the best they can with the brain they are working with?  Can you cut them some slack?  If you are in a position to help them, will you help them?  Maybe you just start with the questionnaire.

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