Psychiatrist Daniel Amen uses brain scans to help diagnose mental illness. Most peers say that’s bonkers.
Daniel Amen with his SPECT scanner at his Reston clinic. SPECT, or single photon emission computed tomography, is a type of nuclear imaging test that measures blood flow in organs of the body. In clinical practice, doctors use it to uncover evidence of strokes, epilepsy, trauma, some types of dementia and heavy drug use. Amen says he has taught himself to apply SPECT, alongside clinical evaluations, as a diagnostic tool in 90 percent of his patients. Joseph Victor Stefanchik/For The Washington Post Buy Photo