Important Lessons from 83,000 Brain Scans: Daniel Amen at TEDxOrangeCoast

You’ve probably seen the TedTalk from Dr. Daniel Amen popping up in your feed the past few days. I have to say, this viral video is really interesting. We discuss below.

Dr. Daniel Amen has passion for the health of your brain. Using both he discovered links between the size, shape and the activity of the brain and its relationship to mental illnesses that plague people all over the world. His support of the healing power of psychiatry began years ago when he witness how a doctor of psychiatry helped his aunt, thereby pulling her from a debilitating depression.

This was his introduction as he presented his lecture on the results of eighty-three thousand brain images over a twenty-two year period. The results are fascinating. His logic is simple and isn’t difficult to embrace. In fact, the information is life altering for those who suffer with mental illnesses.

Using SPECT imaging of the brain, which provides a 3-D picture, Dr. Amen explains and demonstrates what a normal brain looks likes. The brain’s activity is either good, too little or two much. Also, the shape of a person’s brain has a good deal to do with its health. He adds credibility to his statements with picture of unhealthy brains versus healthy ones.

Doctors of psychiatry are the only medical physicians who don’t look at the organ they treat. In psychiatry, one size doesn’t fit all especially when prescription drugs are used to treat mental illness. Daniel Amen presented an example of two brain images, one with low activity and one with high activity. Both patients were treated with the same drug therapy, but obviously had different problems. He explain that this could actually impede the healing process.

Dr. Daniel Amen’s experience includes over twenty years of studying brain SPECT imaging and resulting human behavior. An overlooked common occurrence contributing to brain damage are traumatic brain injuries. These are injuries resulting from hard falls or hits on the head. He spoke of a teen with discipline and anger issues. When he was three years old he fell down a flight of stairs and was unconscious for a few moments. Though he seemed to have recovered and physically he did, the jarring effected his brain which caused his erratic and uncontrolled behavior.

The lecture continued to examine the brains of Alzheimer patients. These imaging were very different when compared to healthy brains. The science of his theories is indisputable. To treat mental illnesses and behavior problems, you must understand what you are treating in order to make a complete diagnosis and properly treat.

Follow Dr. Daniel Amen on Twitter and see the viral TedTalk from Dr. Daniel Amen below:

Leave a Reply