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Topic: Brain Scans

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    25 March 2019

    Hi,

    The psychologist that I am starting to see again sent me this link about brain scans.

    https://youtu.be/esPRsT-lmw8

    A lot of my physical symptoms feels like it is because there is something wrong with my head. It feels like my brain snaps/has a cramp and then I spend yonks recovering from all the physical symptoms thereafter which is why I want to see what my brain is actually doing.

    Does anyone know what kind of brain scan this is and how I am able to get one? The only scan I've heard is an MRI.

    He sent me another link about neurofeedback and I'm keen to see what my brain looks like in a scan and then have my psychologist implement the right neurofeedback strategy.

    Thanks.

  2. AtholP
    AtholP avatar
    1 posts
    25 March 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88
    I am not medically trained but have suffered chronic complex physical and now mental illnesses. An MRI is definitely the scan to get but if you are claustrophobic like me you need to ask for sedation. Meds aren't enough so I have a heavy sedation via IV. I've had many MRIs and my last one was 3 weeks ago. I had been feeling "different" and I had a gut feeling something was wrong. Sure enough, the MRI showed multiple lesions throughout my brain so I am seeing a Neurologist asap as it looks like I have multiple sclerosis damn it. An MRI is by far the best option to see if anything is abnormal in your case. Hopefully it will be fine and you can rest easier knowing.
  3. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    26 March 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88,

    The scans that Dr Amen talks about are SPECT scans. SPECT stands for Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography. They're used to show what the brain is doing (brain function) rather than what the brain looks like.

    Using SPECT scans can be much more revealing than standard MRI's but they are used much more rarely - often because there's a small radioactive substance thats injected to see the blood flow. Even though the substance is very small, there's still a reluctance to use it unless it's warranted. As for how to get one, I assume maybe a neurologist? It's probably worth talking to your GP.

    Hope this helps,

    1 person found this helpful
  4. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    27 March 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    Thanks very much.

    Do you see any value in doing this SPECT scan? Like a lot of people I'm in search for answers on how I can resolve/overcome all these physical symptoms which are meant to be because of anxiety I experience daily but whether this is the right path I'm seeking opinions. Is this something that people normally request or do you think it is too extreme?

    Thanks.

  5. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    27 March 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    Doing some Googling ... some people are saying SPECT for anxiety/depression is bollocks and that there is no sound/proven research that SPECT actually works? Also sounds expensive too ...

    Thoughts?

  6. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    28 March 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88

    Thanks for your post.

    I don't know a lot about SPECT scans honestly so I'm not sure I'm the best person to give advice! I've seen them used with mental illnesses and how the brain lights up in certain areas. I know they've also been used in things like strokes, memory loss and other neurological diseases.

    One thing you might want to think about is what is it you want to know? Say you were to do this SPECT scan - what happens after? Like an MRI or X-Ray it's always a diagnostic tool, so you might have more clarity on what's happening but then I'm not sure what you would do with that information?

    It's probably important to know that whether your physical symptoms are from anxiety or some other underlying cause, they're still 'in your head'. Anxiety causes enormous sorts of physical reactions - some more intense than others. I've talked to people who have seizures or who are partially paralysed due to 'stress'. It doesn't make it any less real.

    Can I ask, what was your psychologists advice? He obviously thought that it was important, so maybe it's worth talking to him more about it. As far as neurofeedback goes, I think you may only need a QEEG.

    Hope this helps,

  7. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    28 March 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    It's a good question you ask ... what next after the SPECT scan. I'm not sure and my wife asked me that too. I experience a lot of sensations in the head which I then attribute to things like dizziness. It would be good to know which part of the brain is hyper (which I think most of it is given the sensations are over the head) which may explain parts of the head are experiencing sensations such as the a searing feeling?

    I did an MRI yesterday. I doubt that my symptoms are from anything else but the reason I'm doing the MRI is I'm just confused how these physical symptoms can be anxiety ... it's very hard to comprehend. But at least the MRI will rule out if it is anything else.

    My psychologist I haven't seen in a year and a half so it was a get to know each other session again but he has scheduled 2 EEG appointments (as opposed to a qEEG). He did mention that if I wanted to do it that there are places that can be done but we might decide what happens at a later date. I find the appointments even though they are 50 mins, seem quite short and I can't ask everything I want to know in that time frame ...

    Thanks.

  8. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    29 March 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man,

    It's good to hear back from you. Your post has given me a lot to think about.

    I think there's probably two important things here. One is to know that there's nothing else going on that might be causing these symptoms, and the other is to potentially accept that all of these symptoms just can be anxiety.

    I take it that you're in touch with a GP given the MRI? What are his/her thoughts around what's going on? What were their thoughts around the SPECT scan? The idea that your psychologist wanted to schedule 2 EEGs shows me that they're very committed to trying to understand what's going on - even though I'm personally not sure why 2 instead of 1.

    50 mins can seem incredibly short; I agree with you there. I wonder if it might be helpful to write down a list of questions? Some psychologists are open to email contact too - potentially allowing you to email the questions, have them think about it and give you a bit of a quicker response when you're in session.

  9. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    1 April 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    Some part of me is actually wanting something to be wrong so that I have an answer to what I'm going through. Strange that i do want something wrong but it's so hard to accept all the physical issues when you can't see any ailments ...

    Yeah i've been speaking to my GP about the MRI. They recommended it over a CT. My GP can only help to check the physical symptoms and the rest he is referring me to things like MRI etc. Haven't asked them about the SPECT yet but I will when I go back to see them shortly to go through the MRI.

    Re EEG. I might raise another post on that as I can't find much info in the forums. I might be wrong but I went today and it was "brain training" on software I think is called "EEG R4".

    I've started a tracker in Google Sheets to track my symptoms and make any notes and save any links I found helpful. May have to ask him about email contact too. but some times I feel very rushed in those appointments and I didn't get an opportunity to understand what is going on - which is why I stopped going for a while but with feedback from family and these forums, it made me understand what he was doing a bit more and I'm a bit more trusting and open now than I was previously.

    A little hesitant with the SPECT as well but I'll save it as an option later. Not sure how much it cost or what use it is as I've sort of settled on the fact that maybe I do have a chemical imbalance in my head ...

    Thanks!

  10. therising
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    therising avatar
    1409 posts
    1 April 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88

    Personally, I believe the scan aspect is a good idea. The brain can definitely do some freaky things at times.

    I'll try and keep this short, as this is more about you than me: Was having terrible anxiety attacks a few years back, accompanied by loss of sensation down the left side of my body, amongst other things. I could tell when these attacks were coming on as they would begin with slight sinus pressure. GP insisted I start on anti-anxiety meds. I insisted I don't and that he get to the route of the problem. Long story short, saw another GP who is an absolute legend. She ordered an MRI scan and, bamm, 'silent migraines' (migranes without headaches). Original GP was surprised to say the least.

    Fortunately, I was having a migraine whilst in the MRI machine, so it showed up. Unfortunately, if the problem is not happening during the time you're in the machine, it may not show up. If the episodes you're experiencing happen at predictable times or are triggered by something specific, that you're aware of, this could influence when you schedule a scan.

    To this day, I believe the 'anxiety' was a symptom rather than a result of the episodes, if that makes sense. Maybe the fight/flight/freeze aspect kicked into gear when there was a migraine associated change in my brain's relationship with my nervous system. Quiet a weird feeling! Short term blood pressure medication seemed to right things.

    I hope you are able to get to the bottom of things whose_da_man88. Diagnosis can often lead to the best course of action.

    Take care

  11. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    2 April 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88,

    It makes complete sense that you'd like something to show up in the scan. If something doesn't show up and everything is put down to 'anxiety' it can be incredibly hard to understand and accept. But overall it is the preferable diagnosis!

    With all these tests, do you feel like they are to 'rule everything out'?

    I think it's great that you've started to track things; what sort of things are you tracking? It might be worth writing down what you're doing at the time (i.e. watching TV) and what your mood/thoughts are to see if you can find any patterns/themes as well.

  12. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    11 April 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thanks for your response therising and romantic_thi3f.

    MRI came back fine ... as expected.

    @romantic_thi3f, i don't know if the rule out journey is going to stop. It is so hard to accept that there is so little that can be done. I'm not sure about the SPECT scan but once again forgot to ask my psychologist today - the appointments are so rushed.

    Slightly off topic to brain scans, what other tests can be done? are different blood tests that can be done? My colleague at work was mentioning that you can request for a "comprehensive" test or something. I read up a lot about chemical imbalances or lack of this and that like vitamin etc.

  13. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    12 April 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man,

    I'm glad to hear the MRI came back fine - that is good news. To answer your question, yes there are other blood tests that can be done - the list is probably so extensive it wouldn't fit in this text box.

    The worry that I have though is that more tests and trying to rule out more things will take time, energy and (probably) money. I imagine the further in-depth you decide to go, the less that will be covered on Medicare and you'll be more out of pocket.

    I cannot tell you when to stop or if you should do the tests, but I guess from the other end of the screen I worry that the tests may not reveal anything helpful. Knowing that there's so little to be done is defeating, but it does not mean that what you have is permanent or unmanageable. If it is put down to anxiety, then all the symptoms can be managed - they can lower in intensity and potentially disappear. Something to think about maybe.

  14. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    12 April 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    Agree. I'm namely looking at the broad things that other people are doing but yeah unfortunately don't have deep pockets to do everything that is out there.

    Any other things can be done to make sure the brain is in order?

    Thanks.

  15. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    13 April 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88,

    I'm not sure what's covered in Medicare and what would be relevant, so probably best to have a chat to your GP about it. Your GP may recommend seeing a specialist which would open up more options.

    Again, it depends how much you feel the need to pursue this trying to find a cause.

  16. whose_da_man88
    whose_da_man88 avatar
    32 posts
    15 April 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi All,

    My psychologists is treating me with neurofeedback.

    Has anyone been through this and what their thoughts are?

    For those that aren't sure what I'm talking about, I've been told that this treatment is non-invasive and natural and trains the mind to make new connections. I was hooked onto what looks like an EEG and my brain waves
    were displayed on screen. I was also made to "play games" where different things on screen represented my brainwaves and I have to learnto control my brainwaves (to generate more or to generate less).

    Anotherthing was using the software to breathe properly because apparently breathing wrong affects your brain in many ways and also makes anxiety/depression worse.

    I found the software that my psychologist use and it is made by a company called Heart Math and the tool I have been using most is called emWave Pro.

    Anyone have any experience with neurofeedback and/or the software and whether it worked for you or not?

    Thanks.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2728 posts
    17 April 2019 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hi whose_da_man88

    Here are some posts on neurofeedback -

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/treatments-health-professionals-and-therapies/neurofeedback-(retraining-the-brain)#qhfmVHHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/treatments-health-professionals-and-therapies/major-depression-neurofeedback-therapy-#qmI543HzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Shar123
    Shar123 avatar
    1 posts
    9 April 2020 in reply to whose_da_man88
    Whose da man88, was watching DrAmens Youtube and very interested in doing the proceedure including spect scan and neurofeedback. 
  19. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    13385 posts
    10 April 2020 in reply to whose_da_man88

    Hello Whose da man88, I'm pleased RT and yourself have been talking regularly and only wish I'd seen this thread earlier.

    Can I just say to Shar that no names or addresses are allowed to be posted here, I'm sorry.

    I had to see a neurologist due to an assault where over time I've had EEG, MRI and any other different exams, except for SPECT but if you have had damage done, then perhaps problems are going to occur such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy which I've had, but I'm just talking from experience as I'm not qualified to say.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

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