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Hanley Center Acquires the East Coast's First SPECT Scanner to Treat Addiction
Date:5/25/2010

r problem, but rather a brain illness."

Amen, a psychiatrist and pioneer in brain imaging, also is partnering with Hanley Center to read and interpret the scans, to train its staff and to conduct research.

SPECT imaging uses nuclear medicine to create a three-dimensional image, which can be shown as cross-sectional slices. They're commonly used in diagnosing heart disease, tumors, dementia, and thyroid or bone diseases.

Short- and long-term substance abuse affects blood flow and metabolism, compromising the central nervous system -- the brain in particular. By analyzing blood flow to the areas of the brain most impacted by the disease, Hanley Center can customize treatment plans to address specific brain dysfunctions related to addiction. For example, SPECT scans can help identify conditions such as depression or brain trauma, which are both associated with increased incidence of substance abuse, and customize a plan to treat those ailments in conjunction with addiction.

Beyond assisting in addiction diagnoses and treatment, brain imaging can also be used to educate patients by showing them their pre- and post-treatment scans. Hanley also plans to incorporate the images into its prevention and education programs, and use them for research with local partners.

In addition to working with Amen, Hanley is partnering with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Scripps Florida in Jupiter, Fla. to conduct research on addiction recovery outcomes and effective therapies for long-term treatment. Part of that research includes establishing markers that may help doctors predict patient relapse.

About Hanley Center

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