WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Hanley Center, one of the country's leading nonprofit addiction treatment centers, today announced plans to use SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans to capture brain images of patients with alcohol and drug addiction. These pictures help identify blood flow to the areas of the brain involved in addictive behaviors, which Hanley Center's medical staff can use to design more effective patient treatment programs.
"We are introducing the next frontier of addiction treatment in scanning the brain, which is the target organ for this disease," said Dr. Barbara Krantz, chief executive officer and medical director of research at Hanley Center. "By capturing precise blood-flow information and using our baseline knowledge of a healthy brain structure, we can recommend more effective treatments, identify other brain-based disorders that affect addiction and can scientifically document and demonstrate what works and what doesn't in addiction treatment."
While advances in science have shown that addiction is indeed a disease, medical technology commonly used to diagnose other illness has not yet been integrated into standard addiction treatment programs.
"What we're doing here is really diagnosing the physiological problem that contributes to addiction, showing patients with clear pictures how addictive drugs change the brain, and then we can create a plan to attack the problems directly," said Dr. Daniel Amen, who wrote the best-selling book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body and is chief executive officer and medical director of Amen Clinics. "This technology that we have used for years to diagnose many other illnesses will show that addiction is not a characte