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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » To Bettyg

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Author Topic: To Bettyg
Kayda
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Hi was looking in Treepatrol's newbie's links for info on SPECT scans & there doesn't seem to be anything there. I saw stuff for MRI's, CT's, PET scans but nothing for SPECT.

Do you still have the info. My local hospital has a nuclear medicine dept. but had no idea what a SPECT scan was. They think it is a PET, MRI or CT scan.

Thanks,
Kayda

Posts: 582 | From midwest | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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The HOSPITAL doesn't know what a SPECT scan is?? YIKES!!!

Try this for information:

Good site for understanding tests
http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/

Also: try googling it

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Kayda
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Hi Bettyg,

I checked the site and there was nothing there. I've done google searches. I've explaned to the hospital it measures brain function not anatomy. They have no clue.

Any info is much appreciated.

Kayda

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bettyg
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http://brighamrad.harvard.edu/education/online/BrainSPECT/Lymes/Lymes_Images.html

kay, this is what i was thinking of, and was in the area of mris/etc.

for some reason, the direct link wasn't here as i gave it to tree! i found it when i was going thru an mri 4-06! hope this helps you! [group hug] [kiss]

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8man12
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Maybe you would really want to go to Columbia university,they are doing all the lyme testing with SPECT scans.


Brain Scans Distinguish Lyme Disease From Primary Psychiatric Disorders

NEW YORK, NY -- October 24, 1997 -- Researchers at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center have demonstrated brain scans and neuropsychiatric tests can help doctors determine whether psychiatric problems are due to Lyme disease or a primary psychiatric disorder.

The findings are important since many people with Lyme disease do not exhibit the classic rash and flu-like symptoms but later experience secondary symptoms such as depression, panic attacks, paranoia, personality changes, mood swings, attention problems or short-term memory loss.


These symptoms can be easily mistaken for primary psychiatric disorders, especially the when patient's clinical presentation does not include joint swelling or Bell's palsy -- two of the more commonly recognized signs of Lyme disease -- and when standard laboratory tests for the disease prove inconclusive, which is not infrequently the case in chronic Lyme disease.


"Such mislabeling may have particularly detrimental effects on the Lyme disease patient, as a delay in diagnosis and treatment may result in a curable acute infection becoming a chronic, treatment-refractory illness," writes Brian Fallon, MD, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia-Presbyterian, in a recent issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.


In an earlier study, Dr. Fallon found depression was three times more common in patients with Lyme disease than in patients with comparable diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis).


"That was surprising to us and it suggested that there is something going on in the brain of Lyme patients that is directly causing the depression," he said.


Dr. Fallon, in collaboration with Ronald Van Heertum, MD, and Jeffrey J. Plutchok, MD, and their colleagues in the division of nuclear medicine, department of radiology, subsequently found at least half of patients with chronic Lyme disease have brain abnormalities, evident on SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans.


"The specific appearance is a heterogeneous pattern of decreased perfusion," Dr. Fallon explained. "What that means is that across the brain, there are patchy areas that look like decreased blood flow. However, we don't know whether it is a vascular problem or a metabolic problem. But what is clear is that it is a diffuse problem."


In a follow-up study, the researchers found that flow to the affected areas of the brain improved in approximately half of the patients who were given intravenous antibiotic treatments. This result suggested the brain abnormalities were at least partially reversible with further treatment.


Since this pattern of decreased brain perfusion is seen in patients with other diseases, including HIV encephalopathy, chronic cocaine abuse, chronic fatigue syndrome and lupus, SPECT imaging alone cannot be used to confirm a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. According to Dr. Fallon, a thorough evaluation should include a physical examination and standard laboratory tests, plus formal neuropsychological testing (e.g., the Wechsler Memory Scale) and brain imaging (MRI, SPECT or PET scanning).


When should a doctor suspect that a neuropsychiatric problem is the result of Lyme disease?


"If the only thing a patient has is depression or anxiety, Lyme disease would be low on the list of possibilities," Dr. Fallon said. "But if he or she has mood swings, attention problems, or memory problems, as well as some joint pains and some numbness and tingling, you have to consider Lyme disease, especially in the greater New York area, where it is endemic.


``And anytime you see a young patient with memory problems, then you have to start wondering, could this be Lyme disease?"

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robi
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True. COlumbia is the place to go for a SPECT. Others don't really know how to look for Lyme patterns.

robi

--------------------
Now, since I put reality on the back burner, my days are jam-packed and fun-filled. ..........lily tomlin as 'trudy'

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hopingandpraying
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My son had a Brain Spect Scan done at Middlesex Hospital in Connecticut as it was easier going there than to New York City. Yes, they know what it is and what Lyme disease is (Dr. J's office told me about them).

Good luck - hope this helps.

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Kayda
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All those places are pretty far away from me. There really is no good reason the Major Medical Center I went to knows nothing about it. I talked with 3 different people besides the receptionist who should have known something about it.

Nothing is every easy with Lyme

Kayda

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8man12
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kayda print out the columbia stuff that i posted and put it with your scan,and ask the doctor reading it to get ahold of Dr. Fallon,you can get it done local.
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bettyg
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kay, i had a mri done of my brain last year checking for lyme, but TECHNOLOGIST DID NOT KNOW HE WAS LOOKING FOR LYME although i had printed off the mri info i gave you on the link about brain spect scan.

it shows what lyme looks like on mri, cat scan, spect, etc.

i gave the nurses this info to give to him, but THEY REFUSED TOO.

so my personal suggestion is IF YOU CAN GET A KNOWLEDGEABLE LYME LITERATE PERSON TO READ THIS, you may gain good info/reading from it.

otherwise. it's a waste of money in my opinion! good luck.

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