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Thread: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    15 minute video Dr. Daniel Amen on what he has learned from 83,000 brain scans


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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    The different brain scans in this TED talk are fascinating — you can see the damage in Alzheimers, brain injury, ADHD, drug use, etc.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    I gave my attention to this talk (and I don't usually care to watch videos). By the end I was almost in tears. I've worked with teen populations who have been victims of brain damage, or diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, PTSD, poor executive function, Reactive Attachment Disorder, the whole list. I'm well aware that psychiatry is an inexact science and that while psychoactive drugs work well for some people with some conditions, they are by no means a panacea. They are way way over-prescribed. They are often the treatment of first resort. They have been implicated in most if not all of the mass shootings of recent years. And so on.

    Dr. Amen has immense personal charm. He's extremely persuasive on stage. I was entranced. One wants to embrace him as the savior of all victims of brain disorders.

    But about 2/3 of the way through the talk, I began to wonder when we'd be shown the therapeutic follow-up to diagnosis. What is this brain rehabilitation he speaks of? What kind of treatments repair a damaged brain? What can be done for dementia and early Alzheimer's? We never learn how he treats these damaged brains.

    Fascinated, I did some cursory Googling. I learned about the SPECT machine (expensive, wow) and its other uses. Learned a bit more about Dr. Amen. Still couldn't find anything on the actual rehab methods. But I sure got an eyeful on http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/...h-spect-scans/.

    So now I'm left with mixed emotions. It would be beyond wonderful to think there are ways to actually see, in color, a working brain with visual evidence of specific conditions. My question remains, what then? I hope someone here can tell me more than diet, supplements and enzymes, because that leaves me very skeptical.
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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    Do you realize Dr. Hall is a GP not a psychiatrist and writes writes for Quackwatch?

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    I have read a couple of Dr. Amen's books and have seen 2 of his PBS specials. I have posted about them on HH:

    From 12/03/11 http://www.hawkeshealth.net/communit...r.+daniel+amen
    Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel Amen, MD
    Magnificent Mind at Any Age presented by Daniel Amen, MD

    I just saw this special on my local PBS station. They are running it this week
    for December pledge week so hopefully in the US y'all can catch it.
    It was EXCELLENT!

    Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist who uses SPECT scans to diagnose and treat all kinds of disorders. He found that food and supplements work to heal the brain and has the SPECT scans to back it up.
    Most of the information he covers is also in the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.
    I found it fascinating that Dr. Amen decided to do a study of NFL players to document the brain trauma and then showed how doing diet and supplements plus cognitive modalities helped heal their brains. (They also had improved mood, concentration and lost weight.) The before and after SPECT scans showed the improvement — my jaw kept hitting the floor.
    Dr. Amen was very up front that you have to change your diet from the regular SAD to one without sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed food, MSG, etc. or your brain won't get healthy. I found that to be a refreshing change from others who wave their designer supplements in front of you and say that is all you need to fix the problem.

    A couple of things I didn't know I learned today:
    If your Vitamin D level is low you can't get rid of your cravings.
    Meditation actually increases blood flow to the brain.

    I am going to get his book from the Library by the same title and report back in a week or so.....

    From 1/2812
    http://www.hawkeshealth.net/communit...r.+daniel+amen

    Re: Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel Amen, MD
    I finished reading the book Magnificent Mind At Any Age by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
    I really enjoyed it.

    Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist who has used SPECT scans to look at how the brain works, and developed programs using nutritional supplements and brain exercises to improve the brain. He also uses drugs but prefers natural methods to start with. (Dr. Amen teaches using nutritional supplements to the psychiatric residents at the University of California-Irvine.)
    Dr. Amen is honest, funny, and has a great deal of information from SPECT scans illustrating different brain problems to techniques to improve brain function in the book.
    He has decades of experience to draw on and many case histories to illustrate concepts as he writes. I also get a sense of great integrity and kindness.

    The first half of Magnificent Mind At Any Age focuses on problems with the brain including ADD, memory loss, insomnia and pain.
    There is a questionnaire to identify problem areas of the brain on page 48 with nutritional supplements and treatment options for each area.

    Chapter 6 is devoted to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and is very good. Dr. Amen identifies 6 types of ADD and talks about what he sees in SPECT scans of each of these types. He discusses nutritional supplements and drugs if necessary for each type as well as coping strategies for family members. He also tells you what nutritional supplements and drugs make each type WORSE — and if you have someone in the family or friend with ADD on medication I think this is a very valuable resource.

    The second half of the book is devoted to strategies that make the brain healthy and increase functioning. The technique to stop automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) is excellent, and the suggestion to write your goals on one page and read every day (One Page Miracle) helps you focus on what your real passion and goals for your life are. The book also includes an appendix of resources.

    One of the most interesting case histories was when Dr. Amen was working with psychologist Noelle Nelson doing a study on gratitude and appreciation. They found if you bring your attention to the things you are grateful for in your life your brain works better. Dr. Amen scanned Ms. Nelson after she had been meditating for 30 minutes on all the things she was grateful for in her life. The SPECT scan showed a very healthy brain. Several days later Ms. Nelson took a major fear and meditated on it and then her brain was scanned. The fear-based scan was much different — 2 parts of her brain showed serious decreased activity and her brain didn't look healthy. The cerebellum was almost shut down (cerebellum processes information and handles physical co-ordination such as walking). Her temporal lobes were not working well (mood, memory, temper, and language are functions of the temporal lobes).

    Dr. Amen said he had seen this with negative thought patterns — loss of co-ordination and clumsiness/accidents or slumps with professional athletes; and moods such as depression, short-term memory loss, and impaired ability to think through problems.
    The SPECT scan showed your brain works better on gratitude and is physically impaired with negative thinking.

    I am very grateful to have read the book and share it with y'all.
    Last edited by Reesacat; 11-07-13 at 11:11 PM.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    This is another excellent article explaining the use of SPECT scans — it is more expensive initially, but getting the correct diagnosis saves time, money and suffering in the long run.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...t-imaging.aspx

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    By the way Islander, I have used diet, supplements, EFT acupuncture chiropractic etc. to heal my own brain. I got several different types of brain imaging at the Cheney Clinic, and paid about $3,000.00 out of pocket in the 1990's. But the diagnosis was accurate and saved me from being put on anti-depressants and started me on nutritional protocols to heal my brain. I had initially lost 40 IQ points.......I had to relearn to talk and walk.

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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    Thank you, Reesacat. Yes, I'm aware that that's a Quackwatch-type site but it's the only site my search turned up that actually gave any space at all to Amen's therapeutic methods. From my point of view, half the point of that talk was "this is what we can do" and the other half should have been, "...and this is how we do it" — except that the second half was missing. That's why I went Googling. Hall furnished a useful perspective; it's the sort of eval one has to reads with an open mind, knowing what the bias is going to be. Hall gave a nod to dietary changes and supplements but was rather dismissive of the efficacy, and made no mention of other brain rehab that Amen referred to. That's why I ended up frustrated.

    I understand your wish to defend him and I appreciate the detailed information. I wasn't questioning what he does, just disappointed and annoyed that I couldn't learn how he does it. Now I'll have to put his book on my "to read" list. I really want to know more!
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    I watch Dr. Amens lectures on PBS with great interest. His brain scan images and success stories are fascinating, but I'm also left wanting more information on how to rehabilitate a damaged brain. I wish I could afford to have my brain scanned, I believe his office is near me in Washington State. I would love to document what anti-psychotics do to brains. Without brain scans, I will just have to rely on periodic IQ testing to check on my progress with efforts at neurogenesis.

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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    Tara48, I get most of his books free from the library if that would help. They go into more detail about brain health strategies. I do think keeping an eye on your blood sugar and avoiding grains are 2 very good foundational
    brain rebuilding therapies.

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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    Excellent, Reesacat! I checked the library catalog on the internet and ordered "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," "Magnificent Mind At Any Age," "Preventing Alzheimers," (because the brain shrinks with Alzheimer's, so what's good for them will be good for me), and "Making a Good Brain Great." That should keep me busy for a little while. It's so good to have my mind back, I used to really enjoy reading, but on medication, I would read the same paragraph over and over, because I would immediately forget what I had read. I'll report anything interesting I find out.

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Daniel Amen Ted Talk On 83,000 Brain Scans Later...What We Have Learned

    Those books are good recommendations, Tara48. Our local library will be a good source for me to check, as well. Thanks.

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