Brain Imaging and its Clinical Application in Psychiatry
Talma Hendler, Raz Gross, Elinor Goshen, Meir Faibel, Shmuel Hirshmann, Tzila S. Zwass, Leon Grunhaus, Joseph Zohar
Psychiatry Unit, Nuclear Medicine Institute and Diagnostic Radiology Dept., Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
The common structural and functional brain imaging techniques are described from a practical, clinical point of view. The clinical indications for brain imaging in psychiatry are reviewed in relation to the specific limitations and advantages of each technique. The clinical applications of computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) are discussed in relation to the differential diagnosis between organic and functional psychiatric disorders. In a 55-year-old man with late onset of behavioral changes but without neurological signs the application of structural brain imaging (CT and MRI) in case management was demonstrated. The imaging findings involved the differential diagnosis between depression and focal brain lesions. In a 38-year-old man with personality changes and depression following a traumatic brain injury, time interval repeated functional brain imaging (SPECT) was used. Brain imaging reflected improvement in clinical status following treatment and was able to differentiate between reversible and permanent traumatic brain injuries. The superior yield of time interval repeated functional imaging in diagnosis and management of postconcussion syndrome is discussed.