Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Readable Look at Brain Function

Dr. Amens is a practicing psychiatrist who was one of the first to use SPECT scans in diagnosing and treating patients. SPECT scans were originally intended for research purposes. Using these scans to diagnose patients mental problems was innovative and controversial. I found it fascinating because when I did research in the mental health field there was always the nagging feeling that the diagnosis categories were too broad. It would have been helpful to have a basis on which to make specific treatment suggestions. However, much as I admire Dr. Amen for using this technique, I recognize that it isn't perfect.

The book is written at a level that makes it relatively easy for the average reader to understand brain function. The SPECT scans included make clear where the brain defects are located and are a useful adjunct to the text.

Problems with the brain come in a variety of guises from ADD, to anxiety, Alzheimers and schizophrenia. In addition there are brain injuries such as concussion and problems stemming from tumors and other abnormalities. Dr. Amen goes into each of these areas, explains which parts of the brain are affected and suggests treatment plans. Although he does use psychoactive drugs, he also uses talk therapy, natural substances, and understanding your life's purpose.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning about brain function. Some of the exercises may even be helpful in giving you a better understanding of your personality and functioning.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.