Depression

Sample study
Interactive 2D and 3D review of a brain SPECT demonstrating Depression.

What is Depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide

Value of SPECT
The value of SPECT in evaluating depression is the ability to locate the specific areas of the brain that are affected as well as asses the severity. Based on the location of the abnormalities a possible cause of the depression can be established. The information obtained form the SPECT allows your psychiatrist to create the best treatment plan for you. Because SPECT is a functional imaging modality, it can detect changes in the brain long before they can be observed in anatomical imaging (CT/MR).

References