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Old 08-02-2006, 10:44 AM   #1
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Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

I actually missed the show Dr. Phil had on Bipolar which aired yesterday but was able to read through the transcript (thanks to Mattsmom ), which BTW I found to be quite enlightening, and was somewhat confused about how they classified the 41 year old man as Bipolar II when he was having delusional episodes in which he would be hearing voices. He would in his manic episodes take on behaviors of Hollywood stars often placing him and others in dangerous situations. I thought that it was only in Bipolar I that one had episodes in which they would hear voices and the such.

Anyway....another thing they discussed is a brain scan that can identify Bipolar through brain imaging that would identify patterns and actual hot spots in the brain typical of Bipolar and can be used as a diagnostic tool. In fact, it mentioned that it could allow for a much quicker diagnosis than going through years of psychiatric evaluations to get to the diagnosis. I am wondering if such a scan would be covered under medical insurance.

In any case, I found the findings interesting and thought that I would share this with everyone here.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 08-02-2006 at 10:46 AM.

 
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

Good info, Goody! Thanks. It might be too good to be true to have it covered by insurance, but it never hurts to do a little research.

 
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:51 PM   #3
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

yes Goody! Glad you got to see it, I see it's still on the website... The entire show ! Yes those brain scans called Brain Spect Imaging were VERY interesting... If they are able to do that, why would anyone want to wait 8-10 years to be diagnosed? I did a google search, found that a local hospital does SPECT scans (neuclear medicine) as they do PET Scans, and MRIs etc. I too wonder what the criteria for getting one of those and the insurance coverage. I definitely would like to find out. I found it most interesting that ANXIETY can be the root cause of bipolar. Ofcourse, in some cases its physical head related trauma... Its hard for me to relate to a lot of it, for my son is only 5, and his Dr says there's only so much a 5 yr old can do, so when they all act up the same way, its hard to tell exactly what it is. So there is that trial and error, process of elimination, by experimenting with meds to find the right mix fix.
Anyway, my ex husband (mattsdad) was dx with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, I really see him as both.. I've seen all the signs of the over 20 bipolar symptoms listed on Dr Phils website. He had all of them except for these 1) unrealistic beliefs about their own powers and 2) Hallucinations or having delusions.

If anyone has any experience with having, or trying to get SPECT Scans, please share.

Michele

Last edited by mattsmom105; 08-02-2006 at 02:54 PM.

 
Old 08-02-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

I am also looking for a facility nearby that would do a SPECT Scan and it seems that the one concern is whether the reader or interpreter of the scan would be able to read it properly. The company that did it for Dr. Phil seem to be specifically geared to looking for particular things whereas that may not be true in a local hospital. And the particular company is located in the midwest and also one is in CA. I would like to find one in NY and if anybody comes across something I would really be interested. For now I will continue to research and see what I come up with.

My daughter has just been diagnosed and my older one I am so worried about. I must be honest.....I am still not totally convinced that it is Bipolar since we are not yet stabilized. I believe my daughter may have more than just Bipolar but it sure would help alleviate my doubts if a scan diagnosed it. It would make it so much easier to know if I am doing the right thing as a mom which is what I always question because that's my job!!

I am hoping others here have some more info...I believe Gatsby may have mentioned the SPECT Scan and she is full of useful info!!! I expect she may pop in with more valuable info!!!

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody

 
Old 08-02-2006, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

Hey, goody! I didn't watch the show- Dr. Phil isn't one of my favorite people- but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I don't like how they said bipolar II instead of bipolar I, though... Anyway, no, I've never heard of a SPECT scan, just PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans. With PET scans, a radioactive isotope is injected into the bloodstream so areas of the brain with the most activity can be monitored. It's a lot like a diagram that shows where the most heat is- red is the most active and purple is the least. (I prefer fMRI's better, though, because it shows the structural abnormalities that may be present, as well as which specific areas of the brain light up when doing certain activities- I've always wanted to get one done...) That's a neat idea that they're starting to use it in diagnostic tests, but unfortunately, it's just still a way to detect patterns that nobody really knows the cause of. Hopefully, people will know WHY those certain areas of the brain act up during mania, instead of just knowing that they do. Neuropsychology is still in its infantile stages, and it's so amazing how little we really do know. Right now, for bipolar disorder, it's known that there's increased activity in the limbic system (the area in the temporal lobe responsible for emotions and primitive urges) during mania, but the science of the neurotransmitters is still fuzzy. Yes, increased serotonin has something to do with it, as evidenced by SSRI's causing (hypo)mania in bipolar patients, but there's a lot more to it than that. Is dopamine involved? Norepinephrine? Some neurotransmitter somebody hasn't even discovered yet? These are the questions that need to be answered. The brain is the most complex and important organ in our bodies, yet it is the one we know the least about...
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Old 08-03-2006, 06:33 AM   #6
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

Hi Gatstby, you stated- "Yes, increased serotonin has something to do with it, as evidenced by SSRI's causing (hypo)mania in bipolar patients, but there's a lot more to it than that. Is dopamine involved? Norepinephrine? Some neurotransmitter somebody hasn't even discovered yet? These are the questions that need to be answered. "- This is so very true. Well stated

I am a Bipolar II person who has had severe episodes prior to being diagnosed with the disorder, and was placed on two SSRI's, which sent me into mania and hypomania repeatedly. It was horrid. My family did not know what to do with me during those years as I was suicidal often, severely moody, and disruptive in the family. The SSRI was the only med I was taking at the time, and it was very obvious that I needed more, and a different antidepressant from another family of antidepressants. Thankgoodness a good pdoc and tdoc set me on the right path to wellness.

Thank you for sharing more news with us about the new technology out there. I wasn't aware of all the stuff that is out and about in the world of mental illness and what can be done to help us for diagnositcs and testing. Now I am going to drill my pdoc about all of this new criteria.

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Old 08-03-2006, 04:36 PM   #7
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

This is a great thread! It is so great to see as much exposure to Bipolar Disorder as possible so the public will have a better understanding of what we and our kids or partents go through on a daily basis and not think we are "making things up". I HAD A SPECT SCAN. I also had one done on my 3 kids and ex-husband about 2 years ago in Chicago. To learn more get books by Dr. Daniel Amen, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" (I Think) who has a world class clinic in California and has been doing these scans longer than anyone. You can just go to a bookstore or library and look in the back of his books for lists of recommended doctors and hospitals doing SPECT scans in cities all over the country. The cost was about $1,500 each scan and insurance cover some, but it really depends on your plan and diagnosis. You basically go in and have a dye injucted into your body that takes about 45 minutes of sitting still in a chair. Then you lay still on a bed with your head under a scanner for about another 45 minutes. Some kids who are hyper or difficult has to be hospitalized and given sadation. They also ask you a ton of questions about your past and your behavior which lasts another 45 minutes or so. We got our results in about 10 days from our neurologist. The result were interesting, but ultimately not that enlightening. We had already been going the neurologists and psychiatrists for about 5 years and had a good idea of our issues and the scans basically just confirmed our the doctors assmumptions. I suppose if you are in an area where the doctors aren't very good or want a quick picture of possible issues in your brian this will help give guidance. IT IS STILL SUBJECTIVE and must be interpreted carefully by an experienced neurologist/psychiatrist. Even then, it does not tell you which medications will work better that any others, it just might help understand if you look more like a bipolar patient or autistic patient. It also may give you piece of mind that your doctors are "missing anything" and have your diagnosis correct. If you have any other questions, just ask.

 
Old 08-03-2006, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: Dr. Phil's Show on Bipolar......

This is a great thread! It is so great to see as much exposure to Bipolar Disorder as possible so the public will have a better understanding of what we and our kids or partents go through on a daily basis and not think we are "making things up". I HAD A SPECT SCAN. I also had one done on my 3 kids and ex-husband about 2 years ago in Chicago. To learn more get books by Dr. Daniel Amen, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" (I Think) who has a world class clinic in California and has been doing these scans longer than anyone. You can just go to a bookstore or library and look in the back of his books for lists of recommended doctors and hospitals doing SPECT scans in cities all over the country. The cost was about $1,500 each scan and insurance cover some, but it really depends on your plan and diagnosis. You basically go in and have a dye injucted into your body that takes about 45 minutes of sitting still in a chair. Then you lay still on a bed with your head under a scanner for about another 45 minutes. Some kids who are hyper or difficult have to be hospitalized and given sadation. They also ask you a ton of questions about your past and your behavior which lasts another 45 minutes or so. We got our results in about 10 days from our neurologist. The result were interesting, but ultimately not that enlightening. We had already been going the neurologists and psychiatrists for about 5 years and had a good idea of our issues and the scans basically just confirmed our the doctors assmumptions. I suppose if you are in an area where the doctors aren't very good or want a quick picture of possible issues in your brian this will help give guidance. IT IS STILL SUBJECTIVE and must be interpreted carefully by an experienced neurologist/psychiatrist. Even then, it does not tell you which medications will work better that any others, it just might help understand if you look more like a bipolar patient or autistic patient. It also may give you piece of mind that your doctors are "missing anything" and have your diagnosis correct. If you have any other questions, just ask.

 
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