View Full Version : Where can I get a SPECT scan in Canada?

09-09-15, 08:26 PM
Hey Everyone, I'm just seeking support for overcoming Inattentive Adult ADD or overfocused ADD. At least that's what I have concluded. I am 45 and just learnt this through counseling 3 years ago. I have been studying Dr. Daniel Amens research and treatments.

I'm not sure if I am getting the best treatment. I wish I could get a SPECT scan and develop proper treatment. I'm on concerta and escitalopram

Can anyone recommend a place in Toronto Ontario that does SPECT scans?

09-09-15, 08:45 PM
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I did a quick search and didn't find many places that do SPECT scans for ADHD in Canada. As far as I can tell, all of the actual Amen Clinics are in the U.S.

Dr. Amen is a popular speaker and writer, but you should be aware that his approach does not have a strong evidence base yet. There are some studies using SPECT scans and suggesting that they may one day play a role in diagnosing/treating ADHD. In general, though, the patterns of brain activity that Dr. Amen claims to have identified are not yet understood well enough to be diagnostic at the individual level, and although his "6 subtypes" may have some validity, they're not how the diagnostic manuals and most clinicians classify ADHD.

SPECT scans are expensive, and may not be covered by your health insurance in Canada (as the procedure is not generally considered medically necessary or supported in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD).

That said, it's obviously your decision if you are interested in getting a picture of your brain this way, and how you might choose to use the results.

Another approach might be to contact ADHD specialists in your area (you can search online for university- or clinic-affiliated researchers and practitioners) and they may be able to provide guidance or referrals to local resources.

Best wishes!

09-09-15, 08:52 PM
Thanks, I found a place on line in Toronto that does EEG assessments for $395. I want to train my brain not just medicate it.

09-09-15, 08:57 PM
If you're going to train your brain, use methods that have been proven to work. Don't spend money on hype. Dr Amen may be right about things, he may be wrong, I don't know - but I do know for sure that his hype machine is in constant overdrive.

09-09-15, 09:03 PM
Great. Glad you found a place to your liking.

I should add that most commercial "brain training" approaches are also not currently supported by much scientific evidence. There's probably no harm (except to your wallet) in doing most of them, and there's some possibility that they might help, but a lot of studies have found that the skills involved in "brain training" programs don't generalize to other tasks. That is, you might get very good at the specific computer program or training task you practice, but it's not clear that that translates to sustained improvement in "real life".

I don't mean to sound like such a wet blanket -- and I'm actually optimistic that with further refinements, people with ADHD may benefit from new diagnostic technology and treatment approaches in the not-too-distant future -- but I also don't like seeing people spend money and time on approaches that have more hype than science to back them up.

Medication and other approaches can be complementary; it's not necessarily one or the other, and in fact, many people find that they benefit more from other treatment approaches when they use medication.

If you prefer not to medicate, or there are medical reasons why medication would be problematic, that's your prerogative, and you can find support on this forum for other approaches as well.

Hope you are able to get the treatment that suits you best.

09-10-15, 03:45 AM
brain training doesnt work long term, and medication has years of research and evidence behind it.

02-24-17, 01:05 PM
...I'm not sure if I am getting the best treatment. I wish I could get a SPECT scan and develop proper treatment. I'm on concerta and escitalopram

Can anyone recommend a place in Toronto Ontario that does SPECT scans?

Dr Howard Schneider at Sheppard Associates in TO was a researcher in 2 studies from 2012 and 2014 which assessed the use of 3D SPECT imaging in diagnosis and treatment of various psychiatric disorders including ADHD. The actual SPECT procedures were carried out at the U of T, but I'm sure someone at Sheppard Associates would be able to offer more up-to-date answers to your questions...maybe even get you to participate in a study.

Since it looks like there could be some interesting new developments (more with MRI than SPECT, perhaps) I think I'll start a thread under "Research" specifically to start collecting research on the use of various imaging technologies to diagnose and treat psychiatric conditions including ADHD. But the Toronto SPECT studies are here: and

07-22-17, 12:37 PM
Have you had Neuropsych testing? Psychoeduational testing?