In this riveting speech given at TEDxOrangeCoast, Dr. Daniel Amen introduces the most important lesson he and colleagues have learned from looking at 83,000 brain scans. “After 22 years and 83,000 brain scans… the single most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned is that you can change people’s brains. And when you do, you literally change their life.”
Dr. Amen is an American psychiatrist, a brain disorder specialist, director of the Amen Clinics, and a New York Times bestselling author. He also studies brain injuries affecting professional athletes, and serves as a post-concussion expert for the NFL. His work has not been without controversy, however. Amen’s monetary success and method of using SPECT scans to aid in psychiatric and neurological clinical diagnosis have been widely criticized. A self-described “Maverick,” Amen believes his wealth to be a main source of other’s disapproval. Yet, critics of his work argue that his passion for SPECT imaging is shortsighted, that SPECT is an aging technology and doesn’t take into account the importance of brain chemistry. Further, Amen’s diagnostic process requires an injection of a radioactive tracer, and could be potentially dangerous.