Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Amen Clinic - My Personal Experience and Opinion

If you have not read about Dr. Daniel Amen and the Amen Clinics then this article will be an eye opener for you. If you have heard about the clinic, it most likely has been controversial. The type of science behind the Amen Clinics is considered by some to be futuristic. Yet others think the science behind the clinics is not necessary in the medical world at all. This article is my opinion of our overall experience. There are subsequent articles depicting the daily visits and what we experienced as we sought to obtain a targeted intervention for my daughter's struggles.

My 11 y/o daughter, Shannon, went through the Amen Clinic, as a patient to receive a Brain Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and treatment plan for help with her Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS). The OMS had caused brain injury at age 11 mos. but now at age 11 y/o we were once facing this monster straight between the eyes. We wanted to know if the OMS we were seeing now was active or chronic. We needed to know if there was any inflammation of the cerebellum. If there was inflammation, increased blood flow, we would know her recent OMS was an new active OMS attack that could lead to further brain injury. If we did not find swelling, rather decreased blood flow, we would know the OMS was flaring up in a chronic state. The brain injury from her OMS had also left her brain very unbalanced and not in a healthy state. We were looking for a targeted intervention.

We decided to travel to the Reston, VA. clinic location because my sister lives in Maryland. We stayed in MD and drove to VA each of the three days we had appointments at the clinic. The preparation time for the overall visit was tremendous for us. We took no shortcuts with the requested paperwork and medical trails from Shannon's long history. Coordinating medical files from every department a child is seen through relative to a neurological disorder and also Cancer can be a bit overwhelming. We managed to get all the information we needed down to every last name of medicine Shannon had to use over her 11 year journey thus far. Considering there is not much known on OMS, that means Shannon went through a lot of different medical trials. We also had to gather up the recent documentation from visits just completed.

Since Shannon was coming out of remission from her OMS, we were off to the big city of Philadelphia again to visit her docs at Children's Hospital. We usually see them once a year or as needed but now we were back in full force begging for help for Shannon. So, all of these visits, including MRI, blood work, etc. needed to be gathered and sent to the clinic as well. We were given approximately 2 months to data gather and prepare our documentation for the visit. However, with Shannon having a relapse, that meant I was basically putting this all together within 2 days of the visit.

The clinic staff was friendly and accommodating. They listened patiently to any questions or comments. They were supportive and respectful. The appointments were basically on-time and ran smoothly. The final consultation was very informative and helpful for us. They provided us with nutritional, physical and supplementation recommendations based on Shannon's results. We felt the trip was worthwhile and helped us to concretely see under the hood, if you will, of my daughter's brain. The results enabled us to understand and plan for the psychiatrist's targeted intervention of treatment for Shannon. The clinic presents you with a very nice, informative, organized binder of output information relative to your appointment and consultation findings and plan.

You can find out more about the Amen Clinic by visiting

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