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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Do forensic neuropsychologists find PET a useful scan for diagnoses presenting rage and what might be dysarthria or motor aphasia?


I suffered what was acquired dysarthria of speech and problems comprehending people for three to four years during age 14-17 which might be motor aphasia, along with senseless violent fits of rage and depressive problems. The dysarthria was confirmed but I possibly had motor aphasia also. I was untreated at the time. The speech and comprehension problems ceased after but the behavioural problems still present without appropriate neuroleptics. I wanted to know - another five years down the line, my structural non-contrast CT and MRI show no obvious problems, but I wanted to know if a PET scan may be useful in diagnosing the neurological origin of the disease which is causing psychological and psychiatric symptoms. I have heard acquired dysarthria and/or motor aphasia are usually a sign of an organic syndrome.

Please give me your thoughts on the matter. Thanking you.

Hi, Raju, the answer to your questions is - in general, yes. How I suggest that one think of the logic is thusly:
1. a PET scan can show areas of relative over- or under- functioning in various areas of the brain.
2. based on multiple areas of inquiry, we know that certain areas are associated with certain functions.
3. thus, if a PET scan shows dysfunction in a certain area, then that increases the likelihood that that dysfunction may be correlated with the observed behavior.

It is not necessarily proof of dysfunction or causation, but can be another area of evidence for or against. Lack of PET dysfunction does not prove that the problem does not exist, and PET scan dysfunction does not prove that it does exist. People can be quite different in their brain functioning, and in their behavior. However, PET can be much better than MRI, because it shows more functioning / phtsiology, whereas MRI mostly shows anatomy.

Lastly, both MRI and PET are rather gross indicators of disease. e.g., they will likely not show problems that may exist at the synapse or dendrite levels. i.e., if, in an injury, connections between neurons are torn or disrupted, these tests may not show any evidence of dysfunction.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology


15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

American Psychological Association

B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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