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Home Chiropractic Research Brain Function/Emotional Health PET and SPECT in Whiplash Syndrome: A New Approach to a Forgotten Brain?

PET and SPECT in Whiplash Syndrome: A New Approach to a Forgotten Brain?

From the abstract:   Whiplash associated disorders are a medicolegally controversial condition becoming increasingly worrisome to the western world. This study was designed to evaluate perfusion and glucose metabolism in [the] whiplash brain.

Comments:   Whiplash patients have traditionally reported a number of symptoms that are related to brain function - i.e. loss of memory, vision changes, emotional changes. This study involved six patients suffering from whiplash syndrome and 12 normal controls. They gave everyone chemicals that reveal brain function when viewed by specialized equipment (PET and SPECT) which is similar to a CAT scan for the brain. In the patient group, there was "significant hypometabolism" or decreased brain function and hypoperfusion or de-creased blood in the parieto-occipital regions on the right and left side compared to the control group. However, most revealing was the authors' statement as to the possible cause of the brain changes after they ruled out direct injury to the brain and brain structures: "It is hypothesized that parieto-occipital hypometabolism may be caused by activation of nociceptive afferent nerves from the upper cervical spine

Otte A, Ettlin TM, Nitzsche EU, Wachter K, Hoegerle S, Simon GH, Fierz L, Moser E, Mueller-Brand J.   J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1997 (Sep);63 (3): 368-372