Do You Have Examples Of Images Showing How Brain Imaging Is Effective?
Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.
Absolutely, I have many examples of images showing how brain imaging is effective. Take a look at this first set of images. These are what are known as healthy, normal surface brain images, and they are four sets of images. Instead of using the medical language let us just break it down as simply as possible. The one in the upper left is looking bottom up, and then you have two side-by-side images, or two side images, rather, and then you have the fourth image which is top down. As you can see, it is relatively smooth and rounded. Now let us take a look at healthy normal deep brain images in this second diagram. You can see that certain things on the interior of the brain are visible, and you see areas of white.
In this set of images those areas are white meaning a lot of brain activity is going on, because that is what they are supposed to look like in healthy, normal brain images. Now let us take a look at our third and our fourth diagram, each containing four sets of images. The first is again surface images, but notice the difference. It looks like this person has holes in their head. These are not actual holes. What that shows is that in the areas where there should be something visible but there is not. That just means that there is a lower amount of blood flow than there should be. In other words, that part of the brain is not getting the nutrients, oxygen, waste removal, and all the things associated with blood flow that it should have.
Now let us take a look at this fourth one. As you can see, unlike the deep brain images if a healthy scan where the white is concentrated primarily in one location, one broad area of the brain, you suddenly see white in places that it should not be. What that is, is that this person’s brain, to my unscientific slang, is on fire. It is not surprising that someone has an addiction to a particular substance when their brain is on fire. One of my early mentors was Dr. James Larson out of Pensacola, and he said when you have an emotional pain it is like having a physical pain, and you want relief from it. When we find people who are abusing alcohol, yet they would never considered using stimulants, pot makes them feel sick, that is because of the area of the brain that is out of balance with either too much or too little blood flow, and usually when people have brain problems it is combinations of patterns of both. Because you will find some people, they will want to use stimulants such as methamphetamine sulfate, or cocaine, or one of the worst variants of cocaine, crack, and that is because the way their brain is operating in an abnormal fashion causes a craving for something that relieves the problem associated with that particular problem of the brain. Suddenly addiction starts to make sense when you can look at different patterns and you find you know gosh, we did 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 images of people with drinking problems who hate all other drugs, and they all seem to have this type of a pattern. Then we got thousands of other brain images for people who are addicted to stimulants and low and behold they have these patterns. Let us say they like this drug they have this set of patterns, and it is slightly different if they are like this one over here depending on the drug of choice in that particular drug family.
Suddenly it is making sense, and it makes it easy to explain these things in the courtroom, not to mention it makes it very easy to get around the specialized treatment prohibition regarding drugs or alcohol. To make it real simple, it is simply this. If someone has a brain problem, then they can have a reduction in sentence. However, if that brain problem is an addiction due to drugs or alcohol, then they do not receive any consideration unless it is Florida’s failure known as drug court, which I think just explained how strongly I feel about that worthless program that eats taxpayer’s dollars every day without producing real results for tens of thousands, and Floridians trapped inside of a pseudo-treatment program that only produces very limited results.
What brain imaging does instead is imaging enables the treatment team to target specific regions of the brain that cause specific behaviors, good and bad, and give a patient defendant a guideline, a roadmap. Do this, do not do that. It lets them note everything they stick in their mouth from a piece of gum to a carrot has an impact on their brain’s biochemistry. The brain is that important, and also that sensitive. So these treatment plans will often have counseling components that is specific to that person and their needs. They will have dietary components that are customized to that person’s brain’s needs. Each person who comes out of this type of a diagnostic evaluation has managed to kill two birds with one stone.
We are able to solve the legal problem with this type of technology by explaining to the court that which was inexplicable in the past, and we are also able to solve the problem that lead to the arrest in the first place.
Additional Information About Use Of Brain Imaging And Neuro Science In Criminal Cases
It is my driving force, and I am going to center my practice on that. My belief at this point is I do not need to go to court unless it is A, a felony trial, or B, it is a brain imaging-based mitigation hearing. Because you asked me that question earlier and I have to tell you, I have tried to train a couple of my colleagues on how to do this and they are good people, smart, but they are just lost. One in particular who I deeply respect, we were doing a hearing together and he had all of his questions laid out and everything, but I could just tell that the moment an answer came that he was not even a little prepared for he was lost, just lost. To me it just seems normal, in part because I have done it for so long and in part because I grew up with it, but this is the most fun to do because I actually get to solve a major problem. It may not hit the evening news, but it made a difference to somebody’s mother, father or daughter.
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