Dendritic spines play an essential role in the central nervous system. Recent experiments have revealed that neuron functional properties are highly correlated with the statistical and morphological changes of the dendritic spines. In this paper, we propose a new multi scale approach for detecting dendritic spines in a 2D Maximum Intensity Projection (MIP) image of the 3D neuron data stacks collected from a 2-photon laser scanning confocal microscope. The proposed method utilizes the curvilinear structure detector in conjunction with the multi scale spine detection algorithm which automatically and accurately extracts and segments the spines with variational sizes along the dendrite. In addition, a slice-based spine detection algorithm is also proposed to detect spines which are hidden from the MIP image within the dendrite area. Experimental results show that our proposed method is effective for automatic spine detection and is able to accurately segment dendrite.