26.jpegNeurological conditions can often be tricky to diagnose. These conditions involve the complex functioning of the brain and nervous system, and without the right diagnostic tools, it can be challenging for doctors to accurately determine the underlying cause of a patient's symptoms.

At Smart Scan Medical Imaging, our board-certified neuroradiologists and experienced medical team utilize advanced imaging technology to diagnose neurological disorders. One of the key tools used in diagnosing these disorders is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

In this article, we will explore the importance of MRI scans in diagnosing neurological disorders and how they work to provide crucial information for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Request An Appointment

Understanding MRI Scans

An MRI exam at Smart Scan is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. It provides high-resolution images of soft tissues, organs, bones, and blood vessels without using any harmful radiation. These images can help in detecting abnormalities in the various organs and tissues, including the brain.

How Does an MRI Scan Help in Diagnosing Neurological Disorders?

MRI exams are particularly useful in diagnosing neurological disorders, as they can provide detailed images of the brain and spinal cord. This imaging test allows doctors to see the structure, size, and shape of these vital organs and detect any abnormalities or damage that may be causing neurological symptoms.

Some of the common neurological disorders that can be diagnosed are:

  • Brain Tumor: MRI technology can detect and pinpoint the size and location of tumors in the brain with exceptional accuracy.
  • Stroke: An MRI scan can identify areas where blood flow has been compromised within minutes of onset, which is vital for stroke diagnosis and intervention.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: An MRI exam can detect the characteristic plaques or scarring caused by MS.
  • Epilepsy: An MRI can be used to find abnormalities that could be causing seizures.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: An MRI can assess the extent of brain damage after injury.
  • Dementia: Early stages of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's can be captured with an MRI machine.
  • Spinal Cord Disorders: MRIs are used to diagnose spinal cord injuries, infections, and spinal cord tumors.

The Advantages of Using MRI Scans

The accurate and detailed images provided by our MRI exams have numerous advantages when it comes to diagnosing neurological disorders. Some of these benefits include:

  • Non-invasive: MRI exams do not require any incisions or injections and are safe for patients of all ages. Basic brain and spine MRIs do not need IV contrast, although contrast can be used for various reasons.
  • High-resolution images: MRIs can create detailed images of internal organs and tissues, making it easier to detect even small abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. A brain MRI is much more sensitive and accurate for almost all conditions than a CT.
  • No radiation exposure: Unlike X-rays or CT scans, MRIs do not use any harmful radiation, making them a safe option for repeated imaging.
  • Quick and painless: MRI scans are usually completed within 30 minutes, and the procedure is entirely painless.

What to Expect Before, During & After an MRI Exam

  • Before the Scan:

    • You may be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metal objects.
    • Let our technologist know if you have any metallic implants or devices in your body, as they can interfere with the MRI's magnetic field.
    • Inform the technologist if you have any anxiety so our friendly staff can help you relax during the procedure.
  • During the Scan:

    • You will lie down on a table that slides into our wide-bore MRI scanner.
    • The machine may produce loud rhythmic noises, so you will be given earplugs or headphones to block the noise and listen to music.
    • Our technologist will communicate with you throughout the scan, and you can communicate with them at any time if needed.
    • You remain still while the machine takes images of your body. The exam typically lasts 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of MRI being performed.
  • After the Scan:

    • Once the scan is complete, you can resume your regular activities without any downtime.
    • The images will be reviewed by our radiologist and a detailed report will be sent to your doctor to aid in accurate diagnosis and treatment planning (included in the price of the scan!).

    Choose Smart Scan for Your Neurological Imaging Needs

    MRI scanners are a vital tool in diagnosing neurological disorders and providing detailed images of the brain and spinal cord without using any radiation. Their accuracy and non-invasive nature make them a preferred choice for doctors in diagnosing conditions such as tumors, stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, dementia, and spinal cord disorders.

    At Smart Scan Medical Imaging, we offer state-of-the-art MRI exams to aid in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions. Our experienced medical team and advanced technology ensure that you receive the best care possible.

    With a commitment to providing compassionate and quality care, choose Smart Scan for your neurological diagnoses. Book an appointment with us or visit our website to learn more about our MRI services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose Smart Scan for my MRI exam?

At Smart Scan Medical Imaging, we use brand-new GE 1.5 Tesla wide bore MRI technology for accurate and detailed imaging results and have a team of experienced medical professionals who specialize in neurological imaging. The cost of an MRI at Smart Scan is $650 for scans without contrast (which applies to most cases), and $850 for more complex scans that require both with and without contrast. Our commitment to providing compassionate care and delivering accurate results makes us the preferred choice for both patients and doctors.

How many MRI scans will I need?

It depends on the individual's medical condition and their doctor's recommendation. Some patients may require multiple MRI scans over some time to monitor the progression of their condition, while others may only need one scan for diagnosis.

Can all patients undergo an MRI exam?

Most patients can undergo an MRI exam, but it is not recommended for those who have certain metal implants or devices in their body, such as pacemakers or cochlear implants. It is important to inform the technologist of any metallic objects in your body before the scan to ensure safe and accurate results.

How does PET differ from functional MRI?

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) are both diagnostic tests used to examine brain function. However, they differ in their technology and the information they provide.

PET uses a small amount of radioactive material injected into the body to create images of brain activity, while fMRI measures changes in blood flow to determine brain activity. Additionally, PET scans are better at detecting changes in metabolism and blood flow, while fMRI is more precise in identifying specific areas of the brain involved in certain tasks or functions.