The MRI scan is quite a marvel of modern technology. It is often taken for granted, but the fact is that it is often the first step to diagnosing a chronic condition, which will enable physicians to make the right therapeutic decisions. MRI helps identify what the underlying issue is by penetrating to the root of the issue, and several studies have proved its efficacy.
MRI for Diagnosing Fibromyalgia
While the MRI is used for diagnosing various conditions affecting the brain and the musculoskeletal system of the body, NewsMax recently reported on a study which found that the MRI scan could be used to diagnose fibromyalgia in the future.
This is quite a remarkable finding, since fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition that currently does not have a definitive diagnostic modality. As lab tests are not conclusive, complete blood count, thyroid function and erythrocytes sedimentation rate are evaluated to rule out other conditions.
According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), fibromyalgia can be identified using criteria such as widespread pain that lasts for more than three months, fatigue, thought or memory problems, etc. An observation that was once the norm for identifying fibromyalgia, but is not as widespread now, is pain in the 18 possible tender points of the body. If an MRI can eventually replace these modalities and definitively identify fibromyalgia in a patient, it would certainly be a milestone achievement for healthcare. That’s how vast the potential of MRI scanning is.
Researchers at Boulder’s University of Colorado have studied altered brain response and hypersensitivity in fibromyalgia patients and then explored these responses as clues to diagnosis. They studied 37 fibromyalgia patients as well as 35 control patients for their brain activity through functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).
MRI Detects Brain Tumor
The Daily Mail recently reported the case of a teenager in the UK who had chronic back pain, migraine and other symptoms that were dismissed by doctors till a brain MRI confirmed a brain tumor. However, that detection came only three years after the teenager first reported the symptoms. It was the insistence of the teen’s mother that led to the scan which revealed a tumor in her brain stem. The discovery led to the administration of radiotherapy treatment and though doctors have warned that the tumor will return, at least her life has been saved.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Auburn University are seeking to study epilepsy through MRI imaging. It is expected that the scan will provide images of the brains of epileptic individuals in greater detail.
The potential of the MRI is extending even beyond medical applications, with a study by the University of Pennsylvania suggesting that MRI images could prove to be more accurate for lie detection than the conventional polygraph readings.
Open MRI in New York City is a convenient and comfortable scanning experience. Available in leading orthopedic, rehabilitation and pain management centers, it is the ideal option for claustrophobic and larger patients.