Monthly Archives: February 2013


MRIs Allow for Communication with Vegetative Patients

Scott Routley, 39, was in a car accident that left him in a vegetative state more than 12 years ago.

Today, Scott still shows us that he has a “conscious, thinking mind.”

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans show that he is answering the doctor’s questions. He says he is not in any pain. Adrian Owen, the British Neurologists, says, “We believe he knows who and where he is.”

The team of doctors, led by Owen, is located at the University of Western Ontario at the Brain and Mind Institute. Their original, traditional tests say that Routley was left in a vegetative state with no brain activity whatsoever. Owen thinks this is a cause to rewrite the textbooks on brain-injured patients.

While it’s unclear whether or not this increases Routley’s chances of waking up, this discovery can substantially increase his quality of life: when he prefers to be fed, what he prefers to eat, etc. Especially since the fMRI is a harmless procedure, unlike radiation, the tests can be performed on a regular basis.

To read more about Scott Routley, click here and to book an MRI of your own, or get more information, call the Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0997 or visit


MRIs Can Catch Prenatal Brain Abnormalities – Restoring Hope

Cerebral Ischemia, which is when the brain receives low blood flow, caused brain cells to die which affects brain function – or so we thought. The use of MRIs has shown that ischemia actually alters the maturation of the neurons; they don’t necessarily die.

By catching this irregular blood flow early, measures can be taken to revive the damaged neurons. These measures can be as simply as improving nutrition. Doing this not only improves cortical development but also lowers the chance of a premature birth.

The study involved fetal lambs experiencing cerebral ischemia. An MRI exam was given 1, 2, and 4 weeks after the detection of the ischemia. The cells were still alive. While synaptic density was lower, the cells of the brain were simply immature and underdeveloped. There was still hope to revive those parts of the brain.

“…Our findings suggest that neurons are not being permanently lost from the human cerebral cortex due to ischemia. This raises the possibility that neurodevelopmental enrichment – or perhaps improved early infant nutrition – as suggested by the companion paper, might make a difference in terms of improved cognitive outcome,” says Back, one of the experimenters.

To read more on the studies, the article can be found here.

For more information on our center, Open MRI of Pueblo, call 719-404-0991 or visit


If a Doctor Orders an MRI, You Need One!

Some patients suspected that physicians ordered MRIs so leniently because they were not aware just how much the patient was paying for it. However, Johns Hopkins researchers said no: “revealing the costs of MRIs and other imaging tests up front had no impact on the number of tests doctors ordered for their hospitalized patients.”

The problem is not that the tests are being ordered, it’s that the patients don’t understand why they are being ordered. Physicians are sure they need the information, so the patients think that they’re just throwing a line in and hoping to catch a fish, but that’s rarely the case.

When the physicians were made aware of the price of these tests, the number of laboratory tests dropped, but not imaging tests. Imaging tests like MRIs, CTs, and Ultrasounds offer too valuable of accurate information.

So if a physician orders and MRI for a problem, make sure to get one. They did not make that decision lightly, and it’s not something that can be put off for too long without consequences.

Better yet, call Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991 or visit our website for more information. You can read the blog that has more information on the subject and the John Hopkins study here.