Author Archives: openmripueblo

Your Brain or Your Personality?

 

A new study conducted by Colin G. DeYoung and colleagues from the University of Minnesota suggests that certain personality traits are related to certain brain structure sizes.

The study finds that extraverts have an enlarged orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that registers rewards. These individuals are cheerful, assertive, and competitive.

However, the study could not find cause-and-effect, meaning scientists are still unsure whether the brain structure causes the personality trait or the trait causes the changes in brain structure, as personalities are (for the most part) constant, but do possess the ability to change over time.

The study used an MRI scan of over 100 people after each individual’s personality type had been determined by the Big Five: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness/intellect.

Those identified as conscientious (hard working and self-disciplined) also had a large lateral prefrontal cortex.

Those identified as neurotic (negative and depressed) had a smaller medial prefrontal cortex, which regulates emotion.

Those identified as open (creative) actually had no drastic changes in brain structures.

The article on the study can be found here. If you want to see where your personality stands, schedule an MRI with Open MRI of Pueblo by calling 719-404-0991 or visit our website for more information.

Is an MRI More Accurate Than a Mammography?

While detecting residual breast cancer, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is said to be superior to mammography. Studies show good overall accuracy with an MRI test.

The team compiled 44 studies, working with 2050 patients with 2068 cases of ductal carcinoma, stages II and III.

In summary, the MRI accuracy was 0.88, which is fantastic. While some may argue that the use of contrast in the photographs may cause a likelihood of false-positives, mammography was, in fact, less accurate. Furthermore, the accuracy of an MRI and an ultrasound examination were comparable.

Marinovich with the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states, “the comparative accuracy of MRI and combined ultrasound and clinical examination warrants further investigation.” To read more about these findings, the article can be viewed here.

For an MRI, visit the Open MRI of Pueblo, or call 719-404-0991. Their website is www.openmripueblo.com.

Frequently Asked MRI Questions

When you are told by a doctor that you need an MRI most patients get nervous because they may not understand what an MRI is or does. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging; it is a safe diagnostic procedure that uses a magnet and radio waves to produce images of parts of the body’s structure without using x-rays or radiation. Listed below are some commonly asked questions about MRIs.

Are the “radio waves” used in MRI like regular radio waves?

No. While the MRI does use a radio wave antenna to send signals to the body and receive signals back during the procedure, the “radio wave signals” are actually a changing magnetic field that is much weaker than the strong magnetic field of the main magnet in the machine.

Why not just get an x-ray?

MRIs are particularly useful for looking at the non-bony parts or “soft tissues” of the body-the same types of body parts and tissues that x-ray machines are not designed to pick up

Are there any disadvantages to MRI?

Aside from those who suffer from claustrophobia, or who have implanted medical devices that prohibit the use of MRI, there are no known medical disadvantages. One financial disadvantage is that the MRI costs more than a regular x-ray or CT scan.

Why are “stress tests” ordered?

Standard stress tests such as treadmill exercise tests, in which the patient walks on a treadmill while being “hooked up” to an electrocardiogram machine, can indicate how well the heart handles increased physical exertion. Stress tests also help physicians to find a blockage or other problem in the blood vessels of the heart.

What is the main difference between x-ray and MRI?

Aside from the fact that MRI does not use radiation to obtain images, the biggest difference is that MRI can “see through” bone and define fluid-filled soft-tissue, while x-rays can only define bone.

Migraines: The How and Why?

Are you one of the 300 million people that suffer from intense, throbbing headaches? Do they make you nauseated, sick, or sensitive to light? Migraines are not something that can be cured with an ibuprofen or a few deep breaths.

To learn what a migraine is, from a lovely British point of view, watch the short video below.

http://www.youtube.com/v/yL22X5opGhY?fs=1

Dr. Filippi and colleagues believe that migraines occur because of problems with the brain that develop over time. They used MRIs to measure the cortical regions (outer regions) of the brain, and most with migraines show atrophy related to pain processing. This is most likely due to chronic stimulation of the area.

The MRIs checked for thickness and surface abnormalities. They found that individuals with intrinsic predisposition can alter the surface area, and disease-related processes, or over-stimulation, could lead to changes in thickness.

The study is still ongoing, checking back with patients longitudinally. To read more on it, you can view the article here.

To see if you are at risk for migraines, or to cure the headaches you currently have, call the Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991 or visit our website for more information.

MRIs Helping Alter Sports Regulations

We all watch sports and think it’s cool when something bad happens. Viewers wait for a Nascar crash and an NFL sack, but these things, even things as simple as soccer heading, can cause damage to our favorite athletes. In fact, “At least 1.6 million sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries occur in the United States annually.”

http://www.youtube.com/v/_BiUtzgWCME?fs=1

Dr. Michael Lipton and others at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University studied just how much heading is too much. They used their $3 million grant (awarded by the National Institute of Health) to find long and short term consequences.

They found that heading the ball at least 1,000 times in a year was more likely to lead to cognitive impairment and mild traumatic brain injury than players who headed less.

This serves as the basis for further research. The new study will gather 400 soccer players, male and female, and use an advanced MRI tactic to follow the participants over two years. This tactic is called diffusion tensor imaging, and some may recognize it from our previous article about helping our veterans (found here).

By completing this study, the safety guidelines for these sports can be altered to better protect its players. To read more on the topic, you can view the article here.

To schedule your own MRI, call Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991 or visit our website.

A Big Step in Understanding Parkinson’s

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital paired up to research just what happens to the brain during Parkinson’s disease. What they found could lead to better treatment and further research.

Tremors, stiffness, and weakness are known as the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and there’s no denying how awful this experience can be. However, research never allowed us to see into the brain to understand why these things happened. We just knew that they did.

The researches took four MRI scans, all on the same machine but with different settings, to create one combined image. This image could dive deep into the brain to see what a regular scan could not.

They found that the substantia nigra, associated with movement, was targeted first, followed by the basal forebrain, associated with memory and attention. The disease actually kills brain cells, so these structures actually shrink as the Parkinson’s progresses.

Because the severity of the known symptoms vary so much from patient to patient, these scans can help doctors see what is happening to individuals living with this disease and treat them accordingly. Do they need more dopamine or maybe acetylcholine or is their dementia going to be the biggest problem? These questions can be answered.

Once we know more about treating the symptoms, we’re one step closer to treating the cause of the disease. For more information on this research, click here.

For more MRI information in your area, call Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991 or visit our website here.

New MRI Technique Helps Pave the Way to Help Veterans

“About 320,000 American troops have sustained traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

This number is shockingly high, and as doctors, we want to do everything we can to help them. That’s why a new study by Dr. David L. Brody and others at Washington University (while collaborating with Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany) worked to find how blasts affected the human brain.

The study called for a highly sensitive type of MRI, a diffusion tensor imaging. Most MRI machines have the capability, and while it doesn’t take longer/cost more, the techniques have yet to be perfected. The way it works is by measuring “the movement of water in nerve fibers in the brain, [as] abnormal flow may indicate injury.”

The study performed this new exam on 63 men who had recently suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, all of whom, with the exception of one, had normal MRI results. Eighteen of these men had nerve injury, while the researchers were only expecting two. Therefore, we now know that a negative MRI scan does not rule out brain injury.

To read more about this new study, and go more in-depth with what happens in the brain, you can get the full article here. For more information on MRIs, call the Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0997 or visit www.openmripueblo.com.

Spotted: Brain “Clean-Up Crew”

While most biological systems use the lymphatic system to remove waste, the central nervous system uses something called the glymphatic system, which “cleans the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surround the brain and spinal cord and relies on specialized CNS support cells known as glia.”

Helene Benveniste at Stony Brook University used a fluorescent tracer in rats, and tracked it with an MRI scan. This study has identified “two key influx nodes” in the brain. The team was able to measure the rate at which the glymphatic system removed the fluorescent tracer.

Warren Strittmatter at Duke University has been running similar tests, using the tracer and MRIs to keep an eye on diseases that occur within the proteins.

The next step in the research is to visualize the accumulation of molecules that occur in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.

To read more about the topic, the article can be found here. For more information on MRIs, or to book on yourself, call the Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991

or visit our website.

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 www.openmripueblo.com.

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 www.openmripueblo.com.