Brain Disorders: The Analytical Working All Should Know
There are many disorders of the brain that can affect the way we function. These disorders can come in the form of brain injuries such as a blow to the head, abnormal development, or due to an illness that attacks the brain. When injuries to the brain occurs one of the ways to treat them is to find out where the damage has happened. This is done through imaging of the brain.
Hospitals, clinics, and teaching colleges have facilities of radiology and imaging where scans of the brain can take place. Radiology is a specialized field where machines are used to diagnose and help treat diseases in the body. This is done in the form of pictures or waves that are scanned by these machines and picked up from activity in the body. Three of the most common types of scans for the brain are CT scans, PET scan, and MRI’s. There are many other tests that are conducted by professionals such as Inside Radiology that will be briefly touched on.
Scans and Waves
CT scan also known as CAT scan takes cross-sectional images of the head. It provides the most detail out of any other imaging test. It is used to show fractures of the skull, tumors, bleeding, clots, enlarged cavities due to swelling, diseases, strokes, and malformations.
PET or Positive Emission Tomography measures oxygen use, glucose metabolism, and blood flow. These are observed to see how the tissues in the brain are functioning. If glucose is metabolized faster in certain areas of the brain than others then that is a sign of a cancerous tumor because they use up more glucose than normal cells. Abnormal results of this test are usually due to some kind of injury or disease.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is used to observe normal tissues and diseased tissues of the brain. It is also used to check for the effects of a stroke and degenerative brain trauma or diseases. In an MRI a strong magnet is used to pick up the image so it is best to inform the doctor of any type of metal or equipment in the body.
FMRI or flow-sensitive MRI’s are scans that join images of cerebrospinal fluid with functional MRI. It is used for the removal of tumors on the brain. Functional MRI’s help with surgery by showing which parts of the brain are in control of important functions of the body. It is faster than the standard MRI and it shows how oxygen is used.
EEG or Electroencephalography is used to pick up abnormal brain waves. These waves may be abnormal due to some type of injury or tumor. An EEG can diagnose headaches, seizures, sleep problems and death of the brain.
Once any of the above tests are done then the doctor can offer treatment or preventative care to keep an injury from happening. One example of this is carotid stenting. Carotid stenting is when a stent is put in one of the main arteries to relieve blockage. When an artery is blocked it prevents blood and nutrients from getting to a certain body part or organ. In this case, the carotid artery feeds blood to the front of the brain so this would be beneficial in preventing a stroke.
Carotid stenting is completed with the help of angiography. Angiography uses a liquid called contrast to light up blood vessels as it is injected into the body. Thus will then help show whatever problems are going on in the blood vessels.
Other forms of treatment can involve surgery to remove a tumor, medication, rehab, and therapy. All of these treatments help restore a person to live as normal of a life that they possibly can.