Explaining Concussions and Diffuse Tensor Imaging

DTI MRI are receiving more and more attention in the public and medical field because of the light they have shed on certain neurological and mental conditions. DTI MRI or diffuse tensor imaging MRI is an advanced form of MRI technology that is able to closely follow the flow of water throughout the brain’s pathways giving doctors a better understanding of brain injuries and connectivity.

DTI MRI is used for determining the extent of a brain injuries like concussions. Unlike traditional MRIs that use magnetic fields and computer technology to excite and then map the hydrogen  atoms of the body, DTI machinery tracks the pathway of water throughout the brain. Because water in the brain only goes in one direction, it is easier to track this motion and thus map the different nerve paths of the brain as they are very complex and convoluted.

Once the nerve pathways are clearly mapped, neurologists can see if there is damage, bleeds or symptoms of other neurological or mental conditions.

Thanks to DTI, concussions are now being thoroughly imaged. Before the advanced technology of DTI MRIs, concussions could be examined through traditional MRIs but small bleeds and nerve damage were always difficult to determine especially in the white matter areas of the brain. Now, doctors can track the nerve pathways in the brain with high clarity and understand the genetic and biological causes of some medical conditions.

DTI MRIs have been able to determine the brain abnormalities that lead to chronic fatigue syndrome. Feeling fatigued is not an unusual symptom to have, but for some people, fatigue cannot be fought with adequate sleep or stress-relieving activities. Thanks to imaging techniques, the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome have finally been identified. In one study, researchers found that those complaining of CFS symptoms had “lower white matter volume” as well as “high FA values (measurement of diffusion of water in the specific tract within the right hemisphere” suggesting that this is the area of the brain “the more abnormal the tract, the worse the fatigue.”

In another study, DTI MRI has been instrumental in uncovering the area of the brain that possibly contributes to autism. Scientists have determined that Fragile X syndrome is the leading cause of mental developmental issues and the most frequent cause of autism spectrum disorders. Their conclusion found that FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein) is critical in brain development and that if the correct positioning of brain cells during the development of the cortex is not made, autistic traits can emerge as a child becomes older.

These factors could not have been studied in such high detail without the help of DTI MRI imaging. The advanced technology of DTI MRI could be finding the causes and cures for more diseases and conditions in years to come.

Doctors Imaging in Metairie is the first facility in Louisiana to offer this service so if you have more questions about how DTI works or what it can do for you, feel free to call Doctors Imaging at 504-833-8111 to speak with a representative.

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