Do You Have Concussion Symptoms?

Concussions (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or mTBI) have long been a mysterious and worrying injury for doctors to examine. Concussion symptoms can range anywhere from unconsciousness to memory loss to a slight headache. There is such a range of symptoms that it can be a difficult task for physicians to medically diagnose a concussion.

Concussions are unusual for most people but for athletes, some workers, and extreme sports enthusiasts, a concussion is just part of the territory. The problem with this is that as more research is being done on the long-term effects of concussions on professional athletes, we are learning that these bumps on the noggin can have a much deeper consequence. Any kind of traumatic brain injury is cause for concern but now Doctors Imaging has a beneficial new technology that can help determine the degree of brain injury and nerve damage due to a concussion. It’s called Diffusion Tensor Imaging or DTI/MRI.

Doctors Imaging was the first to introduce New Orleans to a 3.0T MRI and we added Diffusion Tensor Imaging to our list of services in 2016. Where standard MRIs are well-equipped to obtain useful and comprehensive images of brain tissue, DTI is an advanced form of MRI technology that improves diagnostic practices, particularly in the diagnosis and recovery of concussions.

Where most MRIs can tell if there is tissue damage or bleeding, DTI capabilities are able to explore the possibility of nerve damage in very specific areas of the brain’s white matter. Along with internal bleeding, nerve damage is the primary concern for physicians when dealing with a concussed patient. If you were to look at former football players or boxers, you notice that they have a higher prevalence of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease) and other neurological disorders as they age, and many believe this is from repeated exposure to head and back trauma. DTI MRIs are able to focus on the connecting circuits of the brain and localize nerve damage. By recognizing this nerve damage, doctors can keep a close eye on their patient and help them during the recovery from their injury.

One side effect that most doctors are very concerned about when they are seeing a concussed patient is an axonal injury. Axonal injury is when a brain injury occurs that causes extensive lesions in the white matter tracts in a widespread or localized area. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is so worrying because it can be indicative of long-term brain deficiency. DAI occurs in almost half of all concussion cases and now with this kind of advanced MRI technology, doctors will be able to make diagnoses and recoveries easier and more beneficial.

Like other MRIs, DTI does not use radiation, is non-invasive and has extremely high success rates. So if you or someone you know has concussion symptoms, be sure to give Doctors Imaging a call and make your DTI appointment made. If you have more questions or would like to speak to a representative at Doctors Imaging, feel free to call at 504-883-8111.

4 Things Your Radiologist Wants You to Know

1. You Cannot Get Cancer from Any Imaging Procedure

Any radiologist could tell you this is not an uncommon concern. It would not seem a smart idea for us to get into a field that promoted or produced cancer in our patients, would it? We would be putting ourselves out of business. There are some sensational articles that claim that medical imaging procedures like CTs and PET-CT scans can lead to cancer but these have never been validated and medical imaging is the best method for diagnosis without incisions or exploratory surgery. In fact, medical imaging is how cancer is uncovered so that it can be treated.

2. Being Informed is the Best Way to Feel Comfortable

We understand that having a medical imaging procedure performed can be a nervous experience, especially if you have never had it done before. However, any radiologist would tell you that the more questions you ask and information you search for, the more you will see that there is nothing to be afraid of. But be sure of where you are getting that research from, there is a lot of misinformation in this field.

3. The Quality of Your Images Depends on the Equipment Used

With every procedure, the goal is to look inside the body’s structures and functions and see if there is anything concerning. With every kind of medical imaging procedure, there are different kinds of equipment and hence, qualities of images. For example, an MRI’s quality of images can differ between open and standard MRI machines. There are different slice capabilities in CT equipment that can effect the quality of the images and interpretations. Whenever you are having a medical imaging procedure, see if you can find out about the equipment that will be used. The best equipment means the best images which means the most accurate diagnosis.

4. The Field of Radiology is Always Changing

Like most medical fields, the field of radiology is an ever-changing one. There are always new advances, discoveries and innovations and we as radiologists have to stay updated. What is the standard today might be totally obsolete by tomorrow. But because of the changing nature of this field, that means constant improvement which we consider a benefit for our patients. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, our radiologists are committed to bringing the state of the art equipment and the latest innovations in our field like open MRIs, digital X-rays, and our new Concussion Imaging Program that uses qDTI, a very advanced MRI technique.

Have more questions about radiology or having your medical imaging procedure? You can call our offices at 504-833-8111 or use our Request an Appointment page to schedule a consultation.