Using Medical Imaging to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective layers surrounding the nerve tracts in the brain and can cause difficulty walking as well as pain performing everyday movements. Every case of MS and MS symptoms are different. Some people have symptoms that resolve in a few weeks or months. But for others, the condition has a much more permanent presence in their life.

Multiple Sclerosis is a common disease, yet difficult to track. Because global health institutions do not mandate that doctors report new cases and because symptoms can be invisible for many years, there is no definitive number of those diagnosed with MS every year. Some experts estimate that there are about 2.3 million people with MS around the world with 200 new cases diagnosed every week. That is almost as many people as the entire city of Houston.

With such high numbers of people diagnosed, what causes multiple sclerosis? No one is sure, but most point to a genetic factor or some type of environmental contributor — the cause of MS is still debated. MS symptoms include sensational disruptions, problems controlling movement, lethargy and visual complications. As stated previously though, these symptoms can be minimal and inconsistent, making it harder for patients to recognize their symptoms and for doctors to diagnose.

One of the best exams for doctors needing to diagnose MS is using MRI. MRIs use a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves in order to create images of the internal organs. MRIs are particularly adept at imaging the tissues and nervous structures of the body as well as identifying musculoskeletal disorders. MRIs can detect the subtle changes in the brain and spinal cord that are indicative of MS. MRIs are extremely safe, noninvasive and require no radiation, making them the preferred method for MS diagnosis.

At Doctors Imaging, we also use
NeuroQuant to better examine patients suspected of having memory loss, Multiple Sclerosis, brain trauma other neurologic conditions. NeuroQuant is FDA-cleared software that is a part of the routine MRI protocol that is available upon request from referring physicians that need volumetric analysis when making clinical assessments for any disease that may cause alterations in brain anatomy.

If you have other questions about MRIs, NeuroQuant, or other services at Doctors Imaging, feel free to contact our offices at 504-883-8111 or Request an Appointment.

Checking on Your Bone Health with Medical Imaging

Bones are the foundation of the human body. When our bones hurt or are out of commission, your quality of life quickly decreases. That is why it is so critical to be concerned with the condition of your bone health. Almost every person has broken a bone at least once in their lifetime and is aware of the frustration that comes with being incapacitated, but what about the changes that occur in bones as you age?

People are often concerned with their physical appearance and the health of organs like the heart and liver. While this is equally important, not taking the proper precautions to protect your bones will have serious effects as you become older. Men and women will both experience the loss of bone density throughout their respective lifetimes but the effects are quite different for both genders.]

Bone Health for Men and Women

Women typically suffer from bone degeneration at a rate four times higher than their male counterparts. For women, the common cause of bone density loss is related to the effects of menopause. The body needs estrogen to maintain bone density and when women experience the hormonal change of menopause, they begin losing estrogen. Men need estrogen as well to keep their bone health at its peak and their body creates smaller amounts of estrogen.

Although men do not go through as severe as of a hormonal change as women, they do lose testosterone as they age and thus, lose bone density. Women also typically live longer than men so they have a greater chance of developing bone density loss.

Other Causes for Bone Density Loss

These are the primary reasons for loss of bone density but there are other causes. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause a loss of bone mass as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking or lack of exercise. For men in particular, certain drugs that treat prostate cancer and seizures can also cause bone loss.

If you are getting older and are concerned with the state of your bone health, there are a few solutions you should be researching. Medical imaging procedures can provide you with invaluable information about your bone health. Osteoporosis affects over 40 million Americans, both male and female, and having procedures like X-rays and MRIs can be extremely beneficial in preventing debilitating injury and finding medication to assist with bone density.

MRIs or magnetic imaging resonance, uses magnetized equipment and computer technology to examine joint and musculoskeletal disorders in the body. In addition, MRIs are also proficient in examining soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As these are the support system for the bones, they need attention as well. MRIs are the best choice if you experiencing a decrease in mobility and spinal difficulties.

X-rays are another common medical imaging procedure that your doctor will likely prescribed if you are experiencing a loss of bone density. When you have decreased bone density, small fractures and breaks can be common, so having X-rays performed with regularity is recommended. X-rays are also the preferred method for determining conditions like bone cancer.

If you are over the age of 50 and experiencing pain or decreased mobility in your bones or joints, speak to you doctor about ordering an MRI and X-ray imaging procedure performed so you can see if you need further medical assistance.

Our Doctors Imaging center is for Radiologists concerned with patient care. If you’re looking for New Orleans, Louisiana imaging exams, then schedule your appointment online today, or call us at 504-883-8111.