What is being examined during an MRI scan of the head?
During this MRI scan, we examine your brain. For example, we can see if you have had a stroke, if there are brain tumors or brain injuries, and if there is an aneurysm of the brain vessels. We can also see if there is a sinus infection.
What can an MRI Brain Scan Reveal?
MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. It is commonly used in radiology to diagnose neurological conditions and injuries. However, some abnormalities may not be clearly visible on an MRI brain scan.
What we can see
- Brain injury: An MRI brain scan can reveal the extent and location of brain damage caused by trauma, such as a concussion or a skull fracture.
- Brain tumors: An MRI brain scan can detect abnormal growths in the brain, such as tumors, which may require further investigation or treatment.
- Stroke or large brain hemorrhages: An MRI brain scan can show the presence and location of bleeding or blocked blood vessels in the brain, which may lead to stroke or other complications.
- Sinus infection: An MRI brain scan can help diagnose sinusitis, which is an inflammation of the air-filled spaces in the skull bones that surround the nose.
What we cannot see clearly
- Abnormalities in the eyes and ears: While an MRI brain scan can detect some eye and ear problems, such as tumors or inflammation, it cannot provide a detailed view of the eyes and ears themselves.
- Abnormalities in the skull (bones): An MRI brain scan may not clearly show defects or fractures in the skull bones, which may require additional imaging or clinical examination.
- Indications of dementia: While an MRI brain scan can reveal some changes in brain structure and blood flow associated with dementia, it cannot diagnose dementia or distinguish between different types of dementia.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears): Tinnitus can be a symptom of various underlying conditions, and an MRI brain scan may not always reveal the cause of tinnitus. In some cases, an MRI of the neck vessels may be needed to evaluate the blood flow to the ears.
What we cannot see
- Abnormalities in the jaw, teeth, mouth, and throat: An MRI brain scan is not designed to show dental or oral issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or tonsil enlargement.
- Abnormalities in the small brain nerves: While an MRI brain scan can visualize the major nerves of the brain, it may not detect subtle changes in the peripheral nerves that control movement, sensation, or autonomic functions.
- Skin abnormalities: An MRI brain scan cannot identify skin lesions or rashes that may indicate dermatological conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or skin cancer.
Who Needs an MRI Brain Scan?
An MRI brain scan is recommended for people who have specific symptoms or risk factors that suggest neurological problems. These may include:
Frequent or severe headaches
Dizziness or vertigo
Numbness or weakness in the limbs
Loss of vision or hearing
Seizures or convulsions
Memory loss or confusion
Family history of brain disorders or genetic conditions
In conclusion, an MRI brain scan can reveal many important details about the brain and its surrounding structures, but it has its limitations as well. To get the most accurate and meaningful results from a brain scan, it is important to discuss.