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Understanding an Injury Begins with Good Imaging

 

by Alicia Wanek

In the movie Concussion, the character played by Will Smith has to use forensic pathology during patients’ autopsies to make many of his determinations about their brain injuries.  The character is based on Dr. Bennet Omalu who began his groundbreaking research in the field of neuropathology in the early 2000’s; since then, there have been significant breakthroughs in the radiological scans available to doctors for the diagnosis and monitoring of patient progress.  DFW is fortunate to have two Envision Imaging centers offering these breakthrough scans.

Will Smith’s movie Concussion puts the spotlight back on the dangers of football and other high impact sports. Smith portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian immigrant who was the first to publish research on the degenerative brain disease he called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Pictured above is Dr. Bennet Omalu and Will Smith at the Concussion premiere.

CereScan is one of the country’s leading providers of SPECT and PET/CT brain imaging.  Using these specialized cameras, in combination with the most advanced image processing software in the world, the CereScan functional brain evaluations focus on identifying the biological causes of brain disorders. The SPECT images can examine blood flow in up to 160 regions of the brain. A PET scan provides information concerning the health of important body functions. A CT scan provides an assessment of anatomical structures. When the scans are all considered together, the doctor is provided with a comprehensive, functional and structural picture of the patient’s brain. This scan can be used in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, ADD/ADHD, bipolar or anxiety disorders, and depression.

The Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) is a new type of visual contrast in MRI scans which can examine differences between tissues in the brain.  It allows for improved detection of hemorrhage, microbleeding, iron deposition, and tumor characterization, among others.  This test offers a tremendous supplement to the traditional MRI in diagnosing concussions, as well as many other diseases.

To contact Envision Imaging for more information on these scans or any of their radiological tests, call 866.722.4806.

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