Concussions and MRIs

MRI Houston, TXConcussions are relatively common types of injuries. They occur on the courts of high-schools and colleges, and they occur just about every Sunday during football season. A concussion occurs when there is some type of force to the head, such as hitting the ground during a tackle. Generally, concussions are likened to a bruise on the brain. Often, players walk-off or sleep-off their bruise. However, the nature of a concussion is not that simple.

A concussion is classified as a traumatic brain injury. Now, this shouldn’t cause a great deal of alarm; most people do recover just fine from a concussion. Because symptoms may linger, though, a doctor may order imaging such as an MRI.

Recognizing the Signs of Concussion

You cannot know that medical care should be sought if you are not aware that a concussion has occurred. Common symptoms to note include:

  • Persistent or frequent headaches.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty remembering, or clear memory loss.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Dizziness and difficulty maintaining balance.
  • Mood swings or irritability.
  • Light and audio sensitivity.
  • Sleepiness or fatigue.
  • This may or may not coincide with vomiting.

The challenge with accurately spotting a concussion is that symptoms caused by this “brain bruise” may not develop immediately after an injury. Sometimes, symptoms do not become obvious for months or years.

How MRIs Can Facilitate Accurate Concussion Diagnosis

An MRI is a type of diagnostic imaging that emits radiofrequency waves within a magnetic field. The MRI machine looks like a large tube. As the table on which the patient is lying moves through the scanner, images are delivered to an internal computer system for processing. Historically, MRIs have only been capable of observing more severe brain injuries. However, technical advances have improved the process. When necessary, MRI screenings may be performed with the inclusion of contrast media, a type of dye that enhances the viewing of smaller vessels.

Using contrast media to intensify imaging, it becomes possible to observe the overall structure of the brain, including the state of the meninges, the lining that acts as a cushion for the brain. MRI can also measure brain function to identify changes that may indicate a minor brain injury.

Go Imaging facilities are located in Houston and Humble, TX. For more information on MRI tests, contact the office near you.

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