Magnetic Resonance of the Brain

, or magnetic resonance of the brain, is the nuclear magnetic resonance of the brain compartment, which includes the brain, diencephalon, brainstem and cerebellum.
A safe and completely harmless procedure, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is indicated for the identification and investigation of conditions such as: stroke and its consequences, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, "cerebral aneurysm," hydrocephalus, cerebral cysts, encephalitis, cerebral hemorrhages, cerebral hematomas, cerebral edema, etc.
Furthermore, some of its particular variants allow, one, the study of brain activity, during the execution of a certain task (eg: speaking), and, the other, the in-depth study of the blood flow inside the arterial vessels. and venous.
A classic MRI of the brain lasts between 30 and 60 minutes; at its conclusion, the patient can return home immediately, unless he has taken a sedative before the procedure or has been injected with a contrast agent.
Brain MRI is contraindicated for people with metal devices or components inside the body (eg pacemakers, etc.).
Interpretation of the results is the responsibility of a radiologist.

Brief review of what "MRI is

Magnetic resonance, whose full name would be nuclear magnetic resonance, is a diagnostic test that allows you to view the inside of the human body, without the use of surgical incisions or ionizing radiation, but thanks to harmless magnetic fields and equally harmless radio waves. .
Virtually free of side effects and with very few contraindications, MRI provides clear and detailed three-dimensional images of so-called soft tissues (nerves, muscles, ligaments, fat, blood vessels, etc.) and so-called hard tissues (bones and cartilages). This makes it a test of absolute relevance in numerous fields of medicine: from traumatology to oncology, passing through orthopedics, gastroenterology, cardiology, etc.
The only limitation of magnetic resonance imaging is the high cost of the equipment, necessary for the creation of magnetic fields for the observation of the human body, and the maintenance costs of the aforementioned equipment.

and the reading of its results is the responsibility of a radiologist.

Other names of the magnetic resonance of the brain

Brain MRI is also known as head MRI, brain MRI, and brain MRI.

  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • L "hydrocephalus;
  • Stroke episodes and their consequences;
  • Brain tumors (eg: glioblastoma, astrocytoma, acoustic neuroma, etc.) and cerebellar tumors (eg: medulloblastoma);
  • Inflammations of the brain of infectious origin (encephalitis);
  • The brain cysts;
  • L "cerebral edema;
  • Endocrine diseases involving the pituitary or hypothalamus cranial glands. Examples of such diseases are acromegaly and Cushing's syndrome;
  • Cerebral hemorrhages and cerebral hematomas;
  • Encephalomyopathies;
  • Cerebrovascular problems in general.
  • The magnetic resonance of the brain, moreover, is used during those diagnostic investigations, which want to definitively clarify the exact nature of suspicious symptoms, such as: dizziness, chronic headache, vision problems, epileptic seizures, sudden changes behavior and mood swings.

    Particular applications of magnetic resonance to the brain

    Alongside the classical method, there are two ways of performing magnetic resonance imaging of the brain that allow to study, one, the brain activity during the execution of a certain task (eg: speaking, reading, thinking, etc.) and, other, the particularities of the flow of blood inside the arterial and venous vessels of the various brain components.
    The magnetic resonance of the brain, which allows the study of brain activity, during the execution of a certain task, is an example of functional magnetic resonance and is called functional magnetic resonance of the brain.
    The magnetic resonance of the brain that studies the flow of blood in the brain compartment, on the other hand, is an example of magnetic resonance angio-resonance and takes the name of magnetic resonance angio-resonance of the brain.

    o the observance of particular diets;
  • Shortly before the examination, the patient must take off any garment or object containing metal parts (bags, jewelry, wallets, shoes, etc.), answer a specific questionnaire that ascertains whether or not there are contraindications to the examination and, finally, communicate whether suffer from claustrophobia and, in the case of a female patient, if she is pregnant (or suspected to be so).
  • Solution to claustrophobia

    The presence of claustrophobia is usually resolved with the administration of a sedative, shortly before the magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, or - if there is the possibility within the hospital where the examination is held - with a machine " open ”, specially designed for claustrophobic people.

    , on a special sliding table, which serves to introduce it into the diagnostic equipment.
    A radiologist who, immediately afterwards, also takes care of providing all the necessary comforts (eg: pillows, earplugs, etc.) and giving the latest instructions essential for the correct execution of the exam.
    Among these indispensable instructions, the absolute immobility to which the patient must comply during the entire procedure deserves a mention: the movements of the body, in fact, affect the accuracy of the images, therefore the good outcome of the magnetic resonance of the brain. .
    It should be remembered that modern magnetic resonance imaging equipment is equipped with speakers and cameras for communicating with the medical staff, who, once the examination has begun, usually moves to a room adjacent to where the patient resides. the presence of a communication system guarantees complete control of the situation and the possibility, to those who are undergoing the procedure, to report any discomfort or problems.
    Like any type of MRI, the MRI of the brain is also very noisy. This explains the possible use of earplugs.

    How long does an MRI of the brain last?

    Typically, the total duration of an MRI of the brain is between 30 and 60 minutes.

    Nuclear magnetic resonance angiography

    Magnetic resonance angiography of the brain involves the use of a contrast agent, which the radiologist injects the patient, intravenously, immediately after settling on the bed.
    The contrast medium is essential for evaluating the characteristics of blood flow in the arterial and venous vessels of the brain compartment.

    What happens at the end of the procedure?

    Typically, immediately after the brain MRI, the patient can get dressed and go home, waiting for the results to be available.
    Any stays of a few hours in the hospital may be due to sedation - as the latter involves a certain state of confusion and alters reflexes - or to the use of contrast medium (this precaution occurs, of course, only after an angio-resonance magnetic).

    Today, to understand if the aforementioned risk exists, there are preliminary tests, comparable to a sort of allergic tests, which establish the presence or absence of intolerances to contrast media, usually used in the medical field.

    The use of the contrast medium makes the procedures of angio-resonance magnetic to the brain fall into the list of minimally invasive examinations.

    , metal prostheses, metal sutures etc.

    It should be remembered that, for several years now, the search for metals has been particularly active, whose use in the medical field is compatible with the magnetic resonance procedure.

    Antonio Griguolo

    Graduated in Biomolecular and Cellular Sciences, he obtained a Specialized Master in Journalism and Institutional Communication of Science
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