July 3, 2013

Brain scan shows degeneration from Alzheimer'sCAMC's newest MRI scanner, the Philips Ingenia 3T, provides unique capabilities in many areas of study, specifically neurological imaging.

The scanner, located at General Hospital, is a large-bore MRI and can accommodate patients of varying sizes, ages and physical conditions. It is also efficient: routine scans of the brain, spine, knee, ankle and liver can be performed in less than 15 minutes with 3T MRI. More complex scans may take 20 to 40 minutes, but excellent image quality is maintained in all scans because of the digital broadband capability.

"The 3T MRI has a signal-to-noise ratio that is four times higher, which means that you can get better, higher-resolution images faster," said Bryson McCain, MD, a neuroradiologist practicing at CAMC.

One of these features is the NeuroQuant®, which is a special analysis that is added to a brain MRI. "The NeuroQuant® is a tool that screens for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. It automatically measures the size of the structures in the brain and compares scans against a national database, the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. It can both diagnose and monitor the disease's progress over time," McCain said.

Functional MRI (fMRI) is another capability of the 3T MRI. The fMRI examines the anatomy of the brain, helps to determine critical functions of the parts of the brain (brain mapping) and helps neurosurgeons plan for procedures. "A functional MRI is often used for surgical planning," McCain said. "It is done while the patient is performing a specific task, so you can see how the patient's brain functions while that is happening."

For more information about imaging services at CAMC, visit camc.org/imaging.

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