A standard MRI is usually not helpful for a concussion. This is because a standard MRI maps the structure of the brain and not its function. A standard MRI is a powerful tool in detecting structural damage to the soft tissues of the brain, as seen with strokes, aneurysms, tumors, bleeding in the brain, etc. But a concussion affects how your brain functions and communicates information with the body. Your brain is made up of billions of neurons or brain cells that communicate with each other to perform thousands of functions. A concussion disrupts communication between neurons and can have a significant impact upon a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities at the same level prior to sustaining a concussion. A standard MRI cannot detect alterations in neural communication. This disruption in how the brain functions is the hallmark of a concussion and not visible on a standard MRI scan.
Sometimes a standard MRI will be ordered by a healthcare provider if neurologic symptoms progress, there are focal neurological findings on a physical exam, or there is concern for a skull fracture or other injury. Without these clinical symptoms however, most healthcare providers forgo ordering a standard MRI which typically comes back normal because mapping brain structure is not the same as mapping brain function. For mapping brain function, a specialized MRI called a functional MRI can be an option. Research has shown this type of specialized MRI is helpful in revealing brain connectivity or brain activity which can be helpful in treating a concussion or diagnosing post-concussion syndrome.
Experienced Florida Brain Injury Attorney
Jim Dodson is an experienced brain injury attorney with over 25 years of experience representing victims who have suffered a concussion or brain injury from the negligence of someone else. If you have immediate questions and want to speak to Jim, call our office at 888-815-6398 to schedule a time to discuss your case. There is never a fee for a consultation.