Diagnostic tests occur before treatment and therapy. The tests will identify the extent and nature of the injury to brain. For example, a person may need physical and occupational rehabilitation to condition muscles and relearn life skills. Generally, the earlier treatment begins, the better.
Cullotta Law Offices represents permanent brain injury victims throughout Chicago. A permanent brain injury may be difficult to recognize and prove and not appear on an imaging test. Many of the associated changes in a permanent brain injury victim’s behavior or personality can be subtle.
The following diagnostic tools determine the extent and nature of a brain injury.
MRI Scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging):
The location of a brain injury can be assessed using an MRI scan. An MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to generate images of the brain without exposing the patient to x-ray radiation. MRI’s have a higher resolution than CT scans and can show differences in brain tissues based on their fat and water content. Patients must remain still for up to 20 minutes for MRI scanning.
CAT or CT Scan:
CT scan is often used in the early phases of treatment to assess for life threatening conditions. CT scans can detect physical changes in the brain such as blood clots and swelling, which may require immediate treatment. A CT scan create cross-sectional images uses x-rays taken from different angles and levels of the brain.
SPECT Scan (Single Photon Electron Computed Tomography):
A SPECT scan measures blood flow and activity levels in the brain. A SPECT scan indicates when there is excessive or insufficient activity in one area of the brain or various areas of activity.
PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography):
A PET scan offers greater clarity than a SPECT scan but is a more expensive diagnostic test. PET scans color code parts of the brain based on the absorption of radioactively tagged glucose. Parts of the brain that are healthy absorb a lot of glucose and appear bright orange or red.
fMRI Scan (Functional MRI):
A functional MRI (fMRI) scan identifies with greater precision activity within certain brain regions and how long those regions remain active. An fMRI creates images of the brain nearly every second.
An EEG is a test that detects abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Persons who have sustained a brain injury more likely to suffer seizures than the general population.
Neuropsychological testing consists of a battery of psychological tests conducted over a period of several hours can identify brain impairments. Theses tests can also provide useful information about cognitive impairments and ways to improve cognitive function. Often, neuropsychological testing is conducted as part of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation of before and after injury.