Functional MRI

Advanced Neuroradiology MRI / Functional MRI

Functional MRI is a technique used to map out vital areas of the brain which are responsible for functions like movement, sensation, vision and speech/language. During this exam patient is asked to do different activities (like moving fingers or solving the word puzzle etc.) while the scanner is taking the pictures of the brain. This allows special MRI technique to detect the area of brain that is active while doing that specific activity. Functional MRI plays a key role in presurgical planning for brain tumors and epilepsy patients.

Each MRI protocol will be tailored to the patient after consultation with our neuroimaging panel that includes neuroradiology and neurology expertise. We are available for telephone conferencing to discuss clinical correlations before or after imaging. The protocols focus on functional MRI sequences not currently offered in standard brain MRIs, including:

  • Volumetric analysis: Volume of various brain structures calculated and compared to age-matched normal controls. For example, temporal lobe atrophy can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Schizophrenia, autism, PTSD, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other conditions all have characteristic volumetric
    and gray matter losses.
  • Perfusion imaging: Arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging can be used to detect altered blood supply to various brain structures and is seen in a variety of disorders. In cases of minor trauma or depression the ASL can show an abnormality even when anatomic images are normal.
  • Spectroscopy: Metabolites in various parts of the brain are measured. Abnormalities are seen in various types of disorders including dementia, depression and PTSD.
  • Functional MRI: Resting state fMRI can be used to detect hypo or hyper-connectivity in various parts of the brain and stimulated fMRI can be helpful in diagnosing various disorders including PTSD, chronic pain syndromes, depression and conversion disorder, OCD and addiction.

Functional MRI Santa Monica – Tower Saint John’s Imaging
2202 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Telephone: 310.264.9000

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