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Update of Traumatic Brain Injury Part 2

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

In Podcast 33, we discussed traumatic brain injury or what is called TBI. In the last Episode we discussed a new effort by leading physicians in the USA to better diagnose and better categorize the symptoms and functional deficits associated with TBI.

In this episode, we discuss a new diagnostic tool. It is called the 7 Tesla MRI.

You may be familiar with the term MRI. It stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

An MRI is a medical imaging machine that measures the response of the atomic nuclei of body tissues to high-frequency radio waves when the body is placed in a strong magnetic field. The result is three dimensional detailed anatomical images of internal organs. It is based on technology that detects the change in the direction of the rotational axis of protons found in the water that makes up living tissues following exposure to a strong magnet.

MRI machines are rated based up the strength of the magnet. Most MRI machines are either a normal 1.5-Tesla or 3-Tesla MRI rated units.

But a few places, notably in California, and at the Mayo Clinic, have an FDA approved 7-Tesla MRI.

The 7-Tesla MRI enhances the ability to manage brain injuries and brain conditions such as epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

The contrast and detail with a 7-Tesla MRI is spectacular. The low power MRI is like seeing an old black and white TV image. The 7-Tesla image is like seeing a modern HD television.

A 7-Tesla MRI has demonstrated the potential to uncover abnormalities that aren’t detected using MRI with lower magnet strengths. With these machines doctors can visualize  damage to brain tissue where previsously doctors thought that physical damage to brain tissue was not present.

The signal to noise ratio is more than doubled, so what was invisible with a 3-Tesla MRI can be clearly defined on a 7-Tesla system.

This can be useful in to diagnose tiny intracranial bleeds or other injury to cerebral blood vessels.

“With the 7-Tesla MRI, we can detect subtle traumatic brain injury or tiny hemorrhages … that would be difficult or impossible to see on other scanners,” says Kirk M. Welker, M.D., a neuroradiologist at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Minnesota.

What does this mean for patients? For one, it means the development of better treatment methods, and a better ability to gauge if treatment is working.

On the litigation side of the equation, it means brain injuries can be objectively documented. Presenting a brain scan image to a jury showing an injury will make a jurors job infinitely easier.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”