An Analysis Of The Ability Of An MRI To Determine Brain Function | Nursing Assignment Help

MRI is also known as magnetic resonance imaging. It can be defined as a test or procedure which is completely painless and uses magnetic fields and radio waves to help medical experts get access to detailed images of the brain. This test can also be used to produce detailed images of the brain stem of an individual. It is important for an individual to remember that a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test is different from that of a CT scan, CAT scan, or a computed axial tomography scan as no radiations are used in an MRI test.

An MRI scanner is used to conduct this scan. And an MRI scanner primarily consists of a large magnet that is similar in shape to that of a doughnut. This large magnet also contains a tunnel in its center. A table is used on which the patient can lie down and this is used to slide inside the tunnel. There are also other MRI machines that have larger openings. These machines are beneficial for patients who are claustrophobic. An MRI machine can be found in a hospital or radiology center.

There are students who often decide to learn about how an MRI test is conducted, how the MRI scanner works, and what the possible benefits of conducting an MRI test are. Answering these questions is not an easy task. And if an individual requires online assignment help then one should hire the assignment writer at SourceTutors. They are highly dedicated, talented, and experienced.

The Anatomy of the Brain

Before discussing how an MRI test can help in determining different brain functions, it is important to learn about the various vital structures of the brain. The brain of an individual can be divided into three different parts. Those parts of the brain are mentioned below.

  • Cerebrum

This is defined as the front part of the brain or the supratentorial. This part of the brain consists of the left and the right hemisphere. There are different functions that are performed by this part of the brain including coordination of movements, initiation of movements, touch, vision, body temperature, judgment, hearing, problem-solving, reasoning, learning, and emotions.

  • Brainstem

This is also known as the midline or the middle of the brain. The brainstem includes other parts of the brain like the pons, midbrain, and medulla. Different functions are performed by the brainstem including relaying sensory messages, controlling movements of the eyes and the mouth, respiration, hunger, cardiac functions, consciousness, involuntary muscle movements, body temperature, sneezing, coughing, involuntary muscle movements, and swallowing.

  • Cerebellum

This is the back of the brain or the infratentorial. And as these names suggest, it is located at the back of the head. The prominent functions which are performed by the cerebellum are maintaining posture, balance, the equilibrium of the body, and coordination of voluntary muscle movements. You can also ask for assignment help services from experts at Sourcetutor to get in-depth analysis reports of brain structuring and functioning.

Understanding MRI and the Way it Functions to Detect Brain Activity While Performing Brain Analysis Test

As it was mentioned above, an MRI scanner or machine uses a very powerful magnet to produce a very strong magnetic field. This strong magnetic field forces the protons of an individual’s body to align with the magnetic field. After that, a radiofrequency current is used to pulse through the patient which helps is further stimulating the protons and spinning them out of their equilibrium. This strains the protons of the body against the pull of the magnetic field. The radiofrequency current is then switched off which allows the MRI sensors to detect the energy which is released as the protons again switch their position to realign with the magnetic field.

It is important for an individual to note that the time it takes for the protons to realign with the magnetic field and for the energy to release can change depending on the chemical nature of the molecules and the kind of environment in which the individual is in. Further, depending upon the magnetic properties, many medical professionals can also tell the difference between different tissues. One must remain very still during this entire procedure so that the image is not blurry. A contrasting agent might also be administered to the individual before or during the MRI to increase the speed at which the protons realign. This further produces a better quality and brighter image.

  • The Ability of an MRI

An MRI test can help a medical health expert in identifying various medical conditions, like:

  • Abscesses
  • Tumors
  • Aneurysms
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding of the spinal cord or the brain
  • Venous malformations
  • Hydrocephalus or the presence of fluid in the brain
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Presence of different degenerative diseases, encephalomyelitis, hypoxic encephalopathy, and multiple sclerosis
  • Degeneration of the discs of the spinal cord or herniation
  • Study various brain functions

An MRI can also help a medical health expert to plan surgeries on the spine like spinal fusion or the decompression of a pinched nerve. There are also many other things that an MRI test can help a medical health expert to do.

The Steps Followed During a Functional MRI Radiology Test for Brain Activity

An MRI test usually takes around 30-45 minutes to perform. The steps which are followed during this test are mentioned below.

  • An individual would be asked to lie on the MRI scanner table which should be movable
  • A coil, which is a special device, is placed around the head of the individual
  • The table would be slowly pushed inside the tunnel and the medical experts will take the images of the head
  • Every single scan takes around a few minutes to complete
  • If there is any specific problem which one wishes to detect then a contrasting solution will also be given through an IV
  • One might hear repetitive sounds from the machines when the scans are being conducted
  • After the exam is over, the individual would be helped to get off the table

The Risks Involved During an MRI Test

The different risks which are involved during an MRI test are mentioned below.

  • Individuals who have various implants which especially contain iron like pacemakers, loop recorders, and insulin pumps should not enter the MRI machine
  • While conducting the test, an individual could hear rather loud noises which can damage the ears. Special ear protection is provided to safeguard one against that
  • One can experience a twitching sensation due to the rapidly switching field inside the MRI
  • The contrasting agent can sometimes produce strong allergic reactions in an individual

The Conclusion:

An MRI can be defined as a medical test during which images of the brain and other parts of the body can be observed. MRI is also known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and this particular test uses magnetic and radio waves to obtain the required images. Various parts of the spine and brain can be observed during an MRI test like the brainstem, cerebrum, and the cerebellum. Each of these parts performs specific functions which can be observed during an MRI scan. There are various steps that one needs to follow while performing an MRI test. There are also various risks of conducting this test like loud noises, nerve stimulation, allergic reaction to contrast agents, claustrophobia, and other potential risks.

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