What is fMRI?

fMRT or fMRI (common abbreviation for functional magnetic resonance imaging in English-speaking countries) is an imaging method that is still in its infancy in which certain brain functions are measured and localized. In other words: It is made visible which parts of the brain are working, for example when we make a certain movement or look at something. These brain areas consume energy, which is conducted through the blood vessels as oxygen or sugar and  burned in the nerve cells  .

Blood flow to the brain measurable

The fMRI can show the different levels of oxygen in the  red blood cells  – a high level indicates activity in the respective brain region. The fMRI thus measures the altered blood flow in the tissue in the various areas of the brain, which is caused by the need for energy in the active nerve cells.

fMRI compared to other methods

Ever since the physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the invisible X-rays named after him in 1895, it has been possible for physicians to look inside the human body without an operative procedure. However, X-rays cause damage to a living organism. Computed tomography (CT for short) also   evaluates a large number of X-ray images taken from different perspectives and processes them into a three-dimensional image using a computer.

The fMRT, on the other hand, does not require X-rays or other ionizing radiation and thus has a major advantage over the other methods. Like the magnetic resonance therapy ( MRI ), which has been developed since the 1980s and provides information on organs, tissue and consequently pathological changes by means of individual cross-sectional images, fMRI not only allows a look at the bones.

Who is fMRI useful for?

fMRI provides new insights into how the brain works. In particular, emotional and cognitive processes can be examined more closely using fMRI. Neuropsychology and neurology use fMRI to examine different processes of brain metabolism in healthy people and patients suffering from mental disorders. In addition to psychiatric diseases, neurological diseases are also examined with the new possibilities of fMRI. In addition, fMRI is used to examine  brain tumors  and chronic pain.

Before an  operation  , an fMRI allows conclusions to be drawn as to how much tumor can be removed without damaging healthy, functional brain tissue. In this way, the dangers of paralysis, speech disorders or loss of sensitivity that can arise during an operation can be reduced. fMRI can also show the fiber connections and fiber pathways in the brain that must not be destroyed during an operation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *