MRIs and other diagnostic imaging tests are often regarded as gold-standard tools that determine the severity or presence of various neurological conditions. The MRI is a test utilized throughout healthcare which can be useful in evaluating, managing, and determining the prognosis (or outcome) regarding your symptoms and condition. It’s important to understand there are plenty of times, however, where your MRI results may not directly correlate with your quality of life. In other words, your imaging results do not define you.
A common example is looking at spinal MRIs taken to diagnose disc herniations. There are countless individuals who have obtained spine-MRIs that show that they have significant disc herniations, yet they do not have severe(or sometimes any) symptoms. Likewise, there are other individuals who have severe symptoms with MRI findings indicative of no spinal or disc issues.
Similarly, this concept can be applied towards your brain imaging. Many imaging studies, including MRI, and even functional MRI (fMRI) is just that…an image. It is a snapshot of the way your brain looks at that particular moment in time, and while it’s important to respect the results and factor them into the equation, your brain is a lot more complex than just the way it looks. An incredible example of this point is seen in patients with a procedure called a hemispherectomy. These individuals have conditions that require half of their brain to be removed, however, in looking at them, often you would never know that they’ve had this procedure. On imaging, they are literally missing half, or a major portion of their brain. The number and quality of connections throughout the brain is equally if not more important. This is where we can help you.
Here, at Plasticity Centers, our approach focuses on either enhancing or correcting brain function to ensure you can live your life to the greatest potential. The concepts described above can apply to various neurological conditions including concussion where individuals often have no MRI findings, or neurovascular conditions such as stroke where your MRI might show significant damage. In both scenarios, by restoring brain function, we help you make strides in your quality of life and enable you to break away from the being defined by your MRI results.