Imaging and Tests for Brain Injury Victims: Diffusion Tensor Imaging

After an accident, the most common tests to discover brain injuries are CT scans and MRIs. Oftentimes, however, these tests come back negative. A negative result does not always mean there is no injury. Mild traumatic brain injuries (i.e. concussions), may not show up on a CT or MRI, yet they are dangerous to leave untreated. For that reason, more advanced tests are coming to the forefront in South Carolina and across the country.

CTs and MRIs are excellent tools for identifying localized brain injuries, usually from a direct blow to the head. For example, if a driver strikes her head on the steering wheel, a CT scan may reveal bleeding on the brain.

Traditional Brain Injury Tests Can Miss Crucial Damage

Many times though, brain injuries are caused by a severe jolt or jerk of the head, resulting in damage to brain tissue that can lead to persistent headaches, memory loss, fatigue and mood swings. Unfortunately, traditional tests are not sensitive enough to detect this type of damage, which allows problems to persist for months without a proper diagnosis.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging

That is why diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has become important an important tool in diagnosing and guiding treatment of TBI. DTI is a more advanced form of imaging that allows doctors to identify, characterize and track brain damage over time. 

The effects of a head injury can also be tested by a specialist known as a neuropsychologist. Neuropsychologists study the relationship between the brain and behavior. They compare a patient’s pre and post-trauma thinking patterns to discover decreased cognitive, behavioral or emotional function.

Ask a Columbia Brain Injury Attorney For Guidance

Due to the steadily increasing number of traumatic brain injuries in Columbia and throughout South Carolina, it is important to know what resources are available. Every patient deserves an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, even when basic imaging fails to reveal the entire picture. To learn more about other important tests and scans that may be available to you, call me today at 803-790-2800. I am not a doctor, but I am an advocate for your right to safety and proper medical care