Magnetic Resonance System on Patients Magnetic Resonance Essay

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Magnetic Resonance System on patients

Magnetic resonance System (Imaging), here after referred to as (MRS), or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is a medical imaging technique widely used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structure and limited function of the body. It provides great contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, making it particularly useful in neurological (brain), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and ontological (cancer) imaging. MRS uses a powerful magnetic field to align the nuclear magnetization of (usually) hydrogen atoms in water in the body (Adams, 1989). To systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, Radio frequency (RF) fields are used, enhancing the generation of a rotating magnetic field by the hydrogen nuclei that can be detected using a scanner.

MRS can detect the chemical composition of diseased tissue and produce color images of brain function. This signal can be controlled by more magnetic fields to build up adequate information to create an image of the body. Through MRS doctors can get highly refined images of the body's interior without surgery since the entire body is visible to the technique, which poses few known health risks. (Rublee, 1989). This method can be used to detect the extent of the brain injury or the spinal injury. It helps in detecting the extent of the injury so as to enable doctors to take the appropriate management measures to help the patients.

MRS scanning should not be used when there is the possibility for an interaction between the strong MRI magnet and metal objects that might be imbedded in a patient's body. The force of magnetic attraction on certain types of metal objects (including surgical steel) could move them within the body and cause serious injury (Clark et al., 2003). Metal may be imbedded in a person's body for various reasons like;

Medical: People with implanted cardiac pacemakers, metal aneurysm clips, or who have had broken bones repaired with metal pins, screws, rods, or plates.

Injury: Patients with bullet fragments or other metal pieces in their body from old wounds and should duly inform their doctors.

Occupational: People with significant work exposure to metal particles for instance working with metal grinders.

Brain and Spinal cord injuries affect activities that are autonomous (e.g. breathing) as well as thought-driven actions (e.g. cycling).i.e. both motor and sensory functions may be lost.

Psychological effects of brain and spine injury

The psychological effects may involve autism disorder, panic disorder, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) sadness and crying, despair and guilt, fear of losing control, disbelief and panic, helplessness and inadequacy, disorganization, confusion, resentment and bargaining, loss of interests, loneliness and isolation, withdrawal, lack of privacy, loss of independence, changes to role and lifestyle, uncertainty of the future, sense of helplessness, separation from family and friends area some of the psychological effects of brain and spine injury (Hammell K. 1994).

Physical effects of brain and spine injury

The consequence of SCI is usually permanent paralysis of voluntary muscles below the lesion, reduced mobility, and impairment of social and vocational activities, with a negative impact on body systems such as respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, gastrointestinal, reproductive and sensory. Further the patients can display fatigue and lethargy, inability to control basic bodily functions, changes in physical health and functional ability and changes in body image (Hollicks and Radnitz, 2001).

Sexual drive persists following brain or spinal injury though sexual physiology may be altered. In men with upper motor neuron syndromes, erections in response to local stimulation or reflex erections are common, while erections in response to cortical stimuli, such as thoughts and sights referred to as psychogenic erections, are lost. Reflex erections, while common, may not persist long enough for sexual activity. Management of erectile dysfunction can include exploration of sexual expression not involving erection or use of stimulants to maintain the erection to a level…

Sources Used in Document:


Adams, R.D. & Victor, M. (1989). Intracranial neoplasm: Principles of neurology. (4th Ed.) New

York. McGraw-Hill.

Clark, C.A., et al. (2003). White Matter Fiber Tracking in Patients with Space-Occupying Lesions of the Brain: A New Technique for Neurosurgical Planning? Neuroimage 20: 1601-1608.

Hammell K. (1994). Psychosocial outcome following spinal cord injury. Paraplegia 32: 771 -- 779.

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