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Imaging technology helps early detection of brain injuries

A recent article reminds New Jersey readers of the important role medical imaging technology plays in making correct diagnoses and customizing treatment plans. Thanks to medical imaging advances, the need for more invasive exploratory surgeries has been greatly reduced.

For example, thanks to computed tomography, doctors can better assess the impact of head trauma. Brain injury may not immediately manifest after an accident or infection involving head or spinal trauma. If undiagnosed, such damage might lead to neurological disorders.

CT scans are like a new and improved version of an X-ray. Whereas traditional X-ray images may be difficult to read because of overlapping structures, a CT scan produces an image that is a thin, cross-sectional view of the body. The scan is the product of a computer which processes the CT scanning images, collected on all sides of a patient moving through a long, doughnut-shaped CT machine. Although CT scans may also carry a small risk of radiation, many patients find that the diagnostic benefit outweighs that risk.

Although early diagnosis greatly improves prognosis for brain injury victims, not every condition may be treated. Some neurological damage might even be severe enough to prevent an individual from working. When that happens, Social Security disability insurance benefits might be the only viable option for assistance.

Here again, CT imaging might assist in preparing a disability application for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration requires a substantial amount of evidence, and CT scans often show exactly which areas of the brain are affected by a disabling condition.

Source:, “ACR urges parents not to forego needed medical imaging care for children,” June 11, 2013

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