How a Brain Scan Can Help Diagnose Mental Illness

July 7, 2017 – 3 min read

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For the past 50 years or more, it’s been easy for doctors to diagnose broken bones, problems with organs, and many other diseases with blood tests and imaging devices. Unfortunately, identifying mental problems has been more difficult. Diagnosis for diseases like depression has largely been based on self-reporting – and the results can be somewhat subjective.

Recently, though, there’s become more interest in how a brain scan can help identify certain conditions. If you’re worried that your problems are all in your head, getting a scan can give you the proof you need to seek out treatment.

Seeing the Difference

A brain scan will show activity in different parts of the brain. Images that show more or less activity in certain regions when compared with a “normal” brain image may indicate a problem.

In particular, research has shown that brain imaging can be helpful in diagnosing Alzheimer’s in patients. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s one of the most promising methods of early diagnosis. Imaging can also be used to differentiate different types of depression, helping doctors and patients develop treatment plans.

Ruling Out Other Problems

The best thing about brain imaging is that you can be certain that there are no major problems within the brain causing your symptoms. This imaging will show signs of skull fracture, blood clots or bleeding from a stroke, or a tumor located in the brain. Any of these things can create problems for you.

Helping Doctors Diagnose

Researchers are also finding that there are differences in the brains of people with ADHD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and other types of mental illnesses. However, the research in these areas hasn’t been fully developed, and is not sufficient for a complete diagnosis. One of the biggest problems is that these conditions tend to co-exist with other conditions, so the images can be confusing. Most doctors use our brain scans in conjunction with other tests and observations. Your doctor can help you decide if brain imaging is a smart move for your unique situation.

AHI Works with your Doctor

At American Health Imaging, we specialize in taking the types of brain scans that can help your doctor make a diagnosis. We understand that going into an MRI machine can be a harrowing experience, and we strive to make you as comfortable as possible. Using the latest technology, we can easily take the images your doctor needs, then transfer them back to the doctor’s office for a complete diagnosis.

An Affordable Solution

Brain imaging is within your reach. At AHI, we accept Medicare, Medicaid, and almost all other forms of insurance. We work with your insurance provider to determine coverage. Financing is available for co-insurance payments or treatment that is not covered by insurance. We’re happy to discuss all of your options with you.

A brain scan can help you and your doctor better understand your condition and make decisions about treatment. It’s never been easier to take advantage of this technology. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.