Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is most commonly caused by an impact, internal damage, or a loss of oxygen. Although not always visible, TBI may cause enduring physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes for the survivor. Long-term effects place an enormous emotional and financial burden on the individual’s family due to high costs and often life-long needs.
Symptoms of Brain Injury:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Faulty judgement
- Emotional outbursts
- Disturbed sleep
- Diminished libido
- Difficulty switching between multiple tasks
- Slowed thinking
Distinguishing true brain damage from the effects of migraine headaches, pain elsewhere in the body, medications, depression, or preoccupation with social and financial stress can be a formidable task. False Creek Healthcare Centre in Vancouver B.C. is home to the most advanced MRI available for clinical use in Canada: a system that has proven critical in the diagnosis of subtle brain injury cases.
The Latest Advances in Brain Injury Diagnosis
False Creek Healthcare Centre employs state of the art MRI protocols, designed by Dr. Mark Haacke, to visualize and categorize the location, nature, and degree of damage to the central nervous system.
These techniques probe changes in brain architecture and homeostasis. The presence of blood, edema and mass effect are common indicators of traumatic brain injury. Diagnostic imaging can be used to detect the most common types and patterns of injury to help classify TBI and is the first step in making an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s evolving condition.
The MRI provides more detail than a conventional CT scan and is better at detecting the remnants of old hemorrhaged blood, producing high-resolution structural information for diagnosis of brain damage. The 3T MRI offered at False Creek Healthcare is more likely to detect smaller hemorrhages as compared to the standard 1.5T MRI or CT scan.
Our radiologists and technologist employ these advanced methods to diagnose mild to severe cases of traumatic brain injuries:
Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI)
A method used to detect micro-bleeds, hemorrhage, and iron storage.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
A method used to detect damage to the nervous system.
Measures chemical levels in the brain. A decrease in levels of certain chemicals indicates damage to the brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
Q: Is it possible to see the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury 2 to 3 years after the accident?
A: Yes, the characteristic iron content will still be present in the brain even after 5 years. Only in rare cases will the iron be reabsorbed by your body.
Q: Are micro bleeds unique to Traumatic Brain Injury? Can something else, for example excessive drinking cause micro-bleeds?
A: Multiple micro-bleeds are generally not found in a healthy brain. It is possible to have 1 or 2 micro-bleeds from a minor accident, but any more, especially in the location where the accident occurred is indicative of TBI.