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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Cerebral Palsy

Diagnosing cerebral palsy has long been a problem for medical practitioners.  Often cerebral palsy symptoms are not seen in a child until they are old enough to begin individual growth patterns.  Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders usually characterized by motor dysfunctions.  CP is seen to be primarily caused by some trauma to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth.  Cerebral palsy can also be caused by similar trauma in infants, up to 3 years old.  The brain is unable to control certain muscle groups.  Sometimes an MRI can detect signs of cerebral palsy early on, either in the fetal stage or in a newborn.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for cerebral palsy is a technique used to take very sharp high quality images of the inside of the body.  The MRI operates on a principle known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).  The MRI is more advanced and usually takes better quality images than tomographic (such as a CT) scans, making it an attractive alternative.

The level of detail that is perceived through magnetic resonance imaging for cerebral palsy usually surpasses any other imaging system used to look inside the human body.  Usually a radiologist examines the images to see if there is any detectable damage.  In the fetus or newborn an MRI can be very useful in determining diseases or disorders that can rule out cerebral palsy.  Since CP is sometimes difficult to diagnose, warning signs should be noticed and further testing should be done later in the baby’s life.  MRI for cerebral palsy can look for signs of brain injury.

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be made through checking an infant’s motor skills and reflexes.  Magnetic resonance imaging can identify problems in young children that may be signifiers of cerebral palsy.  Usually an MRI is a preferred method of diagnosing (over CT scans for cerebral palsy) infants because the MRI can give much better images of abnormal areas that may be in the brain or near bone tissue.

An MRI in an older child can look for cerebral palsy-like damages to the cortical or white matter structure.  MRI can be very helpful in determining if the child or fetus has hydrocephalus, which could lead to cerebral palsy.  A spinal magnetic resonance imaging test can be given to determine a cause of spasticity as well.  Any elongation of the brain or brain bleeding may be an early indicator of cerebral palsy.

Magnetic resonance imaging can also detect any problems later in life for the child with cerebral palsy.  An MRI can take pictures of the muscles in the body or spinal cord to determine the extent of the damage done by cerebral palsy on the patient’s body.

If an MRI was never performed, or one performed was misinterpreted, and your child or you later developed CP, it may be a medical mistake.  Your best course of action is to contact an experienced magnetic resonance imaging for cerebral palsy lawyer for a free consultation through this Web site.


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