I am not a doctor. Nor am I a radiologist. Being a caregiver, though, makes me incredibly curious about the medical details related to my wife’s multiple sclerosis. I like to know what my wife’s doctors are talking about and I’m fascinated by how “fearfully and wonderfully made” we are.
So much can be discovered with a little light. As a caregiver, you’ve probably seen a doctor slip the top edge of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) image into the clip on a light box. The MRI results I’ve seen look like large photographic negatives. If you remember the old x-ray pictures, you’ll have the right idea.
The light box, usually mounted on the wall of the examination room, illuminates the MRI by shining an even field of light through it. At home, without a light box, when I want to look at one of my wife’s MRI images, I hold it up to the light and do my best. All I know about what I’m looking for is that the white spots are probably not good.
Guess what I found online. An illuminating article is available on “The Radiology Assistant” website.
Frederik Barkhof of The MR Center for MS Research, of the Radiology Department of the ‘Vrije Universiteit’ Medical Center in Amsterdam has provided a review of his presentation for a Neuroradiology teaching course for the Dutch Radiology Society. Barkof’s presentation was adapted for “The Radiology Assistant” by Robin Smithuis, general radiologist in the Rijnland Hospital, Leiderdorp, the Netherlands. It is fascinating stuff!
Barkhof’s presentation focuses on the role of MRI in the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. The information available at http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/4556dea65db62 is excellent and filled with examples which explain actual MRI images.
If you’ve ever wondered what those white spots on an MRI of the brain mean in the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, explore the article on “The Radiology Assistant”. While it may not help with the specific details of the MRI’s you have an opportunity to see, the article does provide a broad background for MS caregivers and encourages an appreciation for what radiologists and neurologists look for and see when they look at an MRI.
Caregiver Tip: Learn as much as you feel comfortable learning about the medical issues related to multiple sclerosis. The more you understand multiple sclerosis, the more comfortable you’ll feel asking important questions and the more confident you’ll feel in your role as caregiver.