If a doctor determines that they need more information regarding your sudden or gradual increase in memory loss or lapses, they may determine that an MRI, or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging, test might be necessary.
In conjunction with a CAT scan, an MRI can provide helpful information to a doctor that is attempting to diagnose a mental disorder or a doctor that is trying to fully understand the reasoning behind a patient’s inability to maintain their short-term or long-term memory.
An MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and water molecules that produce an electromagnetic field when combined with a radio frequency transmitter. Certain photons produce a signal that the scanner can detect. These are then used to create a 3D rendering of the scanned body part. Doctors may sometimes inject a contrast agent into the patient during the MRI in order to make certain blood vessels, inflamed areas, and tumors appear brighter on the MRI scan for easier detection and diagnosis.
The difference between a CAT scan and an MRI is that an MRI doesn’t use any form of radiation as a CAT scan does, which makes it a safer procedure. However, if a patient has any form of metal implanted in their body, or has certain implants such as a pacemaker for their heart or a cochlear implant, they are typically not allowed to participate in an MRI scan due to the powerful magnetism of the machine and equipment.
Whether your doctor prefers to have an MRI or a CAT scan completed in order to diagnose a memory loss issue, either test will provide the doctor with the appropriate information needed to determine the reasons behind your sudden or gradual memory loss.