The Past and Future of the MRI - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

The Past and Future of the MRI

It's considered a revolutionary technology in medicine.
And the man behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI testing made a stop at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
He talked about the diagnostic device that has changed many lives..like that of Brandon Lombardi.
"It was just a regular day at practice, going through drills, and I heard a snap, crackle and pop," Lombardi said.
He thought it was just a hockey injury.
But an MRI revealed Osteo Sarcoma or bone cancer.
And Dr. Raymond Damadian is credited by many in the scientific community with making that and countless other diagnoses possible.
Doctor Damadian made the first MR scanning machine in 1977.
He later established the FONAR Corporation which introduced the first commercial MRI scanner in 1980.
"I was interested in cancer and I thought from some of the scientific work that I'd done that if I could show on a piece of cancer tissue that the cancer signal then we would have something that would enable us to scan the human body looking for cancers," he says.
Before MRI's X-ray technologies provided pictures inside the body but they're severely limited because they can't show detail in soft tissue. 
"The breast is soft tissue, the brain, all the vital organs are soft tissue. If you can't see detail, you're not going to see cancers and that's where the MRI changed it," Dr. Damadian said.
Spotting those cancers means faster treatment for patients.
And Doctor damadian and his colleagues have developed an MRI machine he thinks can produce better treatments especially for spine problems. 
Like his original concept of an MRI machine it scans the body in different positions not just lying down. It's called positional imaging. 
"The basic idea is to tell the patient what position do you have pain in. We'll put you in that position that causes pain." he says.
He says that allows doctors to see the problem more clearly and provide a more accurate fix.
And Doctor Damadian says there's much more to come from MRI technology.
Scientists are imagining the day they can go beyond just taking pictures of tumors and actually doing chemical analysis to see how well tumors are responding to treatments. 
"By being able to monitor the response of the tissue which is not happening today, we're going to get much more effective treatments and we're going to get a leg up on that bad disease," Dr. Damadian said.

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