Using MRI As Evidence of PTSD
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which causes mental and cognitive disorders, can be detected by CT scan. In the scan, a TBI patient will commonly have small hemorrhagic lesions in the cerebral white matter of the brain. When these lesions are present, it has been shown that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients are more likely to suffer from neuropsychiatric symptoms.
More recently, MRI has also been used to locate these hemorrhagic lesions and diagnose TBI. Two common diagnostic modalities that have been employed are called T2GE and T2SE. A recent study compared the efficacy of these two sequences of MRI.
Researchers used a sample of 30 head trauma patients with PTSD. All the patients were assessed using an MRI. Then, researchers compared the findings of T2GE and T2SE sequences to the patient's clinical symptoms.
The T2GE sequence of MRI was shown to be significantly more efficient in diagnosing the PTSD patients, indicating that 80% of the patients had hemorrhagic lesions. The T2SE sequence, by contrast, only detected lesions in 23% of the patients. The researchers concluded that T2GE is significantly better for detecting the cause of PTSD.
The authors of the study also envision this diagnostic tool to aid TBI patients in legal proceedings about their PTSD symptoms and treatment. They recommend the T2GE sequence of MRI as a reliable method for evaluating chronic victims of traumatic brain injury.
Saeidibrorojeni HR, et al. Better evaluation of PTSD by MRI. Journal of Injury & Violence Research 2012; 4(12): PMC3571538.