MRI scan as Treatment

Researchers at several companies are using brain images obtained by an MRI machine to train people with chronic pain how to control their pain. These MRI images are not of the type that are routinely taken to look at the brain structure. Instead, these are images obtained by “functional MRI” which show how different parts of the brain react to pain. By seeing these images of pain displayed as a flame patients are able to reduce the size of the flame and also reduce their pain. It is similar to what is done during old-fashioned biofeedback sessions where patients monitor their temperature or muscle tension and by learning to control these functions of the body are also able to reduce their pain and prevent migraine headaches. It is possible that functional MRI feedback training will prove to be more effective, but it is also likely to be much more expensive.

Submit comment