How MRI Scans Can Be Used to Diagnose Mental Illness

by | Aug 6, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression have been on the rise. Around 11.2% of adults aged 18 and over are afflicted with regular feelings of worry or anxiety. Because of how prevalent they are, mental illnesses must be accurately diagnosed and addressed.

Now, this can be quite difficult as mental illnesses rarely come with physical symptoms. Luckily, advancements and innovations in technology have made it possible to diagnose mental illnesses effectively. 

If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we break down how MRI scans can be used to diagnose mental illness.


Benefits of Neuroimaging for Psychiatric Conditions

There is a slew of different benefits that MRI scans can bring to diagnosing mental illness. This is because brain scans can identify lesions and abnormalities in the temporal lobes or the thalamus and hypothalamus. Lesions and abnormalities in those areas can indicate psychosis. Brain scans can also detect if the brain has lost volume, which is common during psychotic episodes.

MRI scans can also show increased metabolism in the brain’s frontal lobe, which is a common sign of major depressive disorder. Researchers have also found that brain scans and activation patterns can show differences between depression, neurodegenerative disorders, and brain tumors. 

Brain scans can be helpful in the case of a tumor, as the symptoms of brain tumors on the frontal lobe are often mistaken for depression as it tends to make individuals more apathetic. Brain scans can also be of help when it comes to differentiating depression from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. This is extremely useful as identifying a specific disorder gives you the best chance of treating and addressing health issues.

Lastly, brain imaging can also provide us with more knowledge on how mental health conditions affect the physical makeup of the brain. This will be a great help when it comes to devising new treatments and changing the overall approach to mental health in a way that will surely benefit patients in the future.


Limitations of the Technology

Despite the benefits, it’s important to understand that there are current limitations to this technology. While brain imaging techniques can be a great help when it comes to diagnosing individuals, they can’t diagnose more complex conditions that occur along with mental health disorders.

You also have to understand that mental illness tends to manifest differently among individuals. This means that different people may have varying brain abnormalities or brain activity even if they are diagnosed with the same mental illness.

It’s also important to note that brain scans may not detect the disease in its early stages. This is because the physical changes to the brain aren’t as evident until it has progressed into later stages.

Lastly, you also have to consider that different pieces of equipment may lead to varying results. This is why you’ll want to make sure you have the best MRI equipment possible. If you’re looking for quality MRI scanners, we here at DirectMed Parts have got you covered. Our strict quality assurance procedures mean that you’ll only be getting the best equipment for your medical facilities.



Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on the many benefits that neuroimaging can bring when it comes to diagnosing mental illnesses. And while some aspects of medical imaging may not yet be perfect, at the rate that technology is developing, it won’t be long before it is refined to benefit mental illness diagnosis even further.

DirectMed Parts is the best choice when it comes to CT and MRI parts and coils. We are available 24 hours a day, so contact us if you are ever in need of our services!

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