General Practice and Other
Through our structured reporting system, Notus makes it possible for professionals in general practice – including physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners – to order fMRIs for their patients as direct referrals.
When do physicians most commonly refer patients for fMRI?
A general guideline may be to consider ordering an fMRI exam under the same circumstances that would warrant a referral to a neuropsychologist or a neurologist.
A few of the more common referrals include:
• Patients with witnessed decline in cognitive abilities—e.g. memory
• Patients with traumatic brain injury—even seemingly mild head injuries
• Other brain injury including CVA, hypoxia, or exposure to neurotoxins
• Attention deficit or learning problems persisting into adulthood
• Cognitive impairment secondary to systemic medical disorders such as AIDS or diabetes mellitus
• Patients taking multiple medications that may affect cognition
• Patients who have had cognitive changes after surgery
The bottom line: fMRI should always be considered whenever a neuropsychological exam is appropriate. However, fMRI provides information about cognitive and brain functioning that goes far beyond what a standard neuropsychological or neurological exam can provide.
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