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Brain scans

Overuse of brain scans for American headache sufferers costs $1 billion per year

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 by: PF Louis
Tags: brain scans, headache sufferers, radiation

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(NaturalNews) Both CT (computerized tomography) scans and MRIs (magnetic resolution imagery) tend to be overused for headache sufferers to get good images of what's not right in the brain. They both do that well, but they both have their dangers. And they are both very expensive.

From 2007 to 2010, there were over 51 million doctor visits for headaches, of which around half were migraine-related. A Michigan University Medical School study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, analyzed doctor visits that that resulted in brain scans, either MRI or CT, between the years 2007 and 2010.

There were over 51 million doctor visits for headaches, almost half of which were migraine-related. And of that half who were migraine sufferers, 12.4 percent resulted in brain scans. Cost estimates over the four-year period, based on typical Medicare costs for imaging, came to just under $4 billion, hence the estimated $1 billion from their study. The vast majority were females younger than 65.

Since the costs were based on Medicare coverage, which isn't available for those under 65, Brian Callaghan, the neurologist who led the study, asserted that the cost estimates were conservative at best. The study urged more education on brain scan dangers for both doctors and patients. The blame for brain scan overuse was placed on both doctors and patients.

The study group proposed educating migraine patients on the dangers of brain scans. Here's the JAMA Internal Medicine study: (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com).

Health insurance that refuses to cover less-expensive, effective and safer natural or alternative medical solutions is part of this problem too. Health insurance coverages make it easier for ignorant, fearful patients without deep pockets to stay within the confines of the medical mafia.

Doctors who overlook existing guidelines for ordering brain scans to please their patients' demands use insurance money to risk complications from brain scans that are unnecessary and innapropriate.

Existing guidelines recommend not using brain scans when unusual or sudden headaches are occurring with other symptoms, including dizziness, weakness, vomiting and loss of appetite. Those guidelines also actually discourage using brain scans for migraine sufferers.

And what about those brain scan dangers?

CT scans use multiple X-rays at different angles and strengths to map layers that can be combined into 3D images. Although effective at getting useful imagery results for allopathic applications or even to confirm alternative brain cancer solutions, CT scans expose the brain to much more X-ray exposure than normal 2D X-rays without color differentiation.

In 2009, there was a rash of CT programming and dial setting errors resulting in burns and hair loss, sometimes with permanent baldness, from brain scans at various hospitals, especially Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California. That hospital was under investigation for over 250 reports of using too much radiation with brain scans.

Some medical authorities think CT horrors were even worse, giving lawyers more opportunity to usher their clients into courtrooms or settlements. It's already established that radiation is carcinogenic. Even Madame Curie, the highly praised creator and promoter of radiation therapy, died of radiation poisoning. That should at least have been hint.

Speaking of helping attorneys prosper, the use of certain dyes for MRIs gave some lawyers a field day for collecting huge awards. Their patients incurred a strange skin disease, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, that was often crippling and sometimes lethal. They usually had kidney ailments and were never sufficiently warned that the Omniscan chemical dye used was too toxic for those with kidney issues.

Radiology is playing with fire and MRIs are playing with poisons. They should be used minimally and mostly replaced with much safer adequate imagery from ultrasound or thermography.

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