Gadolinium on the Brain: Curiosity or Cause for Concern?

I’ve had two MRIs with Gadolinium contrast. I’m not sure I’m interested in having more. Read on…

Gadolinium enhances the quality of MRI by altering the magnetic properties of water molecules that are nearby in the body. Gadolinium can improve the visibility of specific organs, blood vessels, or tissues and is used to detect and characterize disruptions in normal physiology. By itself, gadolinium is toxic. When used in contrast agents, the rare earth metal is bonded with a chelating agent. Bound to chelates, which vary across different gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs), gadolinium is eliminated from the body. Every year, nearly 20 million patients in the United States undergo gadolinium-enhanced MRI studies to help their physicians diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions, according to RSNA.

“Gadolinium-enhanced MRIs often provide crucial, sometimes life-saving, medical information,” says Max Wintermark, MD, a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University in California.

The belief has been that gadolinium used in contrast is safe, leaving the body rapidly and completely in patients with normal kidney function. Yet when researchers from Japan noted progressive signal changes in specific areas of the human brain following multiple IV doses of gadolinium contrast, they speculated that these changes could be attributed to retained gadolinium within the brains of these patients. When the radiologists from Teikyo University School of Medicine in Tokyo and the Hyogo Cancer Center in Akashi reported their findings in Radiology online in December 2013, it raised some concerns. Additional follow-up studies from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Japanese researchers confirmed the existence of long-term gadolinium deposits in brain tissues of human cadavers.

Read the rest of this interesting article at: Gadolinium on the Brain: Curiosity or Cause for Concern?

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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