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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used by doctors to visualize internal structures of the body in detail. MRI is a unique technology which makes use of the property of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body. This technology is often an integral part of the evaluation and management of neurological patients, as the images generated by MRI can create more detailed images of the nervous system than is possible with Xrays or CT scanning. In contrast to conventional imaging, there is no radiation from MRI. During an MRI, the technician will request that the patient lay still to facilitate the highest quality study.
MRI was first used by neurologists in the mid-1980s and has advanced considerably since that time. Use of MRI in clinical neurology has led to superior diagnostic accuracy compared with the past. MRI is commonly used to detect many neurological conditions including: