The cerebrospinal fluid, known as CSF, lubricates the brain and spinal cord. Utilizing FONAR's patented Advanced UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI technology, the team was able to view the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in and out of the brain with the patients lying down and upright. These invaluable dual observations have only been possible since the invention of an MRI capable of imaging the patient upright.
Damadian and co-researcher, Chu, discovered obstructions of the CSF flow in all eight patients in the study and, in seven out of eight patients, the obstruction was more pronounced when the patient was in the upright position. The UPRIGHT® MRI also revealed that these obstructions were the result of structural deformities of the cervical spine, induced by trauma earlier in life.
The research was initiated when Damadian and Chu scanned a patient with multiple sclerosis. In reviewing the MRI scans, Damadian noted that one of the MS lesions in the patient's brain was directly connected with the CSF within the ventricles of the brain, which are the structures in which the body continuously produces CSF fluid. It does so through a network of blood vessels within the ventricles known as the choroid plexus. This network generates a large volume of CSF daily, approximately 500 cc.
Damadian knew that in multiple sclerosis the lesions are typically concentrated adjacent to the ventricles and are peri-ventricular in distribution (i.e. surrounding the ventricle). He had also determined that the patient had a history of severe trauma to the cervical spine. When a careful history of subsequent patients in the study was taken, it revealed that all but one had also experienced some form of serious traumatic injury to the cervical spine.When viewing MRI scans of the first patient, Damadian hypothesized that any obstructions of the continuous circulation of the daily volume of CSF out of the brain to the spinal cord and back could cause increased pressure within the ventricles, which could result in leakage of the fluid into the brain tissue surrounding the ventricles.