Tracing the circuitry of the brain  pg. 2

Today, with techniques such as fMRI, “we’ve shown that you can detect the effects of different types of interventions,” he says. “You can now begin to use this as a tool to actually monitor treatments.”

There are limitations: Some children feel claustrophobic in the “doughnut,” or can’t stay still for very long. The technique also is not very good at determining which part of the brain activates before another.

The technique also is expensive—currently running about $500 to $800 for an hour-long exam, Gore says. But if it can help identify problems with brain function and achieve better outcomes, fMRI would save money in the long run, he says.

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