ELearning modules developed by SINAPSE

MRI is often referred to as totally safe because it does not use ionizing radiation such as X-rays. In practice however, if the correct procedures are not observed it can be extremely dangerous. As well as fatalities, burns and many other injuries have occurred.

In this module we will describe these hazards and explain how they can be avoided.

By completing this module, you will learn:

  • What an MRI scanner looks like
  • That MRI scanners rely on magnetic fields to create images of the body
  • That the signals used to create the images come from hydrogen atoms in the body
  • How radiowaves and magnetic field gradients are used to work out where in the body a signal has come from
  • How MRI scans differentiate between different types of tissue within the body

By completing this module you will learn about:

  • How MRI techniques are developing in research and in clinical practice
  • How MRI can be used to study blood vessels
  • How MRI can look at white matter tracts and density in the brain
  • How a special technique in MRI can be used to study the chemical composition of tissues and provide information on body metabolism in-vivo
  • How MRI can identify the regions of the brain that are involved in specific tasks

By completing this module, you will learn:

  • How magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used in the diagnosis of some common neurological disorders
  • How MRI is used in imaging breast cancer, the heart, blood vessels, bile ducts and joints
  • What normal and abnormal scans look like and the causes of abnormalities

You would benefit from taking modules on the MRI Basics and Advanced MRI before undertaking this module.

Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), also known as molecular imaging techniques, have in common the formation of cross-sectional images following injection of a radioactive substance. This module will illustrate the use of PET in detecting and staging cancer and the role of SPECT in the diagnosis of some common neurological disorders. It will be illustrated by use of normal and abnormal scans and the causes of the abnormalities will be explained. Readers will benefit from being familiar with the modules on PET and SPECT Cameras and Radiopharmaceuticals for PET and SPECT before studying this module.

  1. Cancer - examples for body and brain
  2. Dementia - AD, DLB, FLD, vascular dementia
  3. Parkinson's Disease
  4. Epilepsy

PET and SPECT imaging utilise radioactive formulations called radiopharmaceuticals in order to provide information on biological processes in the living human body.

By completing this module, you will learn about:

  • What radiopharmaceuticals are
  • How radiopharmaceuticals provide information on physiological function
  • How radiopharmaceuticals are made
  • Safety of radiopharmaceuticals

By completing this module, you will learn about:

  • Radioactivity - Atoms, Isotopes and Decay
  • Sources of Radioactivity
  • Detection of Gamma Rays
  • SPECT Camera Design
  • PET Camera Design
  • Combining Function and Anatomy

This module starts with a brief history of CT, including an explanation of the link to the Beatles. CT uses X-rays and computers, and so the processes involved in the production of X-rays and the transformation of X-ray beams into medical images are illustrated. The module then goes on to look at practical issues including radiation safety for operators of scanners and for patients. Finally some applications are illustrated including, how CT scans can be used to measure bone density and blood flow in tissue, and CT scanning of the brain and the heart.

By completing this module, you will learn:

  • What ultrasound is
  • How we use ultrasound to image the body
  • Why we use ultrasound to image the body
  • What information ultrasound gives us about what is happening within the body
  • Safety considerations when using ultrasound

The objectives of this resource are

  • To explain how electrical signals are generated by the brain and body
  • To illustrate how electrical activity in the brain and body is recorded and measured
  • To explain what brain functions these signals represent
  • To describe examples of clinical applications
  • To give some information on recent developments