The fmrt (functional magnetic resonance imaging) is a method of imaging brain activity. Read all about it!


The fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a method of imaging brain activity. It is usually used for surgical preparation of neurosurgical procedures and in brain research. Read all about the fMRI here, when to carry it out and which risks an fMRI poses.

Product Overview


  • What is a fMRI?

  • When do you carry out a fMRI?

  • What do you do with a fMRT?

  • What are the risks of an fMRI?

  • What do I have to consider after a fMRI?

What is a fMRI?

The fMRI is a special form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with which the metabolic activity in the brain can be represented.

Basis of MRI

MRI is a complex imaging technique used in medical diagnostics to represent the structure and function of tissues and organs in the body. It is based on the application of a very strong magnetic field, which initially energetically excites the hydrogen atoms in the body. The later released energy can be measured and localized computerized. Thus, anatomical structures can be displayed much better than with other imaging techniques such as x-rays or computed tomography. Since no harmful (ionizing) radiation is used, the MRI examination to today's knowledge is safe and can be repeated more often.

Basis of the fMRI

FMRI makes it possible to visualize metabolic activity in the brain. It uses the increase in the oxygen content in the blood, which takes place in the activation of brain areas in these areas. The increased oxygen concentration can be measured, visualized and anatomically assigned with the fMRI. It allows a spatial representation of activated brain areas. This mechanism is also called BOLD (Blood Level Oxygenation Dependent). The fMRI is mainly used for scientific purposes. In the standard diagnosis of diseases, it has not yet prevailed.

When do you carry out a fMRI?

An fMRI is used for the scientific study of various brain diseases, including:

  • Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease
  • Dystonia (persistent muscle spasms)
  • Amnesia (memory disorders)
  • after a stroke
  • dementias
  • schizophrenia
  • depression

In addition to the localization of certain areas of the brain, for example, it is possible to investigate the success of a drug therapy.

Because the MRI device generates a strong magnetic field, prostheses or implants can be damaged and no longer function properly. For this reason, fMRI should not be performed on patients with metal implants (such as hip or knee prostheses, bone screws) or implanted pacemakers or defibrillators (ICDs).

For these diseases, the examination is important

  • Alzheimer
  • carotid stenosis
  • dementia
  • Parkinson
  • schizophrenia
  • stroke

What do you do with a fMRT?

Before starting the measurement, the doctor will explain all aspects of the fMRI. You must not carry any metal objects with you during the examination. Due to the strong magnetic field, even loose coins in your trouser pocket can be accelerated to the speed of a pistol ball!

During the examination, the patient lies in a tube about 70 to 100 centimeters long. He must be absolutely calm and breathe evenly, so that the recording is not disturbed - this is the head fixed in a frame. The patient is connected to the doctors via an intercom. For emergencies, there is an additional alarm button.

More about the symptoms

  • ageusia
  • dysarthria
  • delirium
  • Inner unrest
  • lack of concentration
  • blurred vision
  • neglect
  • aphasia
  • ataxia
  • facial paralysis

What are the risks of an fMRI?

An fMRI is safe according to the current state of knowledge. The examination can take up to an hour, during which you must lie very quietly in a narrow tube. Some people find that uncomfortable and want to make claustrophobic no MRI examination.

What do I have to consider after a fMRI?

After a fMRI, it can be helpful to rest for a short while to recover from the long, quiet lying in the tube.

Overall, the fMRI a safe and painless exam to gain new insights into the functional processes of the brain. As standard diagnostics, the procedure has not yet prevailed.

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