Consequences of prolonged stress - MRI head scan
A 38 year old male patient, suffered the loss of a close family member. The patient has holds a high political position and is under prolonged chronic stress. He discovered a change in his facial skin and developed swelling in his neck - enlarged lymph glands. He went to see a doctor who referred him for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. On this post-contrast MRI scan utilizing T1W FS (T1 Weighted Fat-Saturation) sagittal tomogram, we see a reduction in the volume of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - the region that controls emotions, abstract thinking, and impulses, as well as anterior cingulate, and insula - three brain areas. Chronic multi-cause stress in this young patient has led to reductive changes in the brain parenchyma that are characteristic of a much older age.
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