Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts Warn Over Health Check Brain Scans In UK

Date:
September 4, 2009
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
A new study has voiced concern about the growing market for brain screening tests, which people can buy as part of a general health check-up in the United Kingdom.

A new study has voiced concern about the growing market for brain screening tests, which people can buy as part of a general health check-up in the United Kingdom.

Related Articles


Researchers warn that paid-for brain scans – increasingly popular with healthy people who want to allay fears about undiagnosed brain cancer and stroke – may do more harm than good.

They reach their conclusion having analysed the results of almost 20,000 brain scans from people who undertook the tests for a variety of reasons, such as general health check-ups or volunteering for medical research. None of them had any symptoms suggesting that they had an underlying brain condition.

The researchers found that almost three per cent of healthy people had an abnormality on a brain MRI scan and warn that even when an incidental abnormality – such as a weakened blood vessel in the brain or a benign tumour – is discovered, there is no clear medical evidence that treatment would do more good than harm.

The experts say this lack of evidence can create anxiety, with many patients feeling that a tough choice has to be made between risky, potentially unnecessary surgery or leaving their condition untreated.

Dr Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, an MRC clinician scientist at the University of Edinburgh, said: "The difficulty with these health check-ups is that in the small number of people who do harbour some undiagnosed brain condition, there is not a clear next step.

"We do not have enough medical evidence to know whether we should treat the abnormalities or just leave them be. Until we have that knowledge, we cannot be sure that commercial screening benefits people with incidental findings on their brain scan. Furthermore, there is little evidence that "peace of mind" lasts for the people with normal brain scans."

The results of the study have been published in the British Medical Journal and represent the largest review of brain scanning results ever to be conducted.

The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council, the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council and the USA National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Experts Warn Over Health Check Brain Scans In UK." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903110814.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2009, September 4). Experts Warn Over Health Check Brain Scans In UK. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903110814.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Experts Warn Over Health Check Brain Scans In UK." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903110814.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins