Skip navigation
† A. A New Way to Diagnose Chronic Pain

Narrator: This is Science Today. People suffering from chronic pain associated with nerve damage, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or lower back pain, may find relief in the form of a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan called MR Neurography. Neurologist Aaron Filler of UCLA modified the standard MRI by getting nerves in the body to stand out...

Filler: Not only can we just see the nerves, we can see abnormalities in them, when they swell and they get compressed or pushed out of line and it helps us know whether there is some simple surgery to fix something, or not.

Narrator: Actually seeing the nerve is especially beneficial, Filler says, to those patients with chronic pain, who have not gotten answers yet from other diagnostic tools, including the MRI scan.

Filler: These patients, hundreds and thousands of them are sent to pain clinics, they get morphine pumps, put on chronic narcotics, or even sent to psychiatrists, because if the doctor canít see the cause of the pain, you have to assume that thereís maybe nothing there.

Narrator: Filler expects the scan to be routine within three years. For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.