What Is a Brain Scan?

What Is a Brain Scan?

A brain scan is process that uses a device to generate an image of the brain. The most common scans are magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.

Computerized tomography, or CT, scans use a ring-shaped device with special x-rays on the inside to scan the head of a prone patient from multiple directions. A computer processes the images and compiles them into a complete picture. A magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scanner is a tunnel-shaped machine. The patient lies on a platform that slides inside where the machine transmits and reads magnetic signals to create images, reports the American Brain Tumor Association.