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Orinda, CA
A 20-year-old male asked:

Can magnetic resonance spectroscopy be used to detect lyme disease or other infections in the brain? if so how?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Garrett
Radiology 41 years experience
Spectroscopy uses: Typically MR spectroscopy (MRS) is a problem solver used to evaluate tiny volumes of tissue for signs of malignancy or to characterize MS. Infectious lesions can be investigated with MRS but MRS is not, in my experience, commonly used for this. There is one article where MRS was used for dx. of a brain virus, so yes someone might try to use it for Lyme, but I am not aware of an article yet.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Not a relevant test: NMR is not an appropriate investigative tool for diagnosing infections. Wish you good health! - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex, if you have sex.
Dr. Paul Garrett
Radiology 41 years experience
Since some brain infections can mimic malignancies it would not be unheard of to do MRS and end up with an infectious diagnosis. If however the intent is to investigate infection from the start, insurance would never pay, I suspect, so in that sense, Dr. Singh is quite correct.
Jan 15, 2018

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