Functional neuroimaging in the assessment of cerebral ischaemia
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Cerebral infarct causes over 170, 000 deaths per year in the United States. Recent developments in neuroimaging are providing an insight into focal cerebral ischaemia, including its pathophysiology and the area of brain at risk. Perfusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) allows evaluation of the blood supply to the ischaemic area, and diffusion-weighted MR permits assessment of tissue damage. Although both functional imaging techniques require some refinement, it is likely that they will soon become part of the normal clinical routine and allow accurate characterisation of pathology. It is expected that this may eventually lead to the development of new treatments.