Doctors diagnose patients within moments of meeting

December 15th, 2011 - 1:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 15 (IANS) Doctors can diagnose illness and infections within moments of their meeting with a patient, say researchers in a study that could help improve diagnostic techniques.

The research led by Marcio Melo from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, used functional MRI scanning to assess the cerebral activity in doctors while they diagnosed lesions in chest X-rays.

The doctors were able to verbalise the correct diagnosis in an average of 1.33 seconds indicating that this type of diagnosis was swift, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reported.

This is the first ever investigation of the brain mechanisms directly involved in medical diagnosis, according to a university statement.

The neural (brain cell activity) basis of medical diagnosis may contribute to the development of better techniques to improve diagnostic expertise and reduce diagnostic errors.

The results of this study imply that the vast knowledge obtained from cognitive neuroscience studies on the recognition and naming of objects can be brought to bear on the improvement of diagnostic practices.

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