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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 35505
Experience:  Specialist is sports medicine psychology. Certified in yoga, relaxation techniques and meditation.
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My sister-in-law fell two years ago andhit her head on the

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My sister-in-law fell two years ago andhit her head on the wall very hard. She was unconscious for several minutes. Son after she had difficulty finding words and with fine motor skills such as handwriting. She cannot form the letters and has difficulty fastening a seat belt, tying shoes and coordinating any activities that require fine motor skills.
No one associated her problems with the fall but a coworker to me that she noticed her problems after the fall and that she thought she was unconscious for a few minutes. Her boss dismissed it as not being unconscious long enough and she did not go to the doctor.
An Mri last year did not show anything. Could a PET test show something from two years ago.


If an MRI did not show anything abnormal a PET scan can be done for further assessment. In special circumstances, a PET may provide more information than an MRI/CT scan. With her fine motor skill difficulties, this is a valid diagnostic step.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

If she is still experiencing problems. would the PET test still show the site of an injury. She was a dental hygienist and was not able to work soon after the injury. I will need to confirm the timeline of when the problems began. She has otherwise good cognitive skills but her husband thinks it is alzheimers. There is no personality change.

She has an appointment with a neurologist next month and I am going with her. What do I need to do to get an accurate diagnosis.

When she asked her boss if hitting her head could have caused her problems, he said she had not been unconscious long enough.

I was a school psychologist and know a little about TBI. Thanks for your help.


Yes, PET scan would show the site of the injury. In some cases of Alzheimer's also PET is utilized for the diagnosis. The time line will have to be developed by the other means as PET would not give the time frame of the commencement of the problem. You will have to gather the evidence that she was alright before the injury and after the fall, problem developed. A TBI may not have any evidence in medical imaging studies and best for functional assessment is PET. Otherwise an examination based evidences have to be collected.

It is pleasure and privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun

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