Long-touted as a safe method of improving the efficacy of MRIs, Gadolinium has now been shown to be toxic to the human body, with the brain particularly at risk of suffering damage due to exposure and build-up. As Gadolinium is seen as particularly useful for brain scans due to its ability to highlight tumors and other growths, brains are more likely to be exposed to the dangerous substance than other parts of the body.
Children may be particularly at risk of negative health effects associated with Gadolinium exposure, as build-up has been shown to be both dose dependent and cumulative. Though dosing of Gadolinium is usually no higher for children, a child undergoing an MRI for potential brain tumors is likely to be subjected to many more of these scans over the course of their life than an adult who does not receive such a test until their twenties, thirties, or later.
Parents should be made aware of the risks of using Gadolinium to enhance scans, and should be allowed to make an informed choice regarding the potential health repercussions for their child. Though there are times a parent may opt in to an MRI if the risk of not performing the procedure is high enough, this should still be up to parental discretion.
For years, doctors and scientists theorized that the body simply disposed of the Gadolinium from these scans, so patients were subjected to procedure after procedure under the assumption that the body was able to process the waste as quickly as it took it in. Now it is known this is not the case, and the number of people suffering due to over-exposure could number in the hundreds or thousands.
If you or someone you love was subjected to Gadolinium Based Contrast Agents, and are suffering symptoms that could be associated with that exposure, it is important to reach out to an experienced attorney. Determining to what extent Gadolinium build-up may have affected your health is the first step to moving forward with your life.