Vascular brain injury can result from conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, have found out that there is an inverse correlation between vascular brain injury and memory and the ability to problem-solve. This means that these types of injury have a greater influence on cognitive impairment of the elderly than the level of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain.

For this study, 61 people from Northern California, aged 65 to 90 years old, were recruited between 2007 and 2012. For more details, please refer to the full article: JAMA Neurology, February 11, 2013

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According to a study carried out by researchers from the Centre for PET at Austin Health in Melbourne and Bayer Healthcare using florbetaben-PET imaging on 45 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), progression to Alzheimer’s disease occurred in 75%of MCI with high florbetaben uptake, compared with 53% of MCI with hippocampal atrophy.Furthermore they also found that 80% of MCI with both high florbetaben uptake and hippocampal atrophy progressed to Alzheimer’s, while 19% of MCI subjects with low florbetaben developed other dementias. The researchers concluded that high florbetaben binding indicated a “very high risk of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s within two years and was a stronger and more specific risk factor than hippocampal atrophy in this cohort.” For more information, refer to the Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

The number of movies in “3D” has increased a lot in the last couple of years, but not only in the cinemas is 3D becoming important. More and more researchers and medical companies are trying to create 3D visualization of medical images in order to help physicians reconstruct in their minds the organ they are seeing as a 2D representation. This is called spatial cognition and there are big differences in the spatial cognition capabilities of different people. Some companies such as Echopixel technologies and Infinite Z, are already working to integrate 3D visualization into the clinical practice by developing advanced visualization and manipulation tools to be used within well-defined clinical protocols.

 

Almost everywhere in the world, the effects of the economic crisis are clearly visible in reduced budgets for healthcare expenditure. Many clinical centers are, therefore, choosing for refurbished or used equipment. There is a difference, though, between refurbished and used. If we consider the example of CT or MRI scans, the vendors dismantle the used equipment, bring it to their facilities and old pieces are replaced, software updated and a fully quality check is done. In addition, these devices have a warranty. Used equipment, however, is normally sold by a retailer and it does not have anything done to it. Choosing one or another will depend a lot on the clinic’s requirements and budget.

Refurbished equipment can be a very good option, when you need to add capacity to your existing facilities, or if you are doing routine scans, which do not require the latest technology. One way or another, the choice is out there, but the decision is up to the buyers.

Lugnegård, director of product management at Sectra has written an interesting article about the role of Radiology in the future of Healthcare. Radiology, according to him, is a “natural hub and is in an excellent position to help coordinate the best care”. Through better integration of the clinical process and implementing smart workflows that help save time and money, he believes Radiology can play a key role in making Healthcare more efficient and improving care quality.

For more information, click here.

Faster MRI?

May 15, 2012

 

Researchers from the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C (principal researcher: Stanley Fricke) have recently published a study in Medical Physics where they show that ultra-fast magnetic gradients (pulse sequences with rise times 100 times faster than conventional MRI) do not produce nerve stimulation or muscle twitching. According to the researchers, MRI limiting speed should be revisited taking into account the new developments, and they expect MRI to allow imaging of small children in seconds rather than minutes.

I wrote in my previous post about smart phones and how they are getting more and more common among Radiologists. Well, tablets are not far behind. Actually, the new iPad’s Retina display, which has raised the tablet’s resolution to the level of a 3-megapixel PACS monitor, is generating a lot of expectation, especially for reading Digital Radiography images. The new iPad offers 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch, up from the iPad 2’s 1,024 x 768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch. This, together with the easy-to-handle features, such as zoom and scroll, make this device very suitable for checking images on the fly.

However, this increased resolution is only beneficial when the images also have a high resolution. This is not the case for tomographic images such as CT, MRI, SPECT or ultrasound, which have a much lower resolution. Nonetheless, the portability of the device, together with the new speed capabilities (e.g. the new iPad utilizes the A5X chip, with quad-core graphics processing capability), make the tablet a very attractive tool for Radiologists.