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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

PET Scan: Understanding Brain Function and Diagnosing Memory Disorders


Positron emission tomography or PET uses sophisticated computer analysis to provide accurate images of the brain. Unlike MRI or CT images, a PET scan provides a detailed image of one's brain function instead of its structure. PET works by injecting radioactive variants of molecules like glucose, oxygen, neurotransmitters, and hormones in the bloodstream to be carried throughout the body. A PET scanner then detects these radioactive molecules that emit radiation, allowing for the study of its uptake and distribution in the brain. In a PET image, the patches where accumulated radiation is highest (active) is typically red and lowest (decreased activity) is usually colored blue.

PET Imaging Used for Diagnosing Memory Disorders

While MRI and CT can give detailed images of the brain's structure, PET imaging are better at detecting functional abnormalities in the brain. Specialists say that it's even possible to detect these abnormalities very early in the course of the disease and before any anatomical changes occur. The decrease or increase in glucose metabolism at a cellular level are said to be the results of disorders that start with functional abnormalities.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Using MRI in Detecting and Assessing Slowly Progressing Conditions


Because of how it progresses, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy or FSHD is among several disorders that are difficult to detect using current testing methods. This is likely due to the fact that severity, age of onset, and progression of this hereditary muscular disorder vary greatly. Some might notice symptoms in their teens, but studies show muscle weakness can start at infancy. Other people, on the other hand, only have mild FSHD that they don't notice its symptoms at all and are only diagnosed after a more affected family member has been diagnosed with FSHD.

People experience various symptoms depending on how mild or strong the disease is. Symptoms range from abdominal muscle weakness, mild hearing loss and abnormalities of the retina to facial weakness, hip weakness and shoulder weakness, among a host of other symptoms.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tracking Repeated Concussion Injuries Among NFL players with PET Scans

A wide variety of tests can be used to determine if a patient has brain injury, and PET (positron emission tomography) is one of them. PET scanning technology relies on the fact that the brain stores glucose, and by tagging the glucose inside the brain with a radioactive tracer, the PET scanner can identify the areas of the brain where glucose is underutilized.

With PET scans being a useful imaging tool for brain injuries, experts now believe that it can be an indispensable tool in monitoring the brains of NFL players and athletes in other contact sports. Recently, scientists discovered that they can use PET scans to look for brain injury and repair markers in the brains of active and retired NFL players.

According to Jennifer Coughlin, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, the scientists believe that in PET scans, they have “a useful tool to monitor the brains of NFL players and athletes in other contact sports.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MRI and Its Many Applications: Using MRI in Diagnosing Blood Clots


Deep vein thrombosis, more popularly known as a blood clot, is a type of clump that occurs when the blood hardens and turns solid or semi-solid. It can be caused by poor dietary habits, injuries, or an infected body part. It causes vascular obstruction, and could prove dangerous if not treated in a timely manner. Blood clot can be present in different areas of the body like the arm, leg, heart, abdomen, and lungs.

How physicians diagnose blood clots

When diagnosing a blood clot in a patient, the physician considers the individual’s risk factors, symptoms, and test results of the imaging method used to see the clot. Possible imaging tools used to detect blood clots include Doppler ultrasound, veneography, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), MRA (magnetic resonance angiography), and CT (computerized typography) scans, and the D-dimer blood test.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cancer Immunotherapy Responses and How a PET Scan Can Predict Them

Many years ago, cancer is almost impossible to cure. Those who have been diagnosed with it almost immediately lose hope because of the absence of reliable remedy. Today, various treatment methods are now accessible. The latest and arguably the safest and with least impact on healthy cells is immunotherapy. This involves directly or indirectly using the immune system to fight off cancer cell growth.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Important Role of MRI Scans in Diagnosing Certain Eye Disorders

More often than not, ophthalmologists are able to make diagnoses on particular eye conditions based on physical signs and symptoms alone. There are instances, however, that a thorough analysis of a patient’s eye is necessary to identify the main cause of their eye problems.

Here, imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging becomes an indispensable diagnostic tool. Though it’s one of the two main imaging modalities used for ophthalmology purposes, MRI poses better benefits for the patient.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Patients Can Avoid Negative Chemotherapy Side Effects Through PET Scan

Chemotherapy is the primary method of cancer treatment. The procedure uses drugs designed to kill fast-growing cancer cells. Inadvertently, however, chemo drugs can also damage healthy cells throughout the body, causing certain side effects. Most common of these are fatigue, hair loss, infection, anemia, nausea, easy bruising, constipation, diarrhea, appetite or weight changes, fertility problems and more.

For patients diagnosed with lymphoma, there is hope for avoiding side effects yet. A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine has found that PET scan can spare patients the severe secondary effects.