Friday, December 22, 2017

Special PET Scan Instructions for People with Diabetes

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging test conducted to provide doctors with accurate basis for diagnosing a variety of diseases. It involves the injection of a special form of glucose, called 18-F fluorodeoxyglucose (18-F FDG) or simply FDG, to aid in imaging the condition of the tissues and organs. 

Because FDG is sugar, the test results are likely to be affected if the person undergoing it has diabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. The blood will not take up FDG efficiently since it already contains too much sugar. This, however, doesn’t mean that diabetics can no longer have a PET scan. They only need to do the following preparations to make sure that the results of the test will be reliable. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

MRI Scan and Neurological Disorders: Can Machine Really Detect Issues?

Mixed martial arts competitions have never been more popular throughout the United States and the rest of the world. In fact, to say that the combat sport gets the adrenaline pumping is an understatement. However, what spectators find exciting and entertaining can prove to riskier than what MMA fighters and their trainers may initially believe—and we aren’t just talking about getting beaten up. There is also a significant risk of neurological damage, which may lead to neurodegenerative disorders and movement dysfunction.

One of the most difficult aspects of diagnosing and treating neurodegenerative disorders is the fact that many symptoms are quite subtle, especially in the early stages. This often leads to delayed treatment. Fortunately, medical researchers may have found a way to detect neurodegenerative disorders early on with the help of MRI technology.

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.

Monday, June 5, 2017

MRI for Spines: Using MRI Scans To Detect Abnormalities of the Spine

The spine is perhaps one of the most vital parts of the body. Not only does it protects the thin and fibrous spinal cord, but it also supports the entire body. It’s only important, then, to diagnose possible problems with your spine before it gets worse. One way of detecting abnormalities with the spine is by undergoing a spinal MRI scan.

Assessing Spinal Structures

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, makes use of radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer in producing detailed pictures of the spine and its surrounding tissues. The images produced by MRI scans will then be assessed, and an anatomical cause of the patient’s back pain can be determined.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How PET Scans Benefit Medical Patients with Neurological Conditions

The technology behind positron-emission tomography (PET) scans has evolved considerably in the last few years. Especially in the area of neuroimaging, PET scans have provided physicians with clear two- and three-dimensional pictures of brain activity, allowing for precision treatment plans better suited to a patient’s current needs.

Neurological applications of PET scans

Early medical applications of PET scan technology were almost exclusively for the brain. By measuring low-level radioactive isotopes injected into the bloodstream, brain PET scans were able to reveal tumors and diseased tissue in the brain, as well as show the speed of blood flow, and cellular and/or tissue metabolism. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

MRI Before Epilepsy Surgery Can Help Protect The Brain from Damage

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that makes use of large magnets and radio frequencies to produce a highly detailed image of the body’s inner workings. It can be used to take images of various parts of the body, including the brain.

A functional MRI of the brain is used to determine where exactly in the brain certain functions—such as memory, speech, or muscle movement—occurs. By determining the exact location of the functional area of the brain, physicians can map out the proper treatment for a particular brain disorder.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Look at the Role of PET Scan in Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment

Epilepsy is commonly known as the condition wherein the patient suddenly experiences unprovoked and recurrent seizures. It is considered to be neurological in nature as the seizures are said to be a result of a sudden electrical surge in the brain.

The most obvious symptom of epilepsy is the sudden jerking movement of the limbs. Usually, however, this is also accompanied by other signs such as suddenly staring into space, temporary confusion, or even loss of consciousness or awareness.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Study Shows Diagnosing Fibromyalgia can be Possible with an MRI Scan

The truth is that you could be suffering from fibromyalgia at this very moment and you wouldn’t even know about it. This is because this condition features symptoms that could very easily be mistaken for something else.

Fibromyalgia is usually characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain. For the most part, measuring the severity of pain or discomfort felt by the patient is very subjective, which makes it difficult for doctors to have a precise gauge for it. There is no test to specifically determine the pain level, and consistency of its manifestation is also often an issue.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Should You Be Concerned When You Get Abnormal Results in a PET Scan?

PET (positron emission tomography) scans check your body at a cellular level. A wide range of health problems can be detected through a PET scan, such as cancer, diseases, heart problems, and brain disorders. Contrary to what some believe, however, abnormal results in a scan don't mean that you have a rare or abnormal disease.

How a PET Scan Works

Your doctor will give an injection that distributes a special dye throughout your body. The special dye has radioactive tracers attached that help your doctor see how your organs are functioning when the PET scanner is on. Doctors can measure oxygen use, blood flow, glucose metabolism, and other body processes through a positron emission tomography scan.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How MRIs Can Help Monitor the Progression of ALS for Better Treatment

A recent study published in "Neuroimage: Clinical" found that the progression of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, can be monitored through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test. ALS is a very rare nervous system disease that still doesn't have a cure. Scientists have been working to better understand the disease in order to develop cures. The cause of Lou Gehrig's disease is still unknown as well.

Fortunately, medication and therapy can minimize discomfort and slow down progression. An MRI test can help monitor the progression of ALS for better treatment. Here's a look at important findings from the "Longitudinal evaluation of cerebral and spinal cord damage in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis" study:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

An MRI Scan Can Be Used to Identify the Cause of Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a condition where a sufferer will stop breathing temporarily while sleeping. This sleep disorder can occur several times during a single sleep period, which can be dangerous. If you stop breathing, your blood-oxygen levels can get dangerously low, and potentially result in hypoxemia, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, rapid heart rate, and confusion.

CSA symptoms

The most common symptom of CSA is frequent starts and stops of breathing during sleep, which can result in regular nighttime awakening and insomnia. For some people, breathing gets very shallow instead of actual breath pauses. Thus, a CSA sufferer can feel very sleepy during the day and have trouble focusing on tasks. Headaches when waking up are another possible symptom.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Diagnostic Tests and Imaging: When Do You Need to Undergo a Knee MRI?

When you injure a joint in your body, such as the knee, you're not only looking at pain and problems associated with the knee joint, but with the rest of the body as well. After a knee injury occurs, there will be more pressure placed on the hips and the back to support the body’s weight and to keep it stable. Muscles located in the legs can also become stretched as they have to work harder to support the leg of the injured knee. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Heart Health: Detecting Early Signs of Artery Disease with a PET Scan

A PET scan, which is also referred to as positron emission tomography, is a diagnostic tool used by doctors to see specific areas of your body without doing surgery. This important diagnostic tool can be used on almost anyone. A PET scan shows promise in the early diagnosis of atherosclerosis and its importance in preventing cerebrovascular events such as stroke.