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Molecular Imaging


For all the challenges faced by preterm babies, limited research explores how birth early in the third trimester can affect hearing and understanding speech. A team of researchers, using MRI, found children born prematurely were more likely to face speech and language problems by the age of 2.

According to a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release, new research suggests that genetic variations in the lungs can differentiate between individuals who have stably low lung function early in life (that steadily declines with age) versus those who are at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to smoking.  

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago have two types of technology to predict how well a deaf child can learn language after receiving cochlear implant surgery. 

A team of researchers has proven a new radiotracer, 2-18F-fluorodeoxysorbitol (18F-FDS), more adept at tracking bacterial infection in lungs than current imaging methods, while also distinguishing bacterial infection from inflammation.

Head trauma and sports—most notably football but also hockey, soccer and boxing—have been the focus of plenty of media coverage. Recent studies have shown an overwhelming majority of deceased football player’s brains contained evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.


Recent Headlines

MRI illuminates changes in brain microstructure after concussion

Considering the growing concern about concussions in youth sports, recent research examined how advanced MRI can be used to better understand how brain injuries can result in neurobiological changes that impact clinical recovery.

Tau defects on PET emerge as prime predictors of early-onset Alzheimer’s

Younger Alzheimer’s patients have disproportionately more tau pathology on PET-CT imaging than older patients who are similarly symptomatic, according to a small multicenter European study. The authors suggest defective tau proteins alone can predict disease onset and progression, while later-developing Alzheimer’s likely owes to a confluence of contributing factors.

Triple-organ PET/MR can help manage eventual chemo effects in young cancer survivors

Many pediatric cancer survivors initially evidence no functional signs of chemotherapy damage only to develop serious organ problems months or years later. With this common vexation in mind, Stanford University researchers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have piloted a surveillance protocol using PET/MR to find chemo-induced injuries lurking in the brain, heart and bone in a single imaging session.

Nuclear imaging combo can help predict Parkinson’s

When otherwise normally functioning adults with pronounced sleep problems and a weakened sense of smell also have two imaging biomarkers—reduced dopamine activity on SPECT and Parkinson’s-type pattern expression on FDG-PET—they’re probably headed for full-on Parkinson’s disease.

Amyloid PET makes a strong early showing in IDEAS study

Amyloid PET scans changed clinical care management in some 67.8 percent of 3,979 patients with mild cognitive impairment who are enrolled in the IDEAS study led by the Alzheimer’s Association and managed by the American College of Radiology and ACR’s Radiology Imaging Network.


PET/CT a sharp-eyed ally against comeback thyroid cancer

Postsurgical medullary thyroid cancer patients who have elevated calcitonin levels, which can indicate that the cancer has returned, are well served with follow-up PET/CT using the radiotracer 18F-DOPA (fluorine-18-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine), according to a small study published online May 30 in Nuclear Medicine Communications.

SPECT study shows ‘fish oil’ fatty acids benefiting the brain

A study running in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease bears out a correlation between higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in the bloodstream with both better neurocognitive function and increased perfusion in regions of the brain that handle learning, memory, depression and dementia.

Pennsylvania patient area's first to receive ultrasound treatment for essential tremor

John Lukens, 61, who suffered from bilateral essential tremor (ET) for about a decade, recently became the first patient in Pennsylvania to receive MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment (MRgFUS) for ET.

Bipolar individuals have abnormalities in frontal, temporal regions of brain

An international consortium spanning 76 centers published a large MRI study that found abnormalities in brain regions controlling inhibition and emotion in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Neuroimaging data used to construct viable aging biomarker

U.K. and Aussie researchers have introduced a clinically relevant neuroimaging biomarker of aging-related brain deterioration and, in the process, shown how brain age predicts mortality.