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Combined MRI/PET for brain imaging

Combined MRI/PET for brain imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with positron emission tomography (PET) technology is expected to provide new insights into brain disorders and neurological stem cell therapy, and could prove to be a turning point in diagnosis and therapy for patients suffering from neurological diseases, stroke and cancer. Combined MRI/PET presents a significant leap forward in imaging capabilities bringing the exceptional soft tissue contrast and high specificity of MRI together with PET's excellent sensitivity in assessing physiological and metabolic state and has the potential to become the imaging modality of choice for neurological studies, certain forms of cancer, stroke and the emerging study of stem cell therapy. Researchers expect that MRI/PET will open new doors in understanding the pathologies and progression of various neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia.
For example, PET can currently differentiate mild cognitive impairment from early-stage Alzheimer's disease, but cannot determine reduced brain volume caused by atrophy. By combining MRI and PET, clinicians may be able to make a more sound determination of both cognitive impairment and atrophy. Furthermore, combining MRI/PET and the new emerging neurological biomarkers has the potential to support the assessment of the condition. Similarly, the technology holds the promise of allowing physicians to study which brain tissues might be salvageable after a stroke. MRI/PET also holds great promise for emerging stem cell therapy. Because the MRI/PET approach allows simultaneous measurement of anatomy, functionality and biochemistry of the body's tissues and cells, it may enable researchers to correlate MRI and PET data in a way not previously possible. This correlative approach will enable to get a much deeper understanding of track stem cell migration to damaged parts of the brain, determination over a prolonged period whether or not cells are still alive, and identification of how stem cells have been integrated into the body's neurological network. Recent hybrid technologies, such as PET?CT and SPECT?CT incorporate both imaging modalities into one machine, but the two scans take place sequentially. The prototype MRI/PET acquires MRI and PET scans at the same time for the same imaging volume and therefore produces a higher degree of registration.

Combined MRI/PET for brain imaging

Siemens Healthineers

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