Combination PET-MRI scanner expands imaging frontiers

p, , {margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Cambria;} .t {font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Cambria;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in;margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine are using a new imaging device that simultaneously performs positron-emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, producing more detailed images than either technique alone. The scanner’s power and versatility will enable many wonderful applications in areas ranging from cancer to neurological disorders to heart and lung disease.

Cells talk more in areas Alzheimer’s hits first, boosting plaque component

Higher levels of cellular chatter boosts levels of amyloid beta in the brain regions that Alzheimer’s hits first, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report. Amyloid beta is the main ingredient of the plaque lesions that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. The finding may help explain why areas that are most active when the brain rests are often among the first to develop these plaques, according to the researchers.

Washington People: Jack Engsberg

Jack Engsberg, PhD, took his love of track and field into a study of movement that helps people with cerebral palsy regain mobility. He uses video games as therapy and has been working to teach therapists to create customized games for clients.

Finding may help prevent vision loss in tumor disorder

Nerve cells in the body and brain react in opposite ways to the loss of a protein linked to a childhood tumor syndrome, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. The finding could be important to efforts to preserve the vision of patients with neurofibromatosis 1, a genetic condition that increases risk of benign and malignant brain tumors.

$3.8 million NIH grant funds WUSTL brain imaging center

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to renew a center that helps researchers collect and use data on the brain and central nervous system.

Pediatric strokes surprise parents

Stroke is commonly thought of as a concern only for older adults, but pediatric strokes annually affect 13 of every 100,000 U.S. children. In the St. Louis area, many of these patients are seen by Washington University specialists at the Pediatric Stroke Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.