Saturday December 15, 2018
Home Science & Technology Missouri Univ...

Missouri University Sets On a Mission To Make a Better MRIs

The researchers estimate the Heart Speed technology will be available for clinical use within five years.

0
//
MRI Scans
Making MRI scanners faster has several benefits, including increased access to these devices for patients. Pixabay
Republish
Reprint

MRI scans help doctors diagnose diseases or injuries without radiation. MRI technology uses powerful magnets, radio waves and a computer to make detailed pictures inside the body.

This is especially important for heart patients. With an MRI, doctors can check to see if blood vessels are blocked. They can also check for heart damage after a heart attack.

The downside is that patients must lie motionless in a long tube for a long period of time, which is especially challenging for people with claustrophobia.

University of Missouri School of Medicine researcher Dr. Talissa Altes says the procedure can be very difficult for some patients.

“It can be very hard. It can be very tiring, and they are often very long exams. We schedule them in 90 minute, an hour and a half, slots, which if you have ever been in an MR scanner, that is a long time,” Altes said.

In order to get a clear picture, patients must hold their breath, over and over.

“In general, an MRI takes a long time to acquire a single image, and if you are moving during the acquisition of that image, you will get blurring,” said Robert Thomen, another researcher on the University of Missouri School of Medicine team.

Thoman and Altes are working on a project called Heart Speed. With Heart Speed, data analysis software pulls out motion information from the magnetic resonance images. Their colleague, Steve Van Doren, says Heart Speed would allow radiologists to see the heart clearly even if a patient is breathing normally.

MRI
Brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern. Wikimedia Commons

“We found that we could separate breathing motion from the heart motion quite well using the software, and we thought we should try to start applying this to real patient data,” Van Doren said.

The goal? A more comfortable scan for patients who can breathe at a normal pace. Without repeated breath holds, scans would also be much shorter — just 15 to 30 minutes.

Also Read: China Starts Investigation After Scientists Claims To Edit Genes in Babies

“Patients will benefit because it will be easier for them to do the exam,” Altes said, adding that “hopefully the radiologist who reads it or the cardiologist who reads the MRI will benefit because the images will be much better.”

The researchers estimate the Heart Speed technology will be available for clinical use within five years. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Prenatal choline may boost babies’ metabolism, brain development

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies.

0
Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby
Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby. wikimedia commons

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies. Although the role of choline in neurodevelopment has been studied before in rodents, the new research was conducted on pigs, which has more relevance to humans.

Austin Mudd, a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois said,”In pigs from choline-deficient moms, their brains were about 10 percent smaller overall.” And 11 of the 19 regions were significantly smaller in choline-deficient brains, he said. The result was the same in grey and white matter concentration of the piglets.

This may increase baby’s metabolism and brain development. Pixabay

Conversely, piglets whose mothers consumed sufficient choline during pregnancy had higher concentrations of grey and white matter in the brain’s cortical regions. Grey matter is primarily made up of the neurons themselves, while white matter comprises the material that connects neurons and bridges in different parts of the brain.

Also Read: Acupuncture May Boost Chances Of Pregnancy Through IVF

For the study, the team gave pregnant sows choline-deficient or choline-sufficient diets through the second half of their pregnancies. After weaning, piglets were fed choline-deficient or choline-sufficient milk replacer for 30 days. Then the month-old piglets were scanned by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The left and right cortex were found to be larger in the choline-sufficient pigs, as a result of the a greater density of grey matter in the brain. As part of the study, some of the pigs from choline-deficient mothers were also given adequate amounts of choline after birth.

genetic testing
This is wonderful for mothers and babies. Pixabay

The results showed that it is not sufficient for the brain. “Postnatal supplementation cannot correct for prenatal deficiency. It has to occur during development,” explained Ryan Dilger, associate professor at the varsity.

“We know that the structural alteration is there, but it may not manifest in ways we can see until later in life. That’s why it’s important to think about this during gestation because the changes are occurring then,” Mudd noted. The study was published in Current Developments in Nutrition. IANS