Most Clicked SNMMI SmartBrief Stories

1. PET could help predict recovery from brain injury

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2014

A study in The Lancet showed that PET may be a viable tool for predicting outcomes of patients who are minimally conscious or in a vegetative state. FDG-PET and functional MRI were performed on 126 individuals who were classified as either in a vegetative state, with locked-in syndrome or minimally conscious. Results revealed that PET predictions were 74% accurate when matched with outcomes at one year, compared with 56% for fMRI. PET also predicted improvements would occur among 13 of 42 patients whom clinicians had determined would not regain consciousness, and nine of the 13 went on to recover consciousness. New Scientist (04/16)

2. Research finds brain abnormalities among young marijuana users

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2014

A study in The Journal of Neuroscience revealed structural changes in the nucleus accumbens and the nucleus amygdala of the brain, areas that play a role in regulation of emotion and motivation, among young, casual users of marijuana. The abnormalities "may be an early sign of what later becomes amotivation, where people aren't focused on their goals," researcher Dr. Hans Breiter said. Reuters (04/16)

3. FDG-PET/CT uptake pattern may reveal head and neck cancer prognosis

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2014

A ring-shaped pattern of FDG-PET/CT uptake provides useful prognostic information in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, a study in the American Journal of Roentgenology has found. All 108 patients with confirmed types of head and neck cancer underwent pretreatment PET/CT, and researchers predicted outcomes based on standard uptake value, metabolic tumor volume, total lesion glycolysis and uptake pattern. They found that although all the parameters were useful predictors of survival, about 90% of the patients with sphere-shaped uptake patterns survived more than six years while 10% of those with ring-shaped uptake survived for more than three years. (free registration) (04/15)

4. Imaging detects key molecule associated with Parkinson's

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2014

ICB International reports that its new imaging technology called a-Syn-SMART Molecule has shown promise for imaging alpha-synuclein in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. The study, presented at the Keystone Symposium for Parkinson's disease, involved a live transgenic mouse with PD injected with the iodine-125-labeled agent. SPECT was used to highlight accumulation of the tracer in the brain. The company also says the agent has potential application for drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier. News-Medical.Net (04/11)

5. Ground Fluor receives grant to develop PET imaging agent

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2014

Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals has won a $728,000 grant to advance development of F-18 fluorodopa, a PET agent designed for use in diagnosis and management of brain tumors and Parkinson's disease. The funds will be used to support manufacturing and distribution of diaryliodonium, which is needed to produce F-18 fluorodopa. (free registration) (04/15)

6. New PET tracer may allow quantitative analysis of Alzheimer's

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 18, 2014

A quantitative approach to Alzheimer's imaging appears viable with compartment model analysis with a metabolite-corrected arterial input function. The approach using PET and the radionuclide C-11 AZD2184 was reported in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. “Although the white matter binding of C-11 AZD2184 may have some effect on cortical measurement, it can be concluded that the kinetic behavior of C-11 AZD2184 is suitable for quantitative analysis,” the authors wrote, noting standardized uptake can be used to assess tracer binding without arterial input function. (04/16)

7. More docs factoring costs into clinical decisions

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2014

More U.S. doctors say it's time to start considering medical costs in their practice by weighing the burden of "financial toxicity" and discussing money openly with patients. Doctors can no longer afford the luxury of ignoring cost, which results in unsustainable health care budgets and serious challenges for patients, writes Timothy Gower. However, the idea of factoring money into medical decision-making raises ethical challenges among doctors and patients. Boston Globe (tiered subscription model), The (04/13)

8. APOE4 may put women at higher risk of Alzheimer's than men

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2014

Stanford University researchers who looked at data from more than 8,000 mostly older adults found that women with the APOE4 allele were about twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease than those without it, while men carrying the variant only had a slightly higher risk of Alzheimer's. Researcher Dr. Michael Greicius explained that women are more likely to develop Alzheimer's because they generally live longer than men, but the relationship held even after correcting for age. Details of the study appeared in the Annals of Neurology. HealthDay News (04/15)

9. Vitamin C after breast cancer diagnosis may improve survival

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2014

Women who took vitamin C supplements after being diagnosed with breast cancer had a 19% lower risk of dying than did those who did not take the vitamin, according to a Swedish analysis published in the European Journal of Cancer. The supplements were linked to a 15% reduced risk of breast-cancer-specific death. (04/14)

10. Androgen deprivation may not prolong lives of prostate cancer patients

SNMMI SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2014

Primary androgen deprivation therapy does not appear to reduce the risk of mortality among patients with early-stage prostate cancer, a retrospective cohort study showed. The findings, based on data from more than 15,000 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer, appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Healio (free registration) (04/14)

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