Researchers have a new weapon in their arsenal to diagnose and treat service members and civilians diagnosed with TBI and PTSD. NIH’s Health Clinical Center, a research hospital began imaging patients on a first-of-its-kind on the whole-body using both PET and MRI scans simultaneously.
The new technology referred to as “Biograph mMR” offers a more complete picture of abnormal metabolic activity in a shorter time frame than separate MRI and PET scans and eliminates the need for two separate tests. Researchers at the NIH Clinical Center will also use the “Biograph mMR” to study patients with other brain disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
David Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the NIH Clinical Center for Radiology and Imaging Sciences said, “The MRI points us to the abnormalities in the body, and the PET tells us the metabolic activity of that abnormality be it a damaged part of the brain or a tumor.”He also said, “The new device makes patient care swifter and safer. The faster turnaround time and more comprehensive results will help diagnose patients at an earlier stage of disease.”
The purchase of the “Biograph mMR” was made possible through the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM), a Department of Defense-funded collaboration between NIH and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
The CNRM does research on TBI and PTSD at the Walter Reed National Navy Medical Center now located in Bethesda Maryland. The CNRM is developing innovative approaches to use to diagnose and prevent long term consequences resulting from TBI. Under the CNRM Diagnostics and Imaging Program, researchers characterize each patient’s injury to optimize diagnosis and inform the patient on the plan of treatment.