New 'whole-body' scanners aim to better treat TBI, PTSD

Tuesday - 10/4/2011, 8:50am EDT

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, deputy director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Download mp3


Researchers have a new way to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has begun started using a first-of-its-kind, whole-body scanner on patients, known as a "Biograph mMR."

The new scanner gives scientists a more complete view of abnormal metabolic activity — and in a shorter time frame than separate MRI and PET scans, by essentially blending those two imaging methods.

The MR/PET machine newly installed at the NIH Clinical Center. (Photo courtesy of NIH).

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, the deputy director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss the new technology.

The institute purchased the new scanners through the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department, Koroshetz said.

NIH and DoD also recently partnered on a traumatic-brain-injury database, which Koroshetz said would help shed light on the under-studied ailment.

Those who have suffered a recent head injury and are interested in participating in research at the NIH Center can call (855) 824-2676 or visit braininjuryresearch.usuhs.mil.