Radiology the Diagnosis of Disease Term Paper

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He proposed this technique as the solution to the problem of why some people do better than others in certain tasks, He likewise suggested cataloguing the differences in the size of the functional areas among individuals and correlating these with different talents and skills (Krotz 2001). Van Essen believed that his technique would ultimately lead to what makes people human or unique. Brain mapping charts and determines specific areas, such as areas devoted to hearing, emotions and memory.

Dr. Joy Hirsch of the neuroscience department of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center discovered that functional areas are not areas but intricate networks (Krotz 2001). Her findings and projections point to systems of remotely connected brain areas as fundamental units that govern cognition. She also concluded that this assumption would be the guiding principle in research a few years from now. Dr. Hirsch maintains a lab at the O'Hare Airport, which turns out approximately 300 fMRIs every year for pre-surgical and research purposes. In the conduct of her work, she realized that many cognitive tasks require many regions in the brain to function as a single system and found that one region plays a vastly different role in seemingly task-unrelated systems. She believed that understanding these cognitive systems could improve physicians in repairing neural breakdown. A loss of movement in an extremity, for example, may be connected with some activity in the thalamus, she illustrated (Krotz).

In five years or so, the physician of a stroke patient can do a functional scan and plug the information into a software-operated model in order to determine how other brai areas would respond in the next few months. This model uses the same super-computing capability as that used by meteorologists in predicting hurricanes. The physician can then "rewire" his patient through mental exercises that would stimulate new neural connections (Krotz 2001).

Looking back at the past, naturalists of the 19th century catalogued life through a system called taxonomy. Charles Darwin roamed the world for five years and returned home to write the Origin of Species. With the same vigor and dedication, neurologists have been imaging brain conditions and actions for more than 20 years (Krotz 2001) and a lot have been known about the functions of many areas of the brain but the whole meaning of these discoveries remains unknown. Dr. Gregory V. Simpson of the neuro-imaging laboratory of the University of California in San Francisco believed that this generation is only a little beyond taxonomy and that it is time these raw data gathered be used in understanding the rules that govern the operations of these networks in the brain. Then the next step would be to learn these neural laws and which can be used to develop predictive models of brain function (Krotz). He suggested the use of every imaging equipment or technique available and not typically associated with clinical radiology. Valuable techniques include electroencephalography or EEG, which measures electrical activity from neural pulses and the magneto-encephalography or MEG, which measures the faint magnetic field around the brain. These two directly detect the brain's electrophysiological activities or engagements and provide split-second temporal resolution (Krotz). They not only establish when the neuron is stimulated but also points to where the stimulation happens. Dr. Simpson said that these two modalities track down the very nature of neural activity, the surface measurement of the occurrences deep in the brain, but as such, they come up with imperfect calculations. Dr. Simpson suggested fusing these temporal data with MRI's excellent spatial resolution (Krotz). Dr. Richard M. Leahy of the University of Southern California's neuro-imaging research group expressed the view that the combination is still in its early stages. Instead, he suggested that MEG's spatial resolution be improved by means of developing algorithms that would better correlate with the magnetic field on the brain surface.

Other contributions include Carnegie Mellon University Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging Director Marcel Just's computer model of sentence comprehension based on fMRI data and the Pittsburgh Compound B. As a breakthrough in research on Alzheimer's. The compound enables researchers to see and examine brain plaques found in living Alzheimer sufferers (Romain 2004). Alzheimer's is a leading cause of dementia among the elderly and is a brain disorder of the memory and cognitive function that controls thought, memory and language (Romain).


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Krotz, Dan. (2001). 2010: a brain odyssey. CMP Media, Inc., special edition: United Business Media Company.

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Melanson, Scott W. (2000). Update on diagnostic imaging in acute care. Journal of Critical Illness. Cliggott Publishing Company.

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Radiology Info. (2004). Functional mr imaging (fmri) - brain. Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

Romain, Gabe. (2004). Brain imaging breakthroughs for Alzheimer. Better Humans.

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