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Kim Kardashian Just Got a Whole-Body MRI Scan. Should You?

Whole-body MRI scans are the latest health fad to be promoted by celebrities, with Kim Kardashian taking to Instagram last month to tout the practice.

But doctors are warning that such whole-body scans, while tempting, are pricey and not all that accurate.

In fact, the average person is more likely to be unnecessarily harmed by having a whole-body MRI than helped by catching a disea...

Minorities Miss Out on Brain-Imaging Studies for Alzheimer's

Americans in ethnic and racial minority groups are underrepresented in Alzheimer's research, a new study finds.

Still, the review of U.S.-based Alzheimer's disease brain imaging studies found the gap is closing.

Compared with white patients, Hispanic Americans are nearly two times more likely to develop Alzheimer's as are Black Americans.

For the study, researchers analyzed ...

Mind-Reading Technology Can Turn Brain Scans Into Language

A mind-reading device seems like science fiction, but researchers say they're firmly on the path to building one.

Using functional MRI (fMRI), a newly developed brain-computer interface can read a person's thoughts and translate them into full sentences, according to a report publish...

How Round Is Your Heart? It Might Matter for Health

Assessing heart roundness may be a new way to diagnose cardiovascular conditions, new research suggests.

While doctors now use measures like heart chamber size and systolic function to diagnose and monitor cardiomyopathy and other related heart issues, cardiac sphericity (how round the heart is) may be another good tool.

“Roundness of the heart isn't necessarily the problem per se...

Good News or Bad, Patients Want Access to Medical Test Results

When waiting for medical test results, days can feel like an eternity.

In a new survey, patients overwhelmingly say they'd like their results immediately -- even if their provider has not yet reviewed them and even if the news is bad.

In April 2021, new rules went into effect requiring health care providers in the United States to make all results and clinical notes available immedi...

MRI Might Boost Cancer Detection for Women With Dense Breasts

Nearly half of women have dense breast tissue, which can be a double whammy on their odds for breast cancer.

Not only are dense breasts a risk factor for cancer, but this glandular and fibrous connective tissue make it harder to detect cancers on a mammogram, the usual method for breast cancer screening.

New r...

Special Brain Scans May Diagnose Early Parkinson's

It may not be long before highly sensitive scans might spot Parkinson's disease in its early stages, researchers report.

A disease of the brain that is characterized by shaking hands, Parkinson's is a condition that wor...

Brain Scans Spot When Psychosis, Depression Might Worsen

The future of diagnosing and targeting treatments for serious mental health disorders may include MRI brain scans.

Researchers in the United Kingdom found that brain scans enabled them to identify which patients with major depression or

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 18, 2022
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  • New MRI Technique Might Help Spot MS Sooner

    Researchers in Austria say a new MRI technique may lead to faster diagnosis and treatment for people with multiple sclerosis.

    The technique can detect biochemical changes in the brains of people with MS early in their disease, according to findings published Jan. 4 in the journal Radiology.

    "MRI o...

    MRI Might Spot Concussion-Linked CTE in Living Patients

    Right now, the devastating concussion-linked brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can only be diagnosed after death via autopsy. But new research could help change that, allowing doctors to someday spot the illness earlier.

    According to the new study, MRI may be able to detect CTE while people are still alive.

    "While this finding is not yet ready for the c...

    More Years Playing Football, More Brain Lesions on MRI: Study

    Repetitive head hits are common in football, and they're also linked to debilitating brain injuries.

    But rendering a definitive diagnosis typically means waiting for autopsy results after the player has died.

    Now, a new study suggests that brain scans can reliably spot troubling signs of sports-inflicted neurological damage while a person is still alive.

    The research also show...

    Brain's 'White Matter' Changes in People With Autism

    Teens and young adults with autism show marked differences in their brains' white matter compared to those without the disorder, a new study finds.

    "If you think of gray matter as the computer, white matter is like the cables," said study co-author Clara Weber, a postgraduate research fellow at Yale University School of Medicine.

    The changes are most apparent in the region involved ...

    Black Men Less Likely to Get Follow-Up MRI When Test Suggests Prostate Cancer

    Black, Hispanic and Asian men in the United States are less likely than white men to receive a follow-up MRI after a screening suggests prostate cancer, a new study finds.

    "We can't say definitively if the reason Black, Hispanic, and Asian men did not receive this particular test is that physicians did not refer them for it, or if the patients opted themselves out of further testing," sai...

    Magnetic Brain Stimulation Helped Rid Him of Decades-Long Depression

    When Tommy Van Brocklin signed up for a trial of a special type of magnetic brain stimulation therapy that could potentially ease his depression, he had already been living with the mood disorder for 45 years.

    Van Brocklin, 60, first underwent an MRI that located the part of his brain that regulates executive functions such as problem-solving and inhibits unwanted responses.

    Then fo...

    Are Breast Self-Exams Necessary? The Answer May Surprise You

    A shift in thinking means it's OK to skip your monthly breast self-exam -- but don't miss your regular professional checkup and diagnostic imaging, health experts say.

    A periodic visual check in a mirror can be helpful, breast health experts from the Cedars-Sinai health system in California suggest.

    "Beginning at age 40, women with an average risk for breast cancer should rely on an...

    AI Helps Rule Out Cancer in Women With Dense Breasts

    While mammograms have reduced deaths by detecting breast cancers when they're small and easier to treat, it's less effective for women with dense breasts.

    However, a new study finds that supplemental MRI screening can make a difference for these women, who are more likely to develop breast cancer. And new technology is being used to speed the process.

    Artificial intelligence ca...

    Signs of Early Alzheimer's May Be Spotted in Brain Stem

    Certain changes in a part of the brain stem, visible in scans, might be a potential early indicator of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

    Using different brain imaging techniques, researchers found that lesser "integrity" in the brain stem region was linked to a faster decline in memory and thinking in older adults, as well as certain brain changes seen in early Alzheimer's.

    Is Hysterectomy Always Needed for a Common, Painful Gynecologic Condition?

    A hysterectomy isn't necessarily needed to treat a common women's health problem, researchers report.

    Adenomyosis is abnormal tissue growth in the wall of the uterus, which causes cramps and heavy menstrual bleeding. The condition affects as many as one in three women.

    But it often goes undiagnosed until it results in a hysterectomy, according to a broad review of medical literature...

    Adding MRI to Screening Can Cut Prostate Cancer Overdiagnosis in Half

    One of the big issues in prostate cancer care is overdiagnosis -- men who are treated for low-risk, slow-growing tumors that might be better left monitored and untreated.

    Now, research out of Sweden suggests that having patients undergo MRI screening, along with targeted biopsies, could reduce the number of prostate cancer overdiagnoses by half.

    The new approach can detect just as...

    COVID-19 Appears to Have No Lasting Impact on College Athletes' Hearts

    Heart complications are rare among college athletes who have had COVID-19, according to a small study.

    "Our findings may offer reassurance to high school athletes, coaches and parents where resources for testing can be limited," said senior author Dr. Ranjit Philip, assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis.

    For the ...

    Too Much Red Meat Might Harm Your Heart

    If you've ever scoffed at warnings that too much red or processed meat is bad for the heart while oily fish is good for you, there's now some visual evidence to support that advice.

    British researchers used heart imaging to see how these foods affected volunteers' heart health.

    The images revealed that those who ate more red and processed meat had poorer heart function, smaller vent...

    How Learning a New Language Changes Your Brain

    Brain activity increases when you start to learn a new language, but slows down as you become more proficient, a new, small study finds.

    "In the first few months, you can quantitatively measure language-skill improvement by tracking brain activations," study co-author Kuniyoshi Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo, said in a school news release.

    The study included 15 n...

    Why Do Black Children Get Fewer Scans When They're Seen in ERs?

    Black and Hispanic children who land in the emergency room are less likely than white kids to receive X-rays, CT scans and other imaging tests, a new study finds.

    Looking at more than 13 million ER visits to U.S. children's hospitals, researchers found that white children underwent imaging tests one-third of the time.

    That was true for only 26% of visits made by Hispanic children, a...

    As Testing Costs Rise, Neurology Patients May Skip Screening

    Rising out-of-pocket costs for neurological tests could lead many Americans to forgo them, researchers warn.

    Their study, published online Dec. 23 in the journal Neurology, analyzed neurology care costs for more than 3.7 million people in a large private insurance claims database.

    They found that average, inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic tests rose by a...

    Any Mask Containing Metal Could Cause Burns During an MRI, FDA Warns

    Patients who wear face masks with metal parts or coatings during MRIs could suffer facial burns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday.

    That's because metal parts such as bendable nose clips or wires, staples on the headband, nanoparticles (ultrafine particles), or antimicrobial coating that may contain metal (such as silver or copper) can heat up during an MRI.

    The FD...

    MRIs Might Be Safe for Patients With Implanted Heart Devices

    For years, people with implanted heart devices have been told they can't undergo MRI scans. But a new study adds to evidence that, with certain measures in place, the procedure is safe.

    The study focused on patients with older pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that were not designed to be more compatible with MRI scanners. The researchers found that when a particular protocol ...

    Even Without Concussion, Athletes' Brains Can Change After Head Jolts: Study

    Athletes who play contact sports may develop subtle brain changes -- even if they don't suffer a concussion, researchers say.

    Their study involved 101 female college athletes -- 70 who played rugby and 31 who either rowed or swam. All were concussion-free six months before and during the study.

    Some rugby players had suffered a concussion before that time, while the rowers a...

    Cuddling Brings Two Minds Together, MRI Study Reveals

    Love to cuddle up? It might bring a 'mind meld,' too, new research shows.

    People in close physical contact appear to have synchronized brain patterns, a revolutionary new MRI technique has revealed.

    A functional MRI scan of two people cuddling under a blanket showed that their brains appeared to be falling into similar patterns of action and response, as they took turns gent...

    Dual Method May Boost Accuracy of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

    Adding MRI to a standard tissue biopsy appears to enhance the accuracy of a prostate cancer diagnosis, new research finds.

    The study, led by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), found that combining the two methods cut the rate of "underdiagnosis" by more than half, compared to use of either MRI or biopsy alone.

    "With the addition of MRI-targeted biopsy t...

    Study Might Point Alzheimer's Research in Whole New Direction

    A new brain scanning technique is shaking up what researchers thought they knew about Alzheimer's disease.

    Researchers now say they can predict with reasonable accuracy which brain regions will wither and atrophy in Alzheimer's by identifying the places where tau protein "tangles" have built up.

    "You could really predict which brain regions were going to get damaged just on ...

    Does MRI Screening Benefit Women With Extremely Dense Breasts?

    Health experts already know that women with extremely dense breasts don't get the same benefit from mammography as women without very dense breast tissue. But what hasn't been clear is if MRI screening might spot cancers that mammography didn't.

    Now a new study from Dutch researchers found that when MRI was used in between mammography appointments, the women in the study were half as...

    They Had Half Their Brains Removed. Here's What Happened After

    Many people think of their brain as an overstuffed attic. Every square-inch is either crammed with information or working overtime to help the body function properly. So is it even conceivable that a person be normal with just half a brain?

    Yes, apparently it is, according to a new analysis that assessed brain health among six adults who had undergone a hemispherectomy as child...

    Is Head Injury Causing Dementia? MRI Might Show

    When a loved one shows signs of dementia, sometimes a head injury is the cause and MRI scans can help prevent a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's, researchers report.

    As many as 21% of older adults with dementia may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a previous study found. Up to 40% of dementias are caused by conditions other than Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzhei...

    Brain Damage From Concussion Evident a Year Later

    Concussion damage may linger a full year after an athlete returns to play, Canadian researchers report.

    "Brain recovery after concussion may be a more complex and longer-lasting process than we originally thought," said lead investigator Nathan Churchill, a research associate in the Neuroscience Research Program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

    After a concussion, he sa...

    More CT, MRI Scans Being Used, Despite Calls to Cut Back

    Despite efforts from medical groups to cut down on the overuse of CT scans and MRIs for safety reasons, their use has instead increased, a new study shows.

    "Medical imaging is an important part of health care and contributes to accurate disease diagnosis and treatment, but it also can lead to patient harms such as incidental findings, overdiagnosis, anxiety and radiation exposure that...

    For Seniors, 'Silent Strokes' Are Common Post-Surgery Threat: Study

    Silent strokes are common in seniors who have had surgery, and may double their risk of mental decline within a year, a Canadian study reports.

    While an obvious (or "overt") stroke often causes symptoms such as weakness in an arm or speech problems, a silent (or "covert") stroke is apparent only on brain scans.

    The new study included more than 1,100 seniors in North and Sout...

    Study Points to Harms From MRI 'Dye' in Early Pregnancy

    A concerning number of U.S. women are exposed to the MRI contrast agent gadolinium early in pregnancy, a new study reveals.

    In many cases, this exposure occurs before women know they're pregnant.

    The researchers said their findings underscore the need for effective pregnancy screening measures before using gadolinium, which can cross the placenta and enter fetal circulation....

    Scans Reveal 'Smoldering' Spots in Brains Touched by MS

    "Smoldering" spots in the brains of multiple sclerosis patients may signal more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease, researchers report.

    Their finding may help test the effectiveness of new treatments for these types of MS.

    The investigators used specialized brain scans to examine the brains of hundreds of MS patients and identified dark-rimmed spots that represent...

    More Clues to Mysterious Illness Among Staff at U.S. Embassy in Cuba

    Nearly three years ago, U.S. diplomats in Cuba began experiencing hearing loss, dizziness and memory problems -- in what the Trump administration attributed to an attack of unknown origin.

    Now researchers say they have detected some "alterations" in the patients' brain structure and function -- though the significance, if any, is disputed.

    The findings come from 40 U.S. emba...

    Is MRI Screening Worth It for Breast Cancer Survivors?

    Breast MRI screening is a good way to detect small tumors, but it's unclear how much it benefits women with a history of breast cancer, a new study finds.

    Right now, experts recommend that breast cancer survivors have yearly mammograms to help catch any recurrences early. An unresolved question is whether adding breast MRI to that screening is beneficial.

    In the new study, r...

    Tattooed and Need an MRI Scan? What You Need to Know

    If you have tattoos, it's probably safe to get an MRI scan, European researchers say.

    While millions of people with tattoos have MRIs every year without side effects, some adverse reactions have been reported. Researchers said there had been no systematic studies of how safe it is for people with tattoos to have an MRI.

    Reported side effects include a pulling sensation on ta...

    U.S. Leads Health Care Spending Among Richer Nations, But Gets Less

    Higher costs, not better patient care, explain why the United States spends much more on health care than other developed countries, a new study indicates.

    U.S. health care spending was $9,892 per person in 2016. That was about 25 percent more than second-place Switzerland's $7,919 and more than twice as high as Canada's $4,753, researchers found.

    It was also twice what Amer...