Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Mathis says that one of the advantages of the combined imaging system is simply logistical. For patients who have Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or bipolar disorder, “getting [them] in is half the battle,” he says. Elderly and sick volunteers and their caretakers often have to go to the clinic on two different days for a PET and an MRI; each scan takes about an hour and can cause discomfort in feeble patients, who must lie still. Subjecting patients to one simultaneous scan, instead of two, would cut in half the time spent in the radiology department.

For studying the effects of pharmaceuticals on the brain, the element of time is critical, says Mathis, and performing PET and MRI scans separately means that researchers are making a lot of assumptions. Mathis suspects that, using the combined system, it will take “fewer experiments to nail down the source of pharmaceutical effects.”

Darrow says that Siemens has sent a few PET/MRI machines to researchers and is about 18 months from releasing the first commercial device. The company is also working on developing a whole-body simultaneous PET/MRI imaging system. The primary application for the whole-body system will be to search for cancerous tumors that have spread beyond their initial site.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: Siemens

Tagged: Biomedicine, imaging, brain, drugs, disease, MRI, medical imaging, Alzheimer’s

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »