(DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING @ RSNA 2009) -- The evolution of neuroradiological research from anatomy to biochemistry can be seen in the frequency with which MRI techniques have led to research that will be presented at the 2009 RSNA meeting. Nearly all of the hottest papers this year employ some form of physiological or metabolic imaging. These techniques expand the horizons of medicine because most chronic, degenerative, metabolic, and inherited brain diseases demonstrate few anatomical findings, according to Dr. Mauricio Castillo, chair of the RSNA neuroradiology scientific committee. "These very sensitive techniques have allowed us a glimpse into the true nature of diseases previously thought to be purely ‘psychiatric' in a nature," Castillo said in an e-mail response to questions from Diagnostic Imaging. "As they evolve and we are able to combine them with anatomy and, importantly, with genomic alterations, we should have a very powerful set of tools that will allow us to identify, detect, and follow up on disorders of which little is understood today." Radiologists can look forward to several blockbuster papers sure to draw attention far beyond McCormick Place. No paper at the entire conference is likely to generate more interest or possible controversy than a study using T1 MRI and diffusion tensor imaging to identify brain atrophy among retired National Football League players.
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