09 Mar 2007

There was an interesting talk by Lutz et al. who studied fibromyalgia patients’ brains with DTI, and found a significant increase of FA values in these patients’ amygdala, hippocampus and cingulate gyrus compared with healthy controls. Will we find a “somatic” cause for this syndrome after all?

ECR-flagsThe European Congress of Radiology in Vienna kicked off today, and I started my day with presenting our combined fMRI/DTI study of the arcuate fasciculus. Very happy to say that this paper has just become available online. ECR-venue Flatz et al. compared DTI at 1.5T with 3.0T, and (fortunately - no need to correct my talk for tomorrow!) confirmed that SNR doubles at 3.0T compared to 1.5T; The same SNR of an 8 averages non-isotropic voxel scan (12 mm³) at 1.5T will be achieved with an isotropic scan (8 mm³) of 4 averages at 3.0T: better resolution and a bit faster.

Slightly reassuring was a talk by Kutschbach et al. saying that caffeine was not physically addictive (although withdrawal symptoms do occur!), and therefore not considered a drug legally. Less reassuring was their finding that a dose of 100mg of caffeine was enough to induce T2* changes measurable with SWI.. and to a much lesser extent in the “regular users” than in “non-users”. Should I reduce my coffee consumption (and go into withdrawal)? Now, with still 3 talks to prepare and deliver, it just doesn’t seem the right time..

The talk by Bohner et al. - presenting results on brain activation related to pictures of high-calory food in obese people - just left me wondering… how did they get these BMI>35+ volunteers to fit inside the scanner?

Finally, according to dr. Salomonowitz, we lose up to 10% of our brain fibres per decade as we age.. based on the absolute numbers of fibres that are all beautifully automatically created in DTIstudio.. oh dear. Don’t think I’ll need to start worrying about my brain fibres just yet.