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Innovations in neuroimaging lead to important medical applications to aid clinicians

Newscaster Press Release | Email |  June 6, 2016

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The current special issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors, Volume 18, Number 1 (all open access), is devoted to the evolution of neuroimaging technology, with seven articles chronicling the latest advances in this critical area. In addition, the journal’s regular features include the article by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which discusses the key pillars of patent quality, and the NAI Fellow Profile, which focuses on biochemical engineer Dr. Frances Arnold (California Institute of Technology) and her important work in innovation, invention, and teaching.

In the issue’s editorial, guest editor Robert H. Paul (Missouri Institute of Mental Health at the University of Missouri-St. Louis) leads off the discussion on the evolution of neuroimaging. Paul notes that, heretofore, “clinical applications in brain science have progressed at a glacial pace when compared to other medical disciplines.” The recognition by the medical community of this lag in clinical applications, a problem that has only been exacerbated by an aging population at risk for degenerative brain diseases, has created a push for improved technologies. “Fortunately, technical advances in the field of neuroimaging offer new promise,” he says.
Paul discusses the evolution and the future of neuroimaging investigation, particularly in clinical populations such as those with Alzheimer’s disease, and reviews articles in the special issue.

“[The] articles highlighted in this issue describe cutting-edge applications…using diffusion tensor imaging, diffusion-based tractography, and positron emission tomography,” says Paul. “Integration of these methods with new advances in computational science will inform mechanisms of healthy and dysfunctional brain mechanisms and ideally lead to new targeted therapeutic interventions.”

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