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Radiological Society of North America, Nov. 30-Dec. 5

The 100th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America

The annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America was held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago and attracted approximately 55,000 participants from around the world, including radiologists, radiation oncologists, physicists in medicine, radiologic technologists, and other health care professionals.

In one study, Frank Roemer, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that individuals who undergo meniscal surgery have an increased risk for an osteoarthritis diagnosis in the following year compared to those who either only have meniscal damage (defined as meniscal tear or partial substance loss) or do not have meniscal damage.

"We found that persons without knee osteoarthritis who underwent meniscal surgery had a highly increased risk for developing osteoarthritis and cartilage loss in the following year compared to those who did not have surgery, regardless of presence or absence of a meniscal tear in the year before," Roemer said.

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In another study, Jeffrey Prescott, M.D., Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues found that changes in structural connections in the brain, visualized by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography, are related to declines in cognitive status, even in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease.

"This study demonstrates a reliable, quantifiable method of predicting cognitive decline using neuroimaging methods that are readily available on the majority of currently used clinical scanners," Prescott said. "This could impact diagnosis and treatment by allowing treatment intervention at the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease and possibly even before cognitive symptoms manifest."

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Thomas Malone, of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and colleagues were able to distinguish between those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and healthy controls based on metabolic activity in the hypothalamus. The investigators were also able to distinguish between mild TBI alone from mild TBI plus posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by examining the metabolism in the pituitary.

"Our results suggest that pituitary dysfunction may account for PTSD-like symptoms in subjects who have had a mild TBI. Those symptoms encompass three categories: cognitive, physical, and emotional," Malone said.

The cognitive symptoms identified included difficulties with memory and concentration. The physical symptoms included fatigue, weight gain, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. The emotional symptoms included anxiety, depression, and irritability.

"These imaging results support previous research that has identified pituitary dysfunction in TBI patients who also suffer from PTSD-like symptoms," Malone added. "The clinical implication is that these subjects may benefit from hormone replacement therapy. By addressing the root cause of these symptoms, we hope to improve the overall quality of life of these patients, whether they are veterans or civilians who have suffered a TBI."

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Christopher Whitlow, M.D., Ph.D., of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues found that even less severe head injuries might lead to brain changes among high school football players. The researchers found that repeated blows to the head after just one season could cause measurable changes in the brains of young athletes who never had a concussion.

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RSNA: Many Children Exposed to Unnecessary Chest X-Rays

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many American children receive unnecessary chest X-rays, according to research findings scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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RSNA: Risk-Based Screens May Miss Too Many Breast Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s commonly lack well-known risk factors for the disease, according to new research that could fuel debate about preventive screening for this age group.

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RSNA: Device May Make Mammograms More Comfortable

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dutch researchers have developed a device that may reduce the discomfort many women feel during a mammogram, while preserving the quality of the image.

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