BRAIN MRI and Autism

Autism and Brain MRI

Wessam Bou-Assaly, MD

A national research network led by UNC School of Medicine’s Joseph Piven, MD, found
that many toddlers diagnosed with autism at two years of age had a substantially greater
amount of extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at six and 12 months of age, before
diagnosis is possible. They also found that the more CSF at six months — as measured
through MRIs — the more severe the autism symptoms were at two years of age.
Until the last decade, the scientific and medical communities viewed CSF as merely a
protective layer of fluid between the brain and skull, not necessarily important for
proper brain development and behavioral health. But scientists then discovered that
CSF acted as a crucial filtration system for byproducts of brain metabolism.
Every day, brain cells communicate with each other. These communications cause brain
cells to continuously secrete byproducts, such as inflammatory proteins that must be
filtered out several times a day. The CSF handles this, and then it is replenished with
fresh CSF four times a day in babies and adults.
The researchers found that increased CSF predicted with nearly 70 percent accuracy
which babies would later be diagnosed with autism. It is not a perfect predictor of autism, but the CSF differences are observable on a standard MRI. “

Advertisements

Wessam Bou-Assaly – How To Create Poetry

poetryWessam Bou-Assaly loves to read poetry, and enjoys talking about the subject whenever he can find someone who is equally enthusiastic about poems. Many people don’t realize that writing verses can be a liberating experience, even if someone is not especially talented.

Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration is crucial. We can call it a muse, or anything else, but it doesn’t have to be a person. It can be a place, or even an activity, something that evokes inspiration. Once it’s there, all you have to do is feed it and work on it.

Capture a Moment

Many enthusiasts make the mistake of trying to hit the ball out of the park, trying to write a very long poem with an intricate story. A moment can often be much more powerful, conveying all the emotions that you try to summon in a brief, spontaneous poem.

Create (or Steal) a Conversation

Talking to others is a big part of the human experience, one that most people could not live without. This is probably also the reason why we so often find these conversations fascinating and inspiring. Every interaction holds some potential when it comes to writing poetry. Listening to others can have a similar effect, so walk around with open ears.

Write Often

Writing poems will require just that, writing. There are many prominent writers out there who don’t believe in the phenomenon called writer’s block. Just starting the process – even if it doesn’t result into a poetical masterpiece – can make a difference.

Wessam Bou-Assaly loves to read poems and hopes that they will make a comeback in many people’s lives.

Sources:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/advice/5-ways-how-to-write-a-poem

http://thewritepractice.com/enjoy-poetry/

 

Wessam Bou-Assaly – Are Handheld Devices the Future in Radiology?

image_650_365medical imaging technologies, the bigger and better machines are much more capable. Still, a future where small imaging devices would be commonplace is definitely a possibility.

Possible Benefits

Easy access is one of the most obvious benefits that come to mind. If radiologists could use handheld imaging devices, they could also carry those devices with them and use them with greater ease whenever and wherever they are needed. Among the potential limiting factors, we have to mention costs and even confidentiality, as a device like that would likely be connected to the Internet, leaving it vulnerable to potential cyber-attacks.

Why They’re Still Not Feasible

Handheld devices could one day take over the field of radiology, but there are clear reasons why this revolution will not happen in the foreseeable future. There are actually some devices that can do CT brain imaging and even mammograms, but the quality of the imaging, combined with the clear limitations that the size of the screen brings, simply do not allow them to become anything more than an emergency solution.

For emergency purposes, such devices are viable and can actually help out physicians and other medical practitioners, but until the technology becomes more powerful and these devices become capable of providing a bigger image through either holographic or virtual reality solutions, traditional machines will remain the dominant form of radio imaging. Wessam Bou-Assaly is an expert radiologist who loves to see new technical innovations in his profession.

Sources: http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/iim.10.54

http://www.wsj.com/articles/virtual-reality-is-coming-to-medical-imaging-1455592257

 

Meditation and Brain Structure

Effect of Meditation on the Brain

Wessam Bou-Assaly, MD

  

The effect of the meditation on the brain has been a subject of many researches recently. Meditation appears to have an amazing neurological benefits, suspected from ancient times, just now being confirmed by MRI, functional MRI and EEG.

Most recently, a study conducted by a Harvard affiliated team out of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), concluded that meditation has tangible effects, confirmed by MRI, on the human brain structure. An 8 week program of mindfulness meditation studied by MRI scans, showed  for the first time clear evidence that meditation produces “massive changes” in brain Gray Matter.

MRI scans documented for the first time how meditation produces massive changes inside the brain’s gray matter. The structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, showed thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration.

Meditation also appears to help preserve the aging brain. A study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Participants who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain.

A Yale University interesting studies in the last few years, found that mindfulness meditation also decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.” The DMN is active when we’re not thinking about anything in particular, wandering from thought to thought. Since mind-wandering is typically associated with being less happy, ruminating, and worrying about the past and future, it’s the goal for many people to dial it down. Several studies have shown that meditation, though its quieting effect on the DMN, appears to do just this.

A Johns Hopkins study looked at the relationship between Mindfulness Meditation and its effect on depression, anxiety, and pain. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that the effect size of meditation was moderate, at 0.3 but equal to the effect size for antidepressants which is also 0.3, which makes the effect of Meditation sound pretty good, making the Meditation an active form of brain training.

Meditation has central effects on improving attention and concentration, reduces anxiety, especially social anxiety, can be very effective in helping people recover from various types of addiction, including quitting smoking and can help kids in school performance.

Wessam Bou-Assaly, MD is a Radiologist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Wessam Bou-Assaly – A Brief Description of Tennis

Wessam Bou-Assaly is a radiologist located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He worked for the Ann Arbor VA Hospital for seven years and he was an Assistant Professor of Radiology for six years. When he is not working or conducting research, he enjoys playing tennis. Tennis is a great way to relax and get a great workout. Tennis is a popular sport that requires agility, stamina and hand to eye coordination.

Tennis takes place on a rectangular court. It can either be played one on one or two on two. One player, or one team, stands on each side of a net. Each player has a tennis racket. The goal of the game is for one player to hit the ball to his or her opponent in a way that the opponent is unable to hit the ball back within the court. A player can earn a point by hitting the ball in a way that prevents the opponent from returning the ball to the opposite side of the court. The players use a hollow, felt covered ball, which bounces across the court. The winner is the player who earns the most points during the game.

Tennis is a recreational sport as well as an Olympic sport. It is played in countries all over the world. Bou-Assaly is a hard working radiologist and academic in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Wessam Bou-Assaly enjoys playing tennis when he is not researching or working. He enjoys getting a great workout and having fun on the tennis court.

 

Wessam Bou-Assaly: Brain PET-CT and Dementia

 

pet-ct-brainBrain imaging with MRI, SPECT, and PET can improve diagnostic accuracy in differentiating Alzheimer Disease (AD) from potentially treatable causes of dementia such as toxic metabolic states, depression, and normal pressure hydrocephalus. When PET results are combined with clinical criteria, the false positive rate in AD can be reduced from 23% to 11%.[9] The classic pattern of AD on PET imaging is bilateral temporoparietal and posterior cingulate cortex hypometabolism; abnormal metabolism can also be seen asymmetrically, particularl yearly in the disease. Frontal lobe involvement may also be seen in later stages. The exact cause for the decline in brain glucose metabolism in AD remains unclear. Hippocampal atrophy may be seen on conventional cross-sectional imaging.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies ( DLB) is another cause of cognitive decline. Patients with DLB usually have less hippocampal atrophy than do patients with Alzheimer disease and show decreased occipital lobe blood flow or metabolism in DLB but not in Alzheimer disease.

In frontotemporal dementia, frontal and anterior temporal metabolism is predominantly decreased compared to the other types of dementia

Wessam Bou-Assaly is an experienced Neuroradiologist who practices in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Wessam Bou-Assaly – What it Takes to Succeed as a Medical Student

Medical StudentMedical school requires several years and a lot of work. Wessam Bou-Assaly graduated from medical school in 2000. He studied at a university in France and then entered a radiology residency program at Caen and Lille in France. He worked hard to become a successful radiologist and to specialize in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine.

Medical students spend four years studying in order to graduate with their degree. The first two years of medical school involve classroom study. Students learn about the fundamentals of medicine. They also study a variety of medical fields in order to develop a well-rounded knowledge of the field. The second two years involve clinical practice. They learn how to treat patients and they develop experience in working with patients.

In order to succeed as a medical student, you should work hard on your studies. It is important to focus on your studies and to develop a strong study group. It is also important to make strong connections with your medical professors. These connections may help you find a great residency after you graduate.

Successful medical students begin networking early on. This process can help students find great residency programs, fellowships, and jobs after graduating from medical school. It can be difficult to earn a spot in a medical school, and graduating requires a lot of work and a lot of time. Wessam Bou-Assaly is a radiologist who worked hard to graduate from medical school. After earning his degree, he completed a radiology residency and fellowship programs in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine.