Powerful New VA Scanner Targets Brain Research, Veterans' Health

Victoria Colliver | Las Cruces Sun-News | August 3, 2012

The San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center is adding a new, $8 million magnetic resonance imaging machine, which will join an arsenal of some of the most powerful research scanners in the world. The machine will offer researchers a more in-depth look into the details of the brain and the roles biological markers play in developing dementia, Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other cognitive problems....

Dr. Michael Weiner, director of the center, believes the new scanner will be the only one of its kind used to focus on neurodegenerative diseases affecting veterans.

Psychiatrist Thomas Neylan hopes it's just a matter of time before imaging technology gives doctors a look at the causes behind conditions such as PTSD and sleep disorders.
Neylan, director of the PTSD program at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, answered questions about his brain research for the San Francisco Chronicle.
By using imaging to examine the brains of people with current and chronic PTSD, he explained, researchers found "evidence there are certain areas of the brain that are actually smaller."...