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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cinema Vision for MRI

CinemaVision - Making MRI Virtually Entertaining 
Transforming the patient’s MRI experience, CinemaVision is a convenient, versatile and user-friendly 3D virtual reality system. It provides multiple entertainment options from standard video, television and PC input, while offering two-way communication with technologists and dramatically reducing MRI gradient noise. The head-mounted display fits completely within the head coil and operates inside the magnet bore with no detrimental effects on your magnet. 

Opening New Horizons in Patient Comfort 


Delivering unparalleled quality and realism, CinemaVision combines state-of-the-art, fully digital video and symphonic quality digital audio. Offering an unprecedented field-of-view, the CinemaVision experience is similar to watching a high-resolution 62-inch screen from 5 ? feet away. Eliminate appointment cancellations and sedation as patients enjoy a stunning sight and sound experience.

Setting New Standards in Patient Comfort 
Offering the ultimate in patient ease is a sleek new lightweight, adjustable, integrated audio-video headset. With Laser Link technology, installation is just a matter of minutes. No additional cables or filters are necessary. Patient set-up also is a breeze.

Treat your patients to the highest quality multi-media experience that others can’t match, and enjoy a host of top-of-the-line technologies. 


CinemaVision, a 3-D virtual reality system that gives patients the opportunity to watch their favorite DVD or listen to their favorite music.   Patients who choose to utilize it can wear the CinemaVision goggles and headset.  The image produced gives patients the illusion that they are watching a 62-inch screen from five and a half feet away. 

While it is still new, CinemaVision has been making an impact in helping keep patients completely still during the test.     

“CinemaVision has really helped with children. It allows them to watch their favorite television show and become relaxed,” Brenda Downen, BroMenn Radiology Manager, said.

Other patients who might normally ask for anesthesia to calm their nerves during the test can sometimes find that CinemaVision provides enough distraction to render anesthesia unnecessary.

Patients can bring in their own iPod, which connects directly to CinemaVision, or DVDs to view while getting the MRI taken. BroMenn also offers about six radio stations and cable television if the patients choose not to bring their own entertainment.  CinemaVision is usually not allowed during an MRI of the brain or spine, because it would interfere with the imaging.

Health Care and the Recession

   Watch Video HERE

The U.S. economy has been in recession for more than a year, the unemployment rate is climbing, the ranks of the uninsured are growing rapidly, and health care provider organizations are feeling the squeeze. What help can the federal government offer as part of the economic stimulus package? What will the increasing pressure mean for proposed health care reforms? And is there any silver lining in the clouds for the future of the U.S. health care system? In a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Thomas Lee, three experts in health policy, economics, and health care delivery — Drs. James Mongan, Jonathan Oberlander, and Meredith Rosenthal — explore the current and likely effects of the recession on U.S. health care and the prospects for systemic change. 
PDF Icon Transcript of Discussion

This file is in Flash format. If you do not have the latest version of Flash Player, download it at If you still cannot view the file or have other questions, you may contact us. Source (NEJM)

AHP Recession Survey of Nonprofit Health Care Officials Finds Almost Half Expect Reduced Giving in 2009, Leading to Cuts in Hospital Construction and Equipment Purchases

AHP Board Chair Lisa Hillman, FAHP, said, "Even in challenging economic times, the AHPrecession survey shows our members will not cut back on critically needed programs that communities depend on for the well-being of all their citizens." Hillman is senior vice president and chief development officer for the Anne Arundel Health System based in Annapolis, Md.

Instead, budget trimming will come from construction and equipment purchases, according to the first major recession survey of 2009 compiled by the Association forhealthcare Philanthropy (AHP). More than three-quarters of fundraisers for nonprofit hospitals and health care systems say the current recession is negatively affecting their programs, with many predicting reduced donor expectations in 2009 leading to sharp cuts in construction and equipment purchases.

The Association for healthcare Philanthropy ( conducted the survey, which had almost 800 member respondents. AHP's members direct philanthropic programs in 2,200 of North America's health care institutions.

Almost half of the survey's respondents have reduced their giving forecasts for funding from grateful donors 

SOURCE Association for healthcare Philanthropy
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michael savage Doesn't Know S@#^ About Autism!!

This guy is a real piece of work. I mean I am no book of knowledge but he is just a complete ignoramous. Consider his coment he made about children with autism.

“In 99% of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent?” Savage said last week in remarks that lit up the Internet over the weekend.

“They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz.’”

(I’m glad he’s not a brain surgeon)

Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete, whose 10-year-old son Rodney Jr. suffers from autism, are not keeping quiet.

“We find it shocking that the individuals who name-call and pass judgment on families like ours have had zero experience with the disorder,” the couple said in a statement.

He also responded to the criticism on his radio show Monday, saying, ” Do you want to live in a world where one statement that offends somebody could cost you your career? There is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism. None.”

This is the comment that really bothered me the most!! Why? This wind bag has over 8 million listeners every day and even if half of them believe this crap then he is hurting people.

There is so much information available about Autism on the web here are a few places to start

MRI studies have shown that many major brain structures are implicated in autism. This includes the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, limbic system, corpus callosum, basal ganglia, and brain stem. Other research is focusing on the role of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine.

Dr. Piven and colleagues performed MRI scans on 2-year-olds — 25 control toddlers and 51 toddlers with autism — and found that the toddlers with autism had generalized enlargement of gray- and white-matter cerebral volumes, but not cerebellar volumes (Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62:1366-76).

In that same study, they examined retrospective, longitudinal head-circumference data from birth to age 3 years in 113 children with autism and 189 local control children and found that in the children with autism, head circumference appeared normal at birth, but the rate of growth began to increase significantly more than in the control children at around 12 months of age.

In a third type of research, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD, and colleagues at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, reported that infants with autistic siblings who went on to develop autistic spectrum disorders themselves already had defining behavioral features of autism at 12 months of age (Int J Dev Neurosci. 2005;23:143-52). Source

Mirror-neurons & autismThere has been new research done into the area of these mirror cells and Autism. Ever since autism was identified It has been a struggle to find out what causes it. We know It can be inherited, but the enviroment may also play some part. In people with autism their main signs are lack of eye contact and absence of empathy. They may also have problems understanding metaphors, sometimes taking them literally. Another very unusual behavior is an extreme dislike or complete aversion to certain sounds or noises that sets off bells in their heads

to contact michael savage e-mail him here

Vasovist MRI contrast

EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for marketing its novel blood pool magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) agent, Vasovist(R) (gadofosveset trisodium), to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. AIOD occurs when iliac arteries become narrowed or blocked and may prevent the sufficient transport of oxygen and/or blood throughout the body.

Vasovist is the first contrast agent approved for marketing in the United States for use with MRA, a non-invasive modality for imaging blood vessels. In 2007, there were approximately 1.3 million MRA procedures performed in the United States using contrast agents not specifically approved for this procedure. MRA is a less invasive procedure than x-ray angiography, allowing for reduced patient discomfort and recuperation time and unlike x-ray angiography, MRA does not expose patients to ionizing radiation. Vasovist had previously been approved for marketing in 34 countries outside the United States based on data from four multi-center, Phase 3 clinical trials that showed that Vasovist’s overall accuracy was similar to that of catheter-based x-ray angiography, as determined by blinded readings.

“Vasovist is a first-in-class contrast agent with several unique characteristics that we believe will allow it to become a market leader in the United States,” said Elkan Gamzu, Ph.D., interim chief executive officer of EPIX. “It offers good resolution angiography, a high signal per dose, a long imaging window timeframe and single-dose imaging of multiple vessel beds. We believe the resulting high-quality image will allow physicians to fully utilize MRA as a meaningful diagnostic and therapeutic tool. In addition, the albumin-binding properties of Vasovist make it ideal for vascular imaging as opposed to other gadolinium agents that are rapidly cleared from the blood stream and have a narrow imaging window. There are no other imaging agents approved for MRA in the United States and we believe Vasovist will be well-received by the physician community as a valuable, safe tool for MRA. Our strategy remains to monetize this asset and we believe these characteristics and market dynamics make Vasovist an appealing opportunity for a company interested in building or augmenting its competitive position in the imaging market.”

The approval was based on the positive results from a blinded, independent re-read of images of Vasovist from previous Phase 3 studies. The re-read, which was conducted earlier this year, met all pre-specified endpoints prospectively agreed to with the FDA. In the re-read Vasovist was demonstrated to have:

– statistically greater sensitivity - readers of images using Vasovist more accurately detected disease when disease was present, compared with non-contrast MRA;

– statistically greater specificity - readers of images using Vasovist more accurately excluded disease if it wasn’t present at a rate that was not worse than non-contrast MRA;

– for scans deemed uninterpretable, Vasovist was demonstrated to have sensitivity and specificity that was significantly better than chance alone.

About Vasovist

Vasovist is an injectable intravascular contrast agent designed to provide improved imaging of the vascular system through magnetic resonance angiography imaging (MRA). Vasovist has been approved for marketing in the United States and in 34 countries outside the United States, including all 27 member states of the European Union, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia and Canada. Global marketing rights to Vasovist are held by Bayer Schering Pharma until March 1, 2009 at which time they transfer to EPIX. Vasovist is currently marketed in Canada and 18 European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, all Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

About AIOD and Peripheral Vascular Disease

Aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) occurs when iliac arteries become narrowed or blocked. Arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside, but with age, plaque can build up in the walls of arteries and cause them to narrow and stiffen. Those affected with AIOD may not receive the blood and oxygen they need throughout their legs, causing pain, sores or gangrene, which can result in the loss of a limb. Peripheral vascular disease refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain and includes functional peripheral vascular disease, which doesn’t have an organic cause or involve defects in blood vessels’ structure and organic peripheral vascular disease, which is caused by structural changes in blood vessels.

About MRA

Magnetic resonance angiography uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of major blood vessels throughout the body. MRA may be performed with or without contrast material and is used in many diagnostic medical procedures including the identification of disease, aneurysms, and atherosclerosis; it is also used to guide surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels and plans for surgical operations.

About EPIX

EPIX Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform. The company has a pipeline of internally-discovered drug candidates currently in clinical development to treat diseases of the central nervous system and lung conditions. EPIX also has collaborations with leading organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics.

This news release contains express or implied forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on current expectations of management. These statements relate to, among other things, our expectations and assumptions concerning the commercial success of Vasovist, our ability to successfully monetize Vasovist and management’s plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: risks that Vasovist may not be successfully marketed or manufactured; failure to obtain the financial resources to commercialize or monetize Vasovist; competing products may be more successful; our inability to interest potential partners in our technologies and products; our inability to achieve commercial success for our products and technologies; our inability to successfully defend against litigation, including any appeal or re-filing of the shareholder class action lawsuit; our inability to protect our intellectual property and the cost of enforcing or defending our intellectual property rights; our failure to comply with regulations relating to our products and product candidates, including FDA requirements; and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional information regarding these and other risks that we face, see the disclosure contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

SOURCE: EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

EPIX Kim C. Drapkin, 781-761-7602 Chief Financial Officer or Pure Communications Jennifer Beugelmans, 646-596-7473

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kawasaki Disease

According to the American Heart Association, more than 4,000 cases of the disease are diagnosed annually in the United States. It occurs more often in boys of Japanese and Korean descent, but has been identified in children of all ethnicities and races, Alenick said. The danger of Kawasaki syndrome is that it can cause large aneurysms in the blood vessels that feed blood to the heart, said Alenick.

“Kawasaki doesn’t come in degrees of severity, but it varies in that it may cause no aneurysms, small aneurysms, moderate aneurysms or giant aneurysms,” he said. “Giant aneurysms are more common in babies. But it’s the aneurysms that form in the vessels and the arteries that feed the heart that have the potential to cause a fatal heart attack.”

The disease was first identified in Japan in 1967 by Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki, and the cause of the illness is still unknown, Alenick said. There also is no blood test to identify the illness. Instead, patients are given a clinical diagnosis based on whether they display at least five of these six symptoms: a high fever that lasts for more than five days, red lips and tongue, swelling of the hands and feet, bloodshot eyes, rash and swollen glands.

In a 2003 interview on the Montel Williams show, Preston talked about her son’s struggle with Kawasaki disease. “It causes swelling in the organs, so your heart can swell, different important organs can swell,” she said. “We thought at one point we were going to lose him.” (Jett Travolta)

Actress Kelly Preston has said her 16-year old son with husband John Travolta became very sick when he was 2 and was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, an illness that affects the blood vessels in young children. Jett Travolta, died Friday after suffering a seizure at the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether the death was related to his illness. The boy was found in a bathtub, where he reportedly fell and hit his head. (Source)

Kawasaki disease can cause vasculitic changes (inflammation of blood vessels) in the coronary arteries and subsequent coronary artery aneurysms. These aneurysms can lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack) even in young children. Overall, about 10–18% of children with Kawasaki disease develop coronary artery aneurysms with much higher prevalence among patients who are not treated early in the course of illness. Kawasaki disease and rheumatic fever are most common causes of acquired heart disease among children in the United States.

What are the consequences of vasculitis?

In an extreme situation, when a segment of a blood vessel becomes weakened, it may then stretch and bulge (called an “aneurysm”). The wall of the blood vessel can become so weak that it ruptures and bleeds. Fortunately, this is a very rare event.

If a blood vessel becomes inflamed and narrowed, blood supply to that area may be partially or completely eliminated. If collateral blood vessels (thought of as alternate routes of blood supply) are not available in sufficient quantity to carry the blood to such sites, the tissue supplied by the affected blood vessels will die. This is called infarction.

Kawasaki disease often begins with a high and persistent fever that is not very responsive to normal doses of paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen. The fever may persist steadily for up to two weeks and is normally accompanied by irritability. Affected children develop red eyes, red mucous membranes in the mouth, red cracked lips, a “strawberry tongue“,[11] iritis, keratic precipitates (detectable by an ophthalmologist but usually too small to be seen by the unaided eye), and swollen lymph nodesSkin rashes occur early in the disease, and peeling of the skin in the genital area, hands, and feet (especially around the nails and on the palms and soles) may occur in later phases. Some of these symptoms may come and go during the course of the illness. If left untreated, the symptoms will eventually relent, but coronary artery aneurysms will not improve, resulting in a significant risk of death or disability due to myocardial infarction (heart attack). If treated in a timely fashion, this risk can be mostly avoided and the course of illness cut short

Childrens Hospital Boston


MRI Nueroarm Video