On February 22, the Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR) sponsored a presentation on imaging research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
As a permanent partnership of academic radiology departments, scientific societies, patient advocacy groups, and imaging equipment manufacturers, CIBR is committed to supporting biomedical imaging research and promoting the translation of that research into benefits for human health. Briefings such as the one at the NIA play a critical role in CIBR’s educational and advocacy efforts because they give congressional staffers and patient advocates the opportunity to learn more about scientific research.
During the event at the aging institute, Dr. Richard Hodes, the Director of the NIA, gave an introduction and overview of the institute’s mission. He was followed by presentations by Dr. Ronald Kohanski and Dr. Chhanda Dutta. Next, Dr. Neil Buckholtz, the Chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch of the Division of Neuroscience, spoke about Alzheimer’s research and showed part of a documentary entitled “The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s.” The video described the work that researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have done on the Pittsburgh Compound B. This is a radioactive compound that, when coupled with positron emission tomography (PET) scans, allows researchers to see the location and distribution of the beta amyloid plaque deposits that are associated with Alzheimer’s. Following the video, Dr. Susan Resnick gave a presentation entitled “Imaging Brain Aging in Health and Disease.” The morning ended with a presentation by Dr. Lis Nielsen, who spoke about neuroeconomics, which is the study of how humans make decisions and the role that risk, reward, and emotion play in the aging brain. Question and answer sessions followed each presentation.