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The top 5 ways medical physics has changed health care
Date:2/28/2008

lucose, testosterone and amino acids to monitor physiological factors including blood flow and glucose metabolism. These images can be crucial in detecting seizures, coronary heart disease and ischemia. In cancer care PET imaging is used to detect tumors and monitor the success of treatment courses as well as detecting early recurrent disease.

The actual imaging technique sounds like a science fiction movie -- it involves matter and antimatter annihilating one another. The short-lived radionuclides decay and emit particles known as positrons -- the antimatter equivalent to electrons. These positrons rapidly encounter electrons, collide, annihilate, and produce a pair of photons which move in opposite directions. These photons can be captured in special crystals and the images produced by computer techniques.

Other techniques, such as radioimmunoassay, use the decay of radioactive materials to study a variety of physiological conditions by imaging or chemical methods.

4) ENSURING THE SAFETY OF PEOPLE WHO GET CT SCANS

With the intent to promote the best medical imaging practices nationwide and help ensure the health and safety of the millions of people who undergo CT scanning each year in the United States, the AAPM issued a CT radiation dose management report in 2008, recommending standardized ways of reporting doses and educating users on the latest dose reduction technology. The report is available on the AAPM website at: http://www.aapm.org/pubs/reports/RPT_96.pdf. An associated news release can be accessed at http://www.aapm.org/announcements/AIPCTDoseReportNewsRelease.asp.

5) MEDICAL PHYSICS MOMENTS IN HISTORY

Some of the greatest medical advances in the history of medicine occurred in the past century and came from the minds and laboratories of physicists including:

  • X rays
    Discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Roent
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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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