Medicine Studies

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 315–328 | Cite as

How Technologies of Imaging are Shaping Clinical Research and Practice in Neurology

Past & Present


The brain is our most complex organ, in terms of gross and microscopic structure. It is heterogeneous, with many areas and networks differing from one another in function. And, what is more, the brain is a ‘hidden entity’, embedded in an envelope made of bones, the skull. Brain imaging really came to age in medicine 40 years ago, thanks to computers. The technologies of structural anatomy like computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have brought about a revolution in neurology by showing the lesion and its topography. With most recent developments, neuro-imaging continues to shape practices in neurology and clinical research.


Brain imaging Neurology Diagnosis Treatment Ethics 

Supplementary material

12376_2010_37_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (32 kb)
PET showing huge, diffuse, amounts of amyloid deposits in Alzheimer’s disease (PDF 31.6 kb)
12376_2010_37_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (24 kb)
Stereo EEG recording showing a response of amygdala to intense fear (PDF 23.7 kb)


  1. Ackerman, Sandra L. 2006. Hard science, hard choices. New York: Dana Press.Google Scholar
  2. Amat, Jose A., Richard A. Bronen, Sanjay Saluja, Noriko Sato, Hongtu Zhu, Daniel Gorman, Jason Royal, and Bradley Peterson. 2006. Increased number of subcortical hyper intensities on MRI in children and adolescents with Tourette’ s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity. American Journal of Psychiatry 163: 1106–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baertschi, Bernard. 2009. La neuroéthique. Ce que les neurosciences font à nos conceptions morales. Paris: La découverte.Google Scholar
  4. Basset, Susan S., David M. Yousem, Catherine Cristinezio, et al. 2006. Familial risk for Alzheimer’s disease alters fMRI activation. Brain 129 (5): 1229–1239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brisman, J.L., K. Song, and D.W. Newell. 2006. Cerebral aneurysms. New England Journal of Medicine 355 (9): 928–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drevets, Wayne, J.L. Price, J.R. Simpson, et al. 1997. Subgenual prefrontal abnormalities in mood disorder. Nature 386: 824–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eskandary, H., M. Sabba, F. Kahjehpour, and M. Eskandary. 2009. Incidental findings in brain computed tomography scans of 3,000 head trauma patients. Surgical Neurology 63 (6): 550–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Friedman, Jacqueline W., Robin A. Hurley, and Katherine H. Taber. 2006. Bipolar disorder: Imaging state versus trait. The journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 18: 296–301.Google Scholar
  9. Goldman, A.L., L. Pezawas, and V.S. Mattay. 2009. Widespread reduction of cortical thickness in schizophrenia and spectrum disorders and evidence of heredity. Archives of General Psychiatry 66 (5): 467–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms (ISUIA). 1998. Unruptured intracranial aneurysms-risk of rupture and risks of surgical inervention. New England Journal of Medicine 339 (24): 1725–1733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Javoy-Agid, France, and Yves Agid. 1990. Parkinson’s disease. In An introduction to neurotransmission in health, disease, ed. Peter Riederer, Nicolas Kopp, and John Pearson, 206–220. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Klitzman, Robert. 2006. Clinicians, patients and the brain. In Neuroethics. Defining the issues in theory, practice, policy, ed. Judy Illes, 229–244. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kollek, Regine. 2004. Mind metaphors, neurosciences and ethics. In The new brain sciences. Perils and prospects, ed. Dai Rees and Steven Rose, 71–87. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Levy, Neil. 2007. Neuroethics. Challenges for the 21st century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Logothetis, Nikos K. 2008. What we can do and what we cannot do with fMRI. Nature 453: 869–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mamourian, Alex. 2007. Incidental findings in research functional MRIimages: Should we look? In Defining right, wrong in brain science. Essential readings in neuroethics, ed. Walter Glannon, 134–139. New York: Dana Press.Google Scholar
  17. Nugent, Allison C., Michael P. Milham, and Earle E. Bain. 2006. Cortical anomalies in bipolar disoder investigated with MRI and voxel-based morphometry? Neuroimage 30: 485–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Overmeyer, S., E. Bullmore, J. Suckling, A. Simmons, S.C.R. Williams, P.J. Santosh, and E. Taylor. 2001. Distributed grey and white matter deficits in hyperkinetic disorder: MRI evidence for anatomical abnormality in an attention network. Psychological Medicine 31: 1425–1435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Paloyelis, Y., M.A. Mehta, J. Kuntsi, and P. Asherson. 2007. Functional MRI in ADHD. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 7 (10): 1337–1356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pence, Gregory E. 2004. Classic cases in medical ethics. Accounts of cases that have shaped medical ethics with philosophical, legal and historical backgrouds. Boston: Mc Graw Hill.Google Scholar
  21. Pollock, R., and I. Kuo. 2004. Neuroimaging in bipolar disorder. URL: Assessed 13 July 2009.
  22. Potkin, S.G., et al. 2009. A genome—wide association study of schizophrenia using brain activation as a quantitative phenotype. Schizophrenia Bulletin 35 (1): 96–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Raymond, Jean. 2009. Incidental intracranial aneurysms: Rationale for treatment. Current Opinion in Neurology 22 (1): 96–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schneiweiss, Hervé. 2006. Neuroscience et neuroéthique. Paris: Alvik.Google Scholar
  25. Sodickson, Aaron, et al. 2009. Recurrent CT, cumulative radiation exposure, and associated radiation-induced cancer risks from CT of adults. Radiology 251: 175–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stone, Jon, Adam Zeman, Enrico Simonotto, et al. 2007. fMRI in patients with motor conversion symptoms and controls with simulated weakness. Psychosomatic Medicine 69: 961–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Toga, Arthur W., Micheal S. Mega, and Paul N. Thompson. 1997. Neuroimaging Alzheimer’s disease. In Neuropathology of dementia, ed. Margaret M. Esiri and James H. Morris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Truchot, Lydie, S.N. Costes, L. Zimmer, et al. 2007. Upregulation of hippocampal serotonin metabolism in mild cognitive impairment. Neurology 69: 1012–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vogely, Kai. 2003. Schizophrenia as disturbance of the self construct. In The self in neuroscience, psychiatry, ed. Tilo Kirscher, and Anthony David, 361–379. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Wiebers, D.O., J.P. Whisnant, J. Huston, et al. 2003. International study of unruptured intracranial aneurysms investigators unruptured intracranial aneurysms: Natural history, clinical outcome, and risks of surgical and endovascular treatment. Lancet 362: 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lyon University Hospitals, EspaceEthique Inter-régionalHôpital de l’HotelDieuLyon, Cedex 02France

Personalised recommendations