Siemens Healthineers and Biogen to Enhance MRI’s Ability to Help MS Patients

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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MRI enhancement for MS

Siemens Healthineers and Biogen will collaborate to develop new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applications that can quantify key markers of multiple sclerosis (MS).

“By bringing together the shared expertise of both Siemens Healthineers and Biogen in imaging and neurology, respectively, we seek to develop new measurement tools that meet the particular technical challenges of MS,” Christoph Zindel, senior vice president of MRI at Siemens Healthineers, said in a press release.

“Our shared goal is to create a solution that can be integrated into the existing radiology workflow, so it can become a seamless part of routine care – delivering new and valuable information to treating neurologists without increasing the cost or burden on the healthcare system,” Zindel added.

Many physicians use MRI to diagnose and track MS. It not only measures disease activity but also monitors response to therapies.

At the moment, the way most doctors assess MRI results is comparing a current image with a previous one. Studies have concluded that quantifying MRI results would yield more information about prognoses and effects of treatment. Although the measurement techniques exist, they are mostly available only in research laboratories.

“Biogen believes that the availability of high-quality, standardized data at the point of care can lead to a deeper understanding of MS, more informed treatment decisions and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes,” said Richard Rudick, MD, the company’s vice president of development sciences. “We also recognize that the ability to generate research-quality data in the course of routine clinical practice can unlock the potential of the health care system to move towards precision medicine.”

In related news, if you would like to know more about MRIs and what to ask your doctor about them, read Debi Wilson’s column “Know which questions to ask your neurologist about MRIs.” Debi was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2010. Since then, she has written to help others fight the disease.

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