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Notes From The Martinos Center

September 2016


Marijuana And The Brain Mechanisms of Peer Pressure

Social factors play a critical role in marijuana use in young adults. Young adult users are often introduced to the drug by their peers, and they typically smoke or otherwise partake in it in social settings. But while the role of social factors generally is well established, neural correlations between marijuana use and susceptibility to social influence have remained elusive.

In a study reported in August in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, a team of researchers with the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Department of Psychiatry, Center for Addiction Medicine, both at Massachusetts General Hospital, sought to establish such a relationship.



New PET Scan Tracer Allows First Imaging Of The Epigenetics Of The Human Brain

A novel PET radiotracer developed at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is able for the first time to reveal epigenetic activity — the process that determines whether or not genes are expressed — within the human brain. In their report published in Science Translational Medicine, a team of MGH/Martinos Center investigators reports how their radiochemical — called Martinostat — shows the expression levels of important epigenetics-regulating enzymes in the brains of healthy volunteers.




New Optical Imaging Tool Could Allow Neuromonitoring Of Stroke And Other Patients At Bedside

The optical imaging technique diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) has shown tremendous promise for neuromonitoring in infants and children — offering a means to measure cerebral blood flow in, for example, the neuronatal intensive care unit. But translating it for use in adults has presented a much greater challenge.

In a paper published last week in the journal Optica, a team of researchers at the MGH Martinos Center described an advance that, for the first time, has made this possible.




Meet Our Students: Erica Mason And The Clinical Potential Of Magnetic Particle Imaging

Graduate student Erica Mason is as diligent and industrious as they come. Since joining the Wald Group in the MGH Martinos Center in January 2015, she has immersed herself in a project developing an innovative technology for the imaging of breast cancer, tackling the many facets of the project with no small amount of skill and finesse.

We spoke with Erica about her work in the Center—about how she’s been spending her time and what drew her there in the first place. Here’s what she told us.


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MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging · 149 13th Street · Room 2301 · Charlestown, MA 02129 · USA

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