04 March 2014

New Scanning Technology Reveals Detailed Brain Activity

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Scientists in Finland have presented the first prototype of a new hybrid brain scanner that takes both pictures of the brain and measures its activity at the same time. For neurologists this could be the beginning of a new era in brain research.

The combination of two brain scanning technologies, which were considered incompatible until recently, could revolutionize brain research and diagnostics. Within the EU research project “Hybrid MEG-MRI imaging system”, scientists at the Aalto University in Helsinki have developed a prototype which combines MEG (magnetoencephalography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technologies for the first time, producing simultaneous functional and structural images of the brain.

The new hybrid scanner could be used for the diagnosis of epilepsy and cancer and for assisting the recovery of stroke patients. Additionally, the new ultra-low-field MRI scanner allows a safe medical examination even for patients with pacemakers or pregnant women.

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