MRI scan during FOUR DAYS has the & # 39; most detailed human brain scan ever & # 39; delivered and can be a window to coma and depression
- Researchers had to use the brain of a deceased person to get the images
- Conventional MRI scans take no more than 90 minutes, but this took 100 hours
- The scanner is much more powerful and could show small changes
- Research like this will lead to a better understanding of brain abnormalities
An MRI scan that lasted four days yielded images of the brain that are more detailed than ever before.
The findings show small changes in the brain and scientists say they can be a window to conditions such as depression or coma.
It was only possible to use the brain of someone who had died because a living person could not tolerate the day-long scan and the images would have been too vague due to blood flow and movement.
The scanner was also much more powerful than that in hospitals and produced so detailed images that it could see things smaller than 0.1 mm.
Scientists say they've never seen anything like this before and hope it paves the way for more research into brain health.
An MRI scan that lasted four days yielded images of the brain that are more detailed than ever before
It was only possible to use the brain of someone who had died because the images would have been too blurry for a living person whose brain was functioning
Parts of the brain can be seen in vivid details, including the small brain (bottom right) that determines voluntary movement in the body
The images, made by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, lasted more than 100 hours – much more than the usual 15 to 90 minute scan.
The result has & # 39; the potential to promote understanding of human brain anatomy in health and disease & # 39 ;, the researchers claim.
The brain belonged to a 58-year-old woman who died of pneumonia three years ago and had no neurological damage.
Before the scan began, researchers built an adapted case that kept the brain still and allowed it to withstand the constant magnetic waves.
Parts of the brain can be seen in vivid details, including the amygalda, a collection of cores that is no larger than an almond, nestled deep in the brain.
Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are thought to be related to abnormal functioning of the amygdala due to damage or chemical imbalance.
The cerebellum, which regulates voluntary movement in the body, is also strikingly clear.
It would not have been possible to get these results without the powerful MRI scanner, which had a magnetic strength of seven Tesla – hospital ones are usually three Tesla.
Or, if the brain had been that of a living person – any movement during a scan can ruin the results, including the effects of breathing or blood flow.
MRI scans are already used to detect various disorders of the brain, such as tumors, swelling or developmental problems.
But no one would be able to withstand hours – and days – to remain so quiet.
"We haven't seen a whole brain like this," said Professor Priti Balchandani of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who was not involved in the study, according to Science News.
& # 39; It is absolutely unprecedented. & # 39;
The use of post-mortem samples together with development technology gives us an idea of what is possible, & said Professor Balchandani.
The images push boundaries and may contain clues for researchers who detect hard-to-recognize brain abnormalities associated with disorders such as comas and psychiatric disorders.
The FDA in the US approved the 7T clinical imaging scanner for the first time in 2017 and was installed in 2016 at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) of Glagow for a price of £ 10 million.
It is increasingly being used to investigate and diagnose various conditions such as stroke, vascular dementia, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.
WHAT IS A MAGNETIC RESONANCE SCANNING IMAGES (MRI)?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.
An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie in the tube while scanning.
An MRI scan can be used to examine almost every part of the body, including the brain and spinal cord, bones and joints, breasts, heart and blood vessels, and internal organs – such as the liver, uterus, or prostate gland.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie in the tube while scanning
The results of an MRI scan can be used to diagnose disorders, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.
The largest part of the human body consists of water molecules, which consist of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In the center of each hydrogen atom there is an even smaller particle, called a proton. Protons are small magnets and are very sensitive to magnetic fields.
When you lie beneath the powerful scanner magnets, the protons in your body come out in the same direction, in the same way that a magnet can pull the needle of a compass.
Short bursts of radio waves are then sent to certain parts of the body, causing the protons to run out of step. When the radio waves are turned off, the protons are re-aligned. This transmits radio signals that are picked up by receivers.
These signals provide information about the exact location of the protons in the body. They also help to distinguish between different types of tissue in the body, because the protons in different types of tissue align at different speeds and produce different signals.
In the same way that millions of pixels on a computer screen can create complex images, the signals from the millions of protons in the body are combined to create a detailed image of the inside of the body.
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