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Siemens supports renowned research project Brains Unlimited with ultra-high-field MRI scanner

Siemens Healthcare recently received an order from Maastricht University for three highperforming MRI systems in the Netherlands.

The MRI scanners are to be dedicated to the renowned research project Brains Unlimited conducted by Maastricht University.

How human brains work can become even less of a mystery in the near future, thanks to these advanced systems. “Now we can crack the code of the human brain,” explained Professor Rainer Goebel, PhD, leader of the Brains Unlimited project at Maastricht University.

The three new MRI scanners at Maastricht University are a 3 Tesla and a 7 Tesla MRI system as well as one of the worldwide most powerful MRI systems with 9.4 Tesla. All systems will be used for research on the human brain. Currently, Siemens is the only company capable of supplying 9.4 Tesla MRI systems for human research. The ultra-high-field MRI system is significantly more powerful than a standard MRI system for clinical routine and therefore, helps research scientists to detect much more details from inside the human body.

This makes it possible to observe the human brain functioning at a much higher level. Researchers hope to gain more insight into the causes of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and tumor growth. Among further research projects, the university plans to use the systems to investigate how the structure of musicians’ ears differs from that of other people. The Brains Unlimited project is an initiative from the M-BIC (Maastricht Brain Imaging Center), under the leadership of Professor Rainer Goebel, PhD. The M-BIC, part of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, works closely together with brain scientists at Maastricht University Medical Center. The project is funded by the European Union, the Province of Limburg, and the Municipality of Maastricht.

The order includes the construction of a special building to accommodate the three MRI systems, and was one of the largest of this type in the history of Siemens Healthcare in the Netherlands.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion euros and profit of around 750 million euros.

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