Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne are developing new technology to create individualised brain maps that will revolutionise diagnosis of disease and enhance the accuracy of brain surgery.
Currently researchers and neurosurgeons rely on coarse maps of the brain's structure that are based on a small number of individuals' brains after death. These maps do not allow for differences that can occur between people's brains.
The new brain mapping technology will be created by developing acquisition and analysis processes and software that will provide microscopic level investigation of individual brains.
The Florey researchers are contributing neuroscience, engineering and mathematical expertise to this project, whilst collaborators from the Neuroscience Research Institute in South Korea are providing the equipment.
It is hoped this technology will become widely available in the next two to three years.
Leader of the Neuroimaging group at the Howard Florey Institute, A/Prof Gary Egan, said his group was using one of the most powerful Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners in the world – an ultra-high field 7 Tesla – to help develop the new brain mapping technology.
"Microscopic images inside the living brain will transform diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease," A/Prof Egan said.
"This technology will allow us to look at cortical grey matter and underlying white matter at a level previously only seen before in post-mortem brains.
"Current MRI techniques cannot show specific organisation and functional patterns in the living brain.
"For example, developmental neuronal migration defects are known to cause epilepsy, but they cannot be seen with existing MRI technology.
"Ultra-high resolution imaging will allow scientists and doctors to clearly see defects in the brain and develop therapeutic strategies to address these problems," he said.
Unfortunately, Australia does not have a 7 Tesla scanner, which is why the Howard Florey Institute and University of Melbourne scientists are collaborating with the Neuroscience Research Institute in South Korea, who own the only high resolution 7 Tesla scanner in the Asia Pacific region.
The most powerful scanners in Australia are 3 Tesla, which are accessed by the Florey scientists for other research projects.
A/Prof Egan said he hoped a 7 Tesla scanner would very soon be located in Australia as neuroimaging can assist research into all brain and mind disorders.
"Having an ultra-high field 7 Tesla in Australia would allow us to accelerate our research, which would benefit the three million Australians who experience a major episode of brain disorder every year," he added.
This research will be presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping, which opened yesterday in Melbourne. This conference, supported by the Howard Florey Institute, will see the world's neuroimaging experts share their latest research and develop new collaborations.
UCLA engineers use deep learning to reconstruct holograms and improve optical microscopy
22.11.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles
First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful
16.11.2017 | The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.11.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences