Worlds Most Powerful MRI for Decoding the Human Brain
The University of Illinois at Chicago unveils its 9.4-tesla MRI scanner, capable of revealing not just the anatomy but metabolism within the human brain. The scanner is the most powerful magnetic resonance imaging machine in the world for human studies.
Tuesday, Sept. 21
Ribbon-cutting ceremony: 10:30 a.m.
Media tour of MRI facility: 11:00 a.m.
UIC Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
1801 W. Taylor St.
Dr. Keith Thulborn, director of the UIC Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, will showcase the first test pictures from the new 9.4-tesla MRI scanner. He will also feature images of single thoughts as a person learns to perform a new task. These images, from UICs state-of-the-art 3.0-tesla MRI scanner, are the first of their kind.
This advanced technology at UIC ushers in a new age of metabolic imaging that will help researchers decipher the workings of the human brain, detect diseases even before their clinical signs appear, develop targeted drug therapies and provide a better understanding of learning disabilities.
Central to the newest technology is the 9.4-tesla magnet, larger than any existing human-sized magnet, built by GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Thanks to the power of this magnet, UIC researchers will be able to detect signals from elements like sodium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen -- the metabolic building blocks of brain function and human thought. As a consequence, UIC researchers will be able to watch biochemical changes in the brain almost in real time, as a person is thinking or learning.
Thulborn will use the 9.4-tesla MRI machine to help identify and monitor many common conditions and diseases of the brain, including stroke, Alzheimers, autism and mental illness.
Note: Because of the strong magnetic field in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, no one with a cardiac pacemaker or any other metallic implant will be allowed to enter the facility.
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