Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop device to measure brain temperature non-invasively

03.05.2011
Non-invasive brain-temperature monitoring could be critical in life-saving cooling therapy

Doctors have long sought a way to directly measure the brain's temperature without inserting a probe through the skull. Now researchers have developed a way to get the brain's precise temperature with a device the diameter of a poker-chip that rests on a patient's head, according to findings presented May 1 at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver.

"This is the first time that anyone has presented data on the brain temperature of a human obtained non-invasively," said principal researcher Dr, Thomas Bass, a neonatologist at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Va., and a professor of pediatrics at the hospital's academic partner, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

The research also suggests that an injured brain can be significantly warmer than the body, a finding critical to cooling therapies that reduce brain damage in everyone from elderly heart attack victims to hypoxic newborns.

"Knowing the actual brain temperature may allow us to improve outcomes by keeping the brain at an optimum temperature," said Dr. Bass.

With the help of a $750,000 National Institutes of Health grant, a research team led by Dr. Bass adapted an instrument that calculates temperatures by detecting microwave emissions produced by all human tissue.

Those microwaves pass unimpeded through the skull, like light passing through a sheet of glass. As tissue temperatures increase, the emissions grow more intense. Engineers calibrated the device to measure the temperature of brain tissue 1.5 centimeters beneath the skull.

In the trial whose results were presented, the device was placed on the heads of infants undergoing cooling therapy at CHKD. The device's brain temperature readings were correlated with rectal and esophageal temperatures. The difference in temperature between the brain and the body recorded by other means was as high as 5.4% Fahrenheit.

"That's difference is larger than we expected," Dr. Bass said.

Dr. Bass, who pioneered research on cooling therapy for hypoxic newborns, and set about this research because he believed the therapy could be improved if doctors knew precise temperature of the damaged organ, the brain.

Hypoxic brain damage in infants occurs most often in full-term births when the child suffers oxygen loss either immediately before or during delivery. Because of a quirk in the brain, a child can be revived but brain cells continue to die over several days, resulting in brain damage or death. Doctors could do little to stop this progression; parents often watched helplessly as their sons and daughters literally died before their eyes.

Based on the observation that children rescued from freezing ponds after extended periods of time suffered little or no brain damage, cooling therapy involves chilling an infant's body to 92 degrees for 72 hours after brain injury.

A clinical trial on the therapy showed that cooling the child stops or reduces the progression of brain cell death, drastically reducing brain damage and death. The results were so positive that the therapy is now standard in advanced neonatal intensive-care units worldwide.

Cooling therapy is now used with other patients as well, including heart attack victims whose brains have suffered oxygen deprivation.

Because cooling therapy's success relies on the temperature of the brain, precise readings of the brain's temperature is likely to improve a therapy that's already proven remarkably effective.

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters is the only freestanding pediatric hospital in Virginia.

Greg Raver-Lampman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.chkd.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>