Scientists have made a breakthrough in medical imaging by producing the sharpest scan ever of a Brain.
The scan is 64 million times clearer than the typical clinical-based MRI. It was developed by researchers at Duke’s Center for In Vivo Microscopy in collaboration with University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Researchers used a powerful magnet that is 100 times more effective than the ones used in clinical MRIs, as well as a computer with the performance of 800 laptops to create the scan.
Images are so detailed they reveal microscopic detail within the brain. This is a unique and creative way to visualize connectivity throughout the brain with a record-breaking level of resolution.
Researchers created the images using mice instead of people. The discovery can still be used to understand better human conditions, such as how the brain ages, diets, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
It took nearly 40 years for the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy to perfect the components of the high-resolution MRI.
Researchers used a powerful magnet to photograph a brain. They also used a combination of gradient coils 100 times more potent than those used for a clinical MRI and a computer with the performance equivalent of 800 laptops.
The Implications of These Scans
The new scans will significantly impact research into disorders such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s and other human diseases. The increased power of microscopy will improve our understanding of similar mechanisms in humans.
The MRI images show how the mouse’s brain connects over time. Another set shows how certain regions, like the subiculum (essential for memory), change more than other brain parts.
Researchers have shown a spool with rainbow-coloured connections between brain cells in a mouse Alzheimer’s model, highlighting the remarkable decline of neural networks.
This discovery offers new opportunities for the medical community to understand neurological diseases at a depth never before seen and opens the door to novel treatments.
It is something that genuinely enables. In a press release, G. Allan Johnson, PhD, said that we could begin to look at neurodegenerative disease in an entirely new way.
In PNAS, the details of this groundbreaking brain scan were further described.