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Mayo Clinic, GE to Research Brain-Scan MRI Technology

Brain scan (National Institute of Mental Health)

(National Institute of Mental Health)

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York will conduct research leading to development of a dedicated MRI brain scanner for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Their work is funded by a $5.7 million grant from National Institutes of Health.

An MRI brain scanner would be dedicated to diagnose disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain disorder, depression, and autism. The goal of the program, according to GE, is to understand and address the technical issues involved in dedicated MR imaging of the brain.

A dedicated scanner could offer a more specialized approach and more functionality for neurological imaging compared to the current concept of whole-body MRI imaging. The technology for a more specialized scanner could also result in smaller and less expensive equipment now out of reach of many smaller clinics or rural hospitals.

GE expects its prototype scanner will be designed to deliver images with at least the same quality of current whole-body scanners, but from a device only one-third the size and significantly lighter. The company also plans to incorporate new and easier to use image analysis tools, to make MRI accessible to more clinicians.

GE researchers will develop and complete the prototype system over the next three years. It will then be tested in human clinical trials at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for the remaining two years of the project.

Read more: NSF Grant Awarded for Nanotech Color-Enhanced MRI Scans

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