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Revolutionary New Brain Scan

Sep 10, 2008
Cardiovascular disease is currently a large killer of many people in the developed world. The brain is often the source of many of these blood flow problems. Being able to accurately detect and measure cerebral blood flow behavior plays an important role in understanding diseases of the brain. Currently brain measurements are done by x-rays, computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. However there are many limitation to these types of brain imaging techniques. These imaging techniques only enable doctors to see static images inside a person's head so they are of limited use.

Scientists have recently invented a new type of brain scan. It is powered by 20 different supercomputers that process data at a trillion calculations per second. This new type of brain scan actually generates a real time image of the human brain. In the near future, surgeons will likely be able to carry out a myriad number of brain surgeries with a much greater accuracy. It has been created by several researchers from the University College of London. This scan is called Genius (Grid-enabled neurosurgical imaging using simulation). This new scan essentially takes several different 2-D X-ray shots at a variety of different angles around a 180 degree arc. The supercomputers can then process all of the data that is collected.

This new type of scan has some really interesting properties. It would basically enable doctors to visualize all of the arteries inside a person's brain. This would be beneficial for various brain conditions that deal with altered blood flow such as aneurysms and atherosclerosis. Currently quite a few brain surgeries may result in a patient having a brain haemorrhage (bleeding of the brain). This type of haemmorrhage is extremely dangerous and can often be fatal for the patient. In the past, doctors often had to do many types of brain surgeries blind. Basically they couldn't visualize things in real time like they will be able to with this new scan. The scan will allow the creation of maps of the arrangement of the arteries inside a person's brain. This will enable surgeons to remove clots or other life-threatening conditions.

In the future, this knew brain scan may be coupled with NeuroArm. Neuroarm is actually a surgical robot that can perform neurosurgery inside a brain scanner. Researchers have recently successfully used this Neuroarm to remove a person's brain tumor. So this device could reduce the death rate of neurosurgery.

Scientists expect that the first trial run of "Genius" will occur sometime within the next year. It may go a long way in improving outcome among patients who have to undergo brain surgery. This new type of brain scan will certainly be revolutionary for the treatment of many brain based disorders. It may save the lives of quite a few people who currently have cerebral blood flow problems.
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