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World's most powerful MRI ready to scan human brain
Date:12/4/2007

en and 13 women -- were exposed, in random order, to the 9.4T scanner, in which they were exposed to a static magnetic field and to sodium imaging, and to a mock scanner with no magnetic field. An audio recording simulated the sound of a real scanner.

Vital signs and cognitive ability were measured in all volunteers before and after the sodium imaging at 9.4T and the mock scanning. There were no significant changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate or other vital signs when volunteers were exposed to either the magnetic field or the imaging. There were no significant differences in the cognitive testing of volunteers following mock vs. real scanning.

The most frequently reported discomfort was lightheadedness or vertigo when being moved into the magnetic field. A few subjects reported a metallic taste, nausea, or a visual effect of seeing sparks. The sensations went away once they were stationary in the magnetic field.

The researchers concluded that exposure to a 9.4T static magnetic field does not present a safety concern.

With the FDA-required safety trials completed, UIC researchers will begin to put the 9.4T to use.

"This initial evaluation of safety is only the first step towards realizing metabolic imaging of the human brain," Thulborn said. "We are now moving towards patient studies of sodium imaging and towards safety testing for oxygen and phosphorus imaging in humans.

"These early metabolic signatures of cellular health have great potential to advance detection and monitoring of diseases in the earliest stages, when treatment can produce the greatest benefit."


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Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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