Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ORNL Focuses On Method To Detect Brain Injuries

Date:
October 21, 1999
Source:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
People with head injuries may one day be screened on site for brain damage using a portable instrument and a technique being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 19, 1999 -- People with head injuries may one day be screened on site for brain damage using a portable instrument and a technique being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Using a focused beam of ultrasound waves, doctors can quickly and accurately evaluate the extent of a head injury and later monitor the patient's condition, said Tuan Vo-Dinh, a group leader and corporate fellow in ORNL's Life Sciences Division. The technique should save time and lives by giving rescue teams vital information to make effective early treatment decisions in those vital hours following an accident.

"After the initial injury, bleeding and swelling can cause dangerous pressures to build up in the brain, blocking blood flow through the brain," Vo-Dinh said. "With conventional technology, doctors take CAT scans and monitor the patient's injury using surgically implanted sensors. The ORNL proprietary method uses a non-invasive, portable, easy-to-use and relatively inexpensive device to accomplish the same task. If a hemorrhage, clot or tumor is present, the symmetry of ultrasound echo patterns in the brain may be distorted, indicating an abnormality."

The key to the success of the system, being developed for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, is in the proprietary method for penetrating the skull using different types of ultrasound to obtain a more complete picture of what is occurring inside the head.

"Our instrument can operate over a wide range of frequencies of special interest," Vo-Dinh said. "Each frequency range has a unique task to perform. Together, they provide data that will tell doctors the condition of the brain."

Sound waves at certain frequencies provide information with superior spatial resolution while other frequencies allow better sound wave penetration in certain tissue types and result in improved detection.

"For example, medical ultrasonic imaging has generally limited success in imaging the brain because of the difficulty in penetrating the skull," Vo-Dinh said. "But the skull becomes less of a barrier at lower frequencies."

Vo-Dinh expects the ultrasonic and low-frequency acoustic detection technique to achieve even better results.

This spring, researchers tested the technique using a prototype system. The ultrasound unit emitted a signal that researchers could analyze with a mobile monitor. Vo-Dinh expects a prototype system to be ready for patient testing later this year, pending completion of all necessary reviews.

"Our goal is to find a way to screen patients rapidly," Vo-Dinh said. "In the clinical laboratories, the technique will not replace sensors; however, it will allow doctors to monitor brain activity with less trauma to the patient."

Others involved in the project include Stephan Norton, a former staff researcher at ORNL, and Joel Mobley, a post-doctoral fellow at the lab.

Funding for the project is provided by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, an internal source of funding provided by DOE.

ORNL is a DOE multiprogram research facility managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "ORNL Focuses On Method To Detect Brain Injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991021075119.htm>.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (1999, October 21). ORNL Focuses On Method To Detect Brain Injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991021075119.htm
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "ORNL Focuses On Method To Detect Brain Injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991021075119.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins