Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers use improved imaging technique and discover a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy

Date:
August 2, 2011
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Using state-of-the-art, 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, researchers may have uncovered a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy.

Using state-of-the-art, 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers may have uncovered a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy.

In the process, the team was able to cure eight patients of all epileptic symptoms.

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder causing repeated seizures or convulsions, impacts about one percent of the population, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The most common type of epilepsy is temporal lobe epilepsy, caused by scarring inside the hippocampus, a major memory center of the brain. Many of these patients have severe memory problems, even in between seizures.

Using 7 Tesla MRI technology, a U of M research team led by University of Minnesota Physician neurologist Dr. Thomas Henry, scanned epileptic patients to capture extremely detailed images of their brain. (The strength of a magnetic field is measured in Tesla units. The higher the field strength, the more detailed the image acquired by MRI machines.)

While most standard clinical MRI machines have strength of 1.5 or 3 Tesla, the improved 7 Tesla technology allowed researchers to make highly-improved, detailed images of patients' brain tissue, especially the portion responsible for causing epilepsy.

The clearer MRI images allowed Henry and his colleagues to more accurately find scar tissue associated with temporal lobe epilepsy. Accurately locating this scarring is critical because if medications fail to control epileptic seizures, it's often possible for highly-trained neurosurgeons to remove scars from the brain in order to stop the seizures. The healthy parts of the brain left untouched, and actually begin to function better after seizures stop.

"There is huge potential here to improve patient care through improved approaches to magnetic resonance imaging," Henry said. "When you see how much clearer these 7 Tesla images are, compared with standard MRI, it's sort of like reading fine print with a magnifying glass versus the naked eye. The possibility of using 7 Tesla MRI to find brain lesions that were missed on current brain scans is likely to be very helpful in epilepsy and many other conditions."

Dr. Henry and his team conducted their research in the University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), an interdisciplinary research laboratory that is home to the world's strongest imaging magnets and most sensitive scanners.

"Standard MRI technology is an effective way to diagnose epilepsy when it is caused by large lesions," said Henry. "We believe that by using 7 Tesla machines, which we have right at our fingertips on the University of Minnesota campus, we'll be able to treat a greater population of epileptic patients more effectively," said Henry.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Keck Foundation. It appears in the online edition of the journal Radiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Researchers use improved imaging technique and discover a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801120353.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2011, August 2). Researchers use improved imaging technique and discover a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801120353.htm
University of Minnesota. "Researchers use improved imaging technique and discover a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801120353.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
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