Key Neuroimaging Equipment Used to Evaluate TBI

The NICoE has $10 million worth of neuroimaging equipment for evaluating TBI and psychological health issues, most importantly, the MRI, the PET scan, and the MEG.

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So we have 3 main pieces of equipment here at the NICoE that are about $10,000,000 worth of imaging lined up in 1 hallway for evaluating traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues. Our main workhorse is the MRI system, and that's the one that generates the 41,000 images, so that can look at brain structure, brain ultrastructure in terms of the wiring in the brain which we think is damaged. It can look at brain function using functional MRI. It can look at brain chemistry using MR spectroscopy, and it can look at brain blood flow or perfusion. In addition, we have the PET CT which is very specific looking at glucose utilization and hopefully will develop some other tracers that look for some other specific proteins like amyloid deposition, which they've described in Alzheimer's and boxers, so people with traumatic brain injury have been shown to have amyloid deposition. That's a new sort of radio-pharmaceutical compound that is coming out. The 3rd piece of equipment is the magnetoencephalography. That looks at the actual firing of the axons, so the wiring of the brain, but it looks at the firing of the neurons, and the neurons do the thinking and the axons just connect the neurons together, and that looks at the areas of the brain talking to each other in real time.
Posted on BrainLine September 28, 2012.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Brian King, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.