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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Unmatched insights into deep brain stimulation through MRI

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that is used to treat movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. To improve symptoms, a DBS lead (insulated wire) is surgically inserted deep within the brain in sites known to control movement.

Electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator, also known as a brain pacemaker, to the lead implanted in the brain. The stimulation changes the pattern of electrical activity in the brain into a more normal pattern, thereby improving symptoms and returning more normal movement to patients.

Choosing the target location for the lead is of critical importance. Standard protocol among physicians around the world is to use a brain atlas developed from two French women who donated their brains to science many years ago. From there physicians superimpose the patient’s own brain MRI images and calculate a plan to implant the electrodes in the brain.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: MRI helps find cancer needle in a haystack

In previous posts, Health Talk took you inside the broad capabilities and applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in research efforts at the U of M’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

According to Curtis Corum, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology in CMRR, finding small tumors can be like finding needles in a haystack. Because catching cancer early – when tumors are at their smallest – can be essential to treatment success, finding those needles is important work. So what if the task could be made less challenging? What if there was a way to remove the haystack so that only needles remained?

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research-and-clinical-trials

Advanced imaging technology aiding in prostate cancer screenings

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer. Despite the grim reality of a positive cancer diagnosis, prostate cancer can often be treated effectively if discovered early.

At the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, researchers are utilizing robust magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to better diagnose and follow patients with prostate cancer.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Imaging technology aiding in stroke research

According to the CDC, stroke is a leading cause of death, killing 130,000 Americans each year and the number one cause of long-term disability. The statistics are grim, and a clear sign that more progress is needed across a number of promising research areas.

At the University of Minnesota, experts think advances in imaging may be key to unlocking some of the secrets to earlier detection of stroke and more effective testing to determine which patients are at risk of suffering the condition.

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research-and-clinical-trials

CMRR’s 10.5 Tesla imaging magnet project moves forward

Last December we took you inside the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research’s (CMRR) latest research project – an effort that will utilize the world’s largest imaging magnet to conduct groundbreaking brain research and human body imaging.

In case you missed it, in late 2013 the 110-ton 10.5 Tesla magnet made a spectacular month-long journey by boat across the Atlantic Ocean from England, through the Great Lakes, and finally made its way from Duluth, MN, to the University of Minnesota campus.

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research-and-clinical-trials

How do you move a 110-ton imaging magnet?

That is probably a question you don’t hear too often but that’s precisely what researchers and staff at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) were asking recently when they needed to move the 110-ton imaging magnet from Duluth, Minn. to the University.

The Agilent Technologies magnet is the world’s first 10.5 Tesla whole body human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnet and will be used to aid in brain research and human body imaging.

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