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Scientists pioneer new ultrasound technology that can scan the brain | – vopbuzz

A groundbreaking study emerged from the intersection neuroscience and technologywhere scientists have successfully mapped brain activity using ultrasound. This innovative approach, detailed in an article published in Science Translational Medicine on May 29, 2024, marks a significant advance in medicine. brain imaging techniques.
research team led by Richard Andersen from California Institute of TechnologyAnd Charles Liubrain surgeon University of Southern Californiadeveloped a method to observe the intricacies of the brain with unprecedented clarity.They achieved this by inserting an ‘acoustically transparent’ window into a volunteer’s skull. functional ultrasound imaging To capture the activity of the brain.

Brain

representative picture

This volunteer, whose identity remains anonymous, participated in a variety of activities, such as playing video games and strumming a guitar, while scientists recorded his brain activity. Ultrasound waves passed through the window in the skull, reflected off brain tissues, and returned to the probe, providing a real-time map of blood flow and neuronal activity.
The focus of the study was the posterior parietal cortex and motor cortex, regions known for their role in coordinating movement. By assessing changes in blood volume in these areas, researchers were able to indirectly monitor the activity of the blood. brain cells. Active neurons require more oxygen and nutrients, which are provided by increased blood flow.
The resolution of this technique is remarkable and can detect activity down to 100 micrometers. To put this into perspective, the size of a single neuron is approximately 10 micrometers, meaning that the level of detail observed is close to that of individual neurons.
The implications of this study are broad. First, it offers a less invasive alternative to current brain mapping methods, which often require more invasive procedures. Moreover, it opens up possibilities for better understanding neurological conditions and developing more effective treatments.
The success of this study builds on previous research conducted in nonhuman primates and represents a significant leap from laboratory settings to practical, real-world applications. The ability to monitor brain activity in real time outside medical facilities offers a new avenue for neuroscience research.
The study’s findings are not only a victory for the scientific community, but also hold promise for future medical applications. The non-invasive nature of this technique could revolutionize the way doctors diagnose and monitor neurological disorders, potentially leading to breakthroughs in treatment methods.
As the field of neuroscience continues to evolve, the use of ultrasound in brain mapping marks a significant shift towards more humane and less invasive research methods. The team’s work exemplifies the synergy between technology and medicine, paving the way for a future where understanding the human brain is no longer limited by the invasiveness of our tools but is amplified by the sensitivity and kindness of our approach. The journey of discovery into the human mind has taken a significant step forward, thanks to the innovative work of scientists who dare to reimagine the limits of possibility.

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