$3.19 Million project marries electrical engineering and computer engineering to create new brain imaging technology

July 18, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Green and Black Computer MotherboardThe University of Houston recently announced a $3.19 million project that will target new treatments for concussion by transforming brain pathology. This will be a multi-disciplinary project that combines multi-spectral imaging of the brain with supercomputing.

The idea will be that new “super microscopes” will allow doctors to see extremely detailed multi-spectral images of the brain and supercomputers will then analyze the data. According to Badri Royam, the chair of University of Houston’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department, "By allowing us to see the effects of the injury, treatments and the body's own healing processes at once, the combination offers unprecedented potential to accelerate investigation and development of next-generation treatments for brain pathologies,".

The Press release goes on to detail that:

The team is tackling the seemingly familiar concussion, suffered globally by an estimated 42 million people. This mild traumatic brain injury, usually caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, disrupts normal brain function, setting off a cascading series of molecular and cellular alterations that can result in neurological, cognitive and behavioral changes. Concussions have long confounded scientists who face technological limitations that hinder a more comprehensive understanding of the pathological changes triggered by concussion, causing an inability to design effective treatment regimens. Until now.

"We can now go in with eyes wide open whereas before we had only a very incomplete view with insufficient detail," said Roysam. "The combinations of proteins we can now see are very informative. For each cell, they tell us what kind of brain cell it is, and what is going on with that cell."

The impact is immediate

Injury to the brain causes immediate changes among all brain cells, severing some connections and potentially causing blood to leak into the brain -- where blood is never supposed to be -- by breaching the blood/brain barrier. After a concussion, the brain tissue becomes a complex "battleground," said Roysam, with a mix of changes caused by the injury, secondary changes due to drug treatments, side effects and the body's natural processes. Untangling these processes will allow the team to develop new medication "cocktails" of two or more drugs.

"We will present a carefully validated and broadly applicable toolkit with unprecedented potential to accelerate investigation and develop next-generation treatments for brain pathologies," said Roysam.

Once validated, the new technology can also be applied to strokes, brain cancer and other degenerative diseases of the brain.




Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, traumatic brain injury

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