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Brain research expected to be boosted by new MRI machine

When a brain injury occurs, the way in which it will affect the life of the person who suffers from it will depend on multiple factors including the treatment prescribed. Before a condition can be treated, the extent of the damage must first be identified. When it comes to brain injuries, this is not always easy to do.

The way in which many issues involving the brain are handled in the future could benefit from a new addition at the University of Toronto. A Siemens Prisma 3 Tesla MRI was recently installed on the St. George campus at the Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition (CBTC). Its arrival--which the university's Psychology chair lobbied for close to 15 years to secure--should prove to be a boon to brain science research. Post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduates will be provided opportunities to work with the machine.

The device, which is approximately twice as strong as those that are used in the average hospital, will be used to map and measure activity in the brain. To create the "fMRI" scans, the MRI will be used in conjunction with special software. It is expected that the machine will be used in many different types of brain research projects, likely including those involving traumatic brain injuries. The first readings are expected to be taken in late summer.

Among other things, the information obtained via the use of this machine might one day lead to advancements in how concussions and traumatic brain injuries are treated. Most would likely agree that is a good thing.

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