HighTech Finland › Health Care & Life Sciences › All articles in this section   ›  New insights into brain function

Biotechnology
Care
Diagnostics, Materials & Systems
Nutrition
All articles in this section

 

New insights into brain function

Elekta Neuromag® technology enables clinicians and researchers to map brain activity in real time by measuring the magnetic fields produced by the brain using a very safe, non-invasive approach. This advanced MEG technology allows the brain to be seen ‘in action’, rather than as a series of still images, as with CT, MRI, and fMRI systems.
Elekta Neuromag Oy

Elekta has been a leader in instrumentation and software development in the field of magnetoencephalography (MEG) for over 20 years. Thanks to the unique combination of fine-spatial and fine-temporal resolution at millimetre and sub-millisecond accuracy they offer, today’s Elekta Neuromag® systems represent a new standard in combined MEG/EEG devices. They achieve this using the densest sensor array on the market today, the highest volume of neuromagnetic information per sample, the highest sampling rate (up to 10 kHz), the lowest level of system noise, and the longest cryogenic refill interval.

Dual screens enable raw data and on-line averaged data to be displayed simultaneously, and provide easy access to the full suite of software on offer.

The unique sensor design used in Elekta Neuromag® systems, together with their advanced software, enables data to be collected in great detail from even the deepest realms of the brain, such as the cerebellum. Systems also feature excellent immunity to magnetic interference, both patient-related and external, using the company’s proprietary Signal Space Separation (SSS) method.

More samples, better analysis

The Elekta Neuromag® patient helmet array takes samples from 510 distinct positions. The triple-sensor elements used feature an ingenious geometry that provides a very dense spatial sampling of the magnetic flux, while three partially overlapping pick-up coils provide three independent channels of information, allowing the total number of channels to be increased to over 300 without sacrificing anything in terms of noise performance.

Elekta Neuromag® software provides extensive capabilities for acquiring and processing the data received, source modelling, and anatomic visualisation, as well as DICOM 3.0-based image transfer and retrieval. Good ergonomics have not been forgotten either.

New procedures

Elekta Neuromag® technology is opening up new opportunities for new types of clinical MEG routines, including pre-surgical mapping for neurosurgery and for integrating MEG and MRI to enhance the accuracy of surgical navigation and the planning of radiation therapy.

Surgery is an increasingly common alternative for patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy, and MEG systems can help locate epileptogenic areas in relation to functionally important cortical regions. Researchers are also using this type of technology to investigate cerebrovascular disease and mild brain trauma, psychological and learning disorders, and the cognitive functions underlying memory and language.

Elekta Neuromag® technology can resolve millisecond temporal activity associated with the processing of information – the main task of the brain – very effectively.
> Antti Ahonen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)