November 27, 2023

New MRI scanner is reportedly 10 times more powerful than regular machines

Editor's Note

An international team of researchers has unveiled a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that is reportedly significantly more powerful than conventional MRI machines, a November 27 article published by Nature Methods reports. The new MRI is said to record up to 10 times with more detail than current 7Telsa scanners, and over 50 times the detail of the most common hospital scanners–the 3T.

According to the article:

  • The ultra-high resolution scanner will provide new insights into the brain’s circuitry and how it is implicated in a number of brain disorders, including degenerative diseases, schizophrenia, and autism. 
  • With a normal MRI scan, the resolution is not high enough to capture all the information being passed from one area of the brain to another. With this scanner’s higher spatial resolution, it can show activity at different depths in the brain’s cortex, revealing brain circuitry. 
  • With the vastly improved resolution of the Next Generation 7T model, scientists can see functional MRI (fMRI) features 0.4 millimeters across, compared to the 2 or 3 millimeters typical of today's standard scanners.
  • The breakthrough is the result of $13.4 million in funding from the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative of the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers hope the new MRI scanner will help them to better understand changes in the brain that happen with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and how they connect to memory loss, for example.


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