How Technology Improved the Study of Neurology According to Dr. Alireza Minagar
Technology not only continues to improve our understanding of the human body, particularly in how the brain function, but it is also continuously changing how neuroscientists and neurologists are able to study these functions. Professor of Neurology at LSU Health Science Center and published medical author Dr. Alireza Minagar, took some time to explain the ways that technology is improving the study of neurology.
Here’s a brief look at a few of the most recent advancements in technology that are improving the study of neurology:
On-the-Go Portable Brain Scanners
Scientists have designed a brain scanner that can be worn while the user is in motion rather than lying down. Early simulations show that the new technology, referred to as Ambulatory Microdose Positive Emission Tomography (AMPET), is more sensitive and exposes the patient to less radiation compared to conventional imaging.
Dr. Alireza Minagar explains that current solutions for brain scanning force the medical provider to choose between high-quality images and portability. Large, bulky machines that are bolted to the floor tend to offer the best images, but they’re awkward, expensive, and are limited to being used only in their location. In addition, the patient must remain completely still in order to capture the image. Portable brain scanners exist but the resolution is usually low, which results in poor image quality and an inability to retrieve images from deep within the brain.
The new scanning technology fills in the gaps left behind by traditional methods. The AMPET helmet can be worn by a moving user and capture high-quality images of the entire brain. The technology is expected to help physicians understand the impact of exercise on brain injuries and how certain brain chemicals influence behaviors and disease.
3D Modeling from Brain-Imaging Data
3D modeling of the brain is becoming more streamlined, giving physicians a faster way to view and study brain images. The new software will create models on substantially large datasets with ease and reduce the wait time between taking images of the brain and analyzing them for insight.
Advances in Stem Cell Technology
The various cells in the brain have minute differences, some of which are too small to notice using traditional methods. But new technology will allow researchers to notice healthy neurons versus diseased ones with ease.
According to Dr. Alireza Minagar, recognizing and understanding these differences will help researchers to learn how cells may become diseased and how to develop medications that can help correct these issues. The technology will help to streamline this process and make it less costly and more reliable.
What in Store for Neurology?
The challenges and goals of neurology today are much like those in previous years — to learn how the brain functions and how to use it to prevent diseases and improve quality of life.
Dr. Alireza Minagar’s Final Thoughts
The above technologies are currently being explored, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how mainstream they will become in neurology. The only way to reach these goals is to continue learning about the brain and finding ways to apply this information.