A brain scanner has been developed by the researchers that can be put on similar to a helmet. This enables the individuals to move around naturally during the scanning is in process. Designed by the scientists, comprising those from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, the scanner evaluates brain activity while individuals make natural movements, consisting of drinking tea, stretching, nodding, and even playing ping pong.
The team stated that this light-weight, novel magnetoencephalography (MEG) system can not only be put on, but it is also more responsive than the existing systems. The team expects this new scanner will enhance the treatment for individuals who cannot use conventional, fixed MEG scanners, for instance, young kids with epilepsy or individuals with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s.
Gareth Barnes of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) said, “Our scanner can be put on the head analogous to a helmet, implying individuals can take on undertakings while moving freely. Notably, now we will be capable of exploring the brain function in several individuals who, so far, have been very hard to scan—comprising patients and young children with movement disorders.”
The technique takes benefit of new “quantum” sensors which can be set up in a 3D-printed model helmet. Owing to the feature of being extremely lightweight and function at room temperature, the new sensors can be positioned onto the scalp surface directly. Placing the sensors much nearer to the brain amplifies the quantity of signal that they can acquire.
Subsequent to the success of their model system, the team is now functioning toward new fashions of the helmet that will have the look of a bicycle helmet, which will be appropriate for children and babies as well as adults. The team envisages this new sort of scanner will offer a 4x rise in sensitivity in the adults, probably mounting to 15 or 20-fold with children.