Scientists Develop Non-Invasive Brain Scan
Scientists have developed a new technology that they say will provide a non-invasive way to see inside the brain. And that, they believe, will help researchers better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia and brain tumors.
Researchers from the University of Washington experimented with optical coherence tomography (OCT) to retrieve subsurface images of biological tissue at about the same resolution you would get using a low-power microscope.
Using OCT, different acute and chronic changes in the deep regions of the brain can be examined. Researchers were able to scan deeper and faster, while a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) provided a more efficient scan – resulting in better cross-section images of layers of tissue and without any invasive surgery or radiation.
Through this method, researchers were able to study in mice how Alzheimer’s and dementia developed as well as analyzing how a brain aged.
This combination technology will allow scientists to capture images in deeper parts of the brain such as the hippocampus. A shrinking hippocampus is one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer's, which now affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans.