Waco VA scientists uses new scan tech to see patient brain activity

Jasmin Caldwell reports.

WACO - Scientists at the Waco Veterans Affairs office are gaining international attention for their breakthrough research.

They are pioneering a new technique to detect differences in an individual brain which would normally go undetected in regular MRI’s.

This week scientist at the Waco Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence will be one of the first to rollout some cutting-edge technology for conducting brain scans.

Dr. Evan Gordon said their whole goal in the study is to try to change the way we do MRI research.

“Change the way we use this technology that can see activity in the brain and try to gear it more towards looking at individual patients,” Gordon said.

Normally if scientists want to get a better understanding of the brain, they have to scan numerous brains and then average those scans to create a model of a stereotypical brain.

Dr. Steven Nelson said now they are looking at one brain at a time that has a lot of rich data. They are trying to understand how the individual difference in that person with PTSD or traumatic brain injury, and what the unique features are.

Doctors said this could have a major impact on the ability to understand traumatic brain injury and psychiatric disorders in our military veterans because it will personalize how to treat their symptoms.

“This really sets the stage from the approaches that we are taking to be able to impact diagnoses and potential treatment of our veterans here,” Nelson said.

The findings will be published Friday as the cover article in Neuron which is one of the most prominent journals of neuroscience. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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