In a new research led by neuroimaging scientist Brian L. Edlow from Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers have produced the most detailed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan ever taken of the human brain anatomy. In this research, the brain of an anonymous woman was scanned at one of the most advanced and hi-tech MRI, for about 100 hours, and as a result, researchers succeeded in capturing the most detailed 3d image of the human brain ever.
The data received from this study has been opened to the public by the research team, and any interested person can take full information about it. Researchers have also described how their team recorded the MRI data of their Vivo X-Solution as a pre-vivo sample, which offers such views of “three-dimensional neuranatomy of the human brain”, which never seen before.
After the data from this research shared publicly, many people expressed their reaction about it. Electrical engineer Priti Balchandani from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Science News, “We haven’t seen an entire brain like this, It’s definitely unprecedented.”
The Story Behind The Most Detailed 3D Image of The Human Brain
It all started with, a 58-year-old woman, who was hospitalized due to diseases such as fever, chills, and fatigue, which later developed into a problem of breathing. During her stay in the hospital, her condition worsened, and she died only after a fortnight after because of respiratory failure due to viral pneumonia. But thanks to the lady, she donated her brain to science for research.
Although the patient had suffered from lymphoma and some other diseases in her past, she had no experience of neurological problems or psychiatric illness, and this made her brain a valuable specimen for future neurological research.
After the preservation period, the organ was transferred to a custom-made, air-tight brain holder which is made from rigid urethane and which was specially designed for long-term MRI scans of the experiment. The brain holder was placed in a customized seven Tesla (7T) MRI scanner. Now, what is this (7T) MRI scanner? So 7 Tesla MRI scanner is a powerful machine that offers a high level of magnetic field strength. Through this 7 Tesla MRI machine, researchers were trying to visualize small structures in brain specimens at a resolution of 100 micrometers. This helps in the capture process if the sample is completely motionless.
FDA radiologist Robert Ochs said about this MRI technology that, “The overall image quality of MRI improves with higher magnetic field strength, the added field strength allows for better visualization of smaller structures and subtle pathologies that may improve disease diagnosis.”
About the strength of 7T, the author explained that “For the visualization of the microstructural neuroanatomy of the human brain, the post-mortem in ex Vivo MRI is more effective as compared to Vivo MRI. Whereas Vivo MRI acquisitions are constrained by time (hours) and affected by motion, ex vivo MRI can be performed without shortage of time (days) and without cardiorespiratory or head motion.”
With long-term scanning benefits, the ability of ultra-high resolution imaging across the brain enabled researchers to record 8 terabytes of raw data from four different scan angles, which accumulated in approximately 100 hours of total MRI scanning.
The meaning of this research increases even more, because the researchers could not get such results on the living mind, initially, people can not tolerate 100 hours of scans. And even small movements that arise from the breath and blood flow, blur the images so that it becomes very difficult to obtain such clear 3D visualization from the living brain.
These detailed 3D images of the human brain can be used by researchers to point out difficult-to-be-seen brain abnormalities in depressants such as coma and psychiatric disorders.
As I mentioned above a data of the results including several videos now available online for the academic community, about which the team said that “envision a broad range of investigational, educational, and clinical applications for this dataset that have the potential to advance understanding of human brain anatomy in health and disease”.
So this is everything about the most detailed 3D images of the human brain ever. Hopefully, today’s our article will prove knowledgeable to you. And if you have questions regarding the recently captured most detailed 3D images of the human brain, so you can ask us in the comments section.
Note: Full Data About This Research Available On bioRxiv.