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High powered MRI scans identify language centres in brain

Wed, Oct 29, 2014, 11:46 AM
Vienna, Oct 29 : A study from the Medical University of Vienna found how 7-Tesla ultra high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to clearly show the brain areas responsible for speech processing and production.

The new approach discovered by the scientists from the Neurology Clinic at the university allows for a much higher sensitivity and better diagnosis on these areas of the brain than standard clinical MRI scanners, and could be very important for future brain operations in that the language centres could be better-protected during invasive surgeries, Xinhua reported.

This is particularly due to the need to know where these language centres are prior to an operation, as they can shift significantly as a result of tumours or injuries. The flexibility of the brain allows for such shifting.

If any of the language centres, in particular the Broca or Wernicke areas, are damaged during the course of brain surgery, it could lead to the loss of the speech faculty.

The Austria Press Agency reported Roland Beisteiner from the Department of Neurology as saying Tuesday that the new MRI approach identified even very weak signals in the brain that would otherwise be overlooked.

The results from the study that was completed with participants from other Austrian universities and clinics have been published in the brain function journal, NeuroImage.
Agency: IANS
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