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FDA nod for MR software that helps diagnose Alzheimer's, concussions

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | August 05, 2015
Alzheimers/Neurology Medical Devices MRI
Courtesy of Brainreader
New MR software that may speed the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and depression recently scored FDA approval. Brainreader’s Neuroreader works by detecting changes in brain volume in less than five minutes.

The software can also be used to spot changes in brain volume as a result of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

MR brain images are traditionally analyzed visually by a radiologist, but when changes in the brain volume are minor it’s a time-consuming process. Even the best radiologists are not able to determine the exact volume of every structure in the brain without hours of rigorous manual calculations, according to Dr. Barton Branstetter, a neuroradiologist at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Presbyterian.
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The Neuroreader software can help radiologists detect changes as tiny as hundredths of a millimeter in minutes, and takes the guesswork out of the process.

The radiologist uploads the MR image to the Brainreader server and the Neuroreader analyzes it and benchmarks it against an FDA-approved database of healthy brain tissues. It then produces a report on what brain structure volumes are abnormal and to what extent.

It can be used to measure 45 different brain structures. One of those structures is the hippocampus, which is measured to determine a patient’s ability to maintain strong cognitive function.

Dr. Majid Fotuhi, chairman of NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine, believes that knowing the volume of a patient’s hippocampus and monitoring it regularly will become the standard.

Recent publications have shown the first evidence of functional and sustained improvement in neurodegenerative conditions. As therapeutic programs are developed, the volumes of multiple brain regions will become crucial information.

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