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New research aims to define portable low-field MR's role in Alzheimer's

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | July 03, 2024
Hyperfine is touting two studies on the use of its Swoop system for monitoring Alzheimer's disease that will be presented at the 2024 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) taking place in Philadelphia from July 28 to August 1.

The Swoop system is notable as the first FDA-cleared portable MR brain imaging device. With a .064 Tesla magnet and no need for shielding, it is meant to enhance, and expand access to, brain imaging capabilities. The technology is particularly aimed at expanding clinical applications from hospital critical care units to outpatient clinics and medical offices, with potential use in treating neurological conditions and acute stroke.

Clinicians from Washington University in St. Louis and Massachusetts General Hospital look at advanced imaging modalities for amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) detection and treatment efficacy monitoring in Lecanemab therapy, while Yale University researchers specifically explore the role of portable low-field MR in Alzheimer's care.
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Maria Sainz, president and CEO of Hyperfine Inc., commented, “With recent advancements in Alzheimer’s therapies, there is a growing interest in using portable ultralow-field MR imaging to improve patient care. We are excited to participate in the AAIC conference for the first time.”

Earlier this year, Hyperfine initiated the CARE PMR (Capturing ARIA Risk Equitably with Portable MR) study, which uses the Swoop system to scan patients at infusion centers and clinics. The study aims to evaluate the clinical utility and workflow benefits of portable MR imaging for detecting ARIA in patients undergoing amyloid-targeting therapy.

“We’ll be evaluating whether portable MR brain imaging can reliably identify brain swelling and bleeding," said Dr. Tammie Benzinger, professor of radiology and neurological surgery at Washington School of Medicine and the primary investigator on that study. The convenience of portable MR imaging at infusion centers could significantly reduce the logistical challenges for patients undergoing frequent scans.

Mass General Brigham has also begun using the Swoop system to scan Alzheimer’s patients, aiming to gather longitudinal data and screen for ARIA events as part of the CARE PMR protocol. Drs. Teresa Gomez-Isla and W. Taylor Kimberly are leading these efforts, exploring the broader implications of portable MR imaging in Alzheimer's care.

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