On Sunday 31st July weighing in at 35 tonnes, the new 7 Tesla magnet scanner was lowered into place by a crane through the ceiling of the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) where it will be used for clinical trials into to help researchers further understand brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
An MRI scan works by using a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures of tissue, organs and other structures inside the body.
The scanner is five times more powerful than a standard MRI scanner, and is the only one of its kind to be used in the UK at the moment.
Professor Irene Tracey, Director of the FMRIB Centre, said, “The 7 Tesla Siemens is five times more sensitive to brain functions than the model currently being used.
“Scans undertaken with the new equipment will enable researchers to see much finer detail images. Early diagnoses means we can potentially get people on therapies and treatments earlier and can better understand the conditions which lead to the disease.”
FMRIB is part of Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division. The £4.75m scanner is part of an £8.2m investment by the Medical Research Council and two other scanners where also delivered to the hospital in early 2011.