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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Multiple sclerosis breakthrough: Scientists develop technology to assist doctors in detection of brain lesions

MRI brain image
PHOTO 
MS causes tiny lesions to appear on the brain.
MS SOCIETY OF WA, FILE PHOTO
Australian scientists say they have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment and detection of multiple sclerosis (MS).

New software developed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been shown to assist doctors in the detection of brain lesions caused by MS and could lead to a much earlier detection of brain tumours and a myriad of other diseases.

Hospital director of research Frank Gaillard said finding the right treatment for MS patients was crucial.

He said painstaking process involved looking through hundreds of scans, comparing old and new images to find new lesions.

"It's similar to having a couple of Dalmatians running around and trying to spot if either of them has an extra dot or not," Dr Gaillard said.

He said the technology developed at the hospital could detect minute changes in the brain in patients with MS.

"Instead of having to look at 200 lesions and identify one that might be new ... your attention is drawn to the one that wasn't present before," he said.
"Now, because there are changes in the physiology and position and how the scans are obtained ... areas ... show up that aren't real.

"The job of the radiologist, instead of being one trying to identify the lesions, is ... to use our normal clinical skills in assessing whether that lesion is actually a demyelinating lesion or caused by something else."

He said the new technology, which is already being used in live scans, could tell doctors whether a treatment was working or not long before symptoms associated with an inappropriate drug started to appear.

Patients welcome detection breakthrough




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