This Tuesday, 2nd, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) revealed the first images of the human brain taken by the world’s most powerful MRI scanner.

The project, led by researchers, promises an unprecedented level of precision, potentially revolutionizing disease detection, according to a report from G1.

Starting with the scanning of a pumpkin in 2021, the scanner, named Iseult, recently received authorization for use on humans by health authorities.

Around 20 healthy volunteers have already had their brains scanned in recent months, in a laboratory located in Saclay, south of Paris.

“We saw a level of precision never before achieved in CEA,” said Alexandre Vignaud, a physicist involved in the project.

With a magnetic field of 11.7 tesla, the machine produces images ten times more detailed than conventional hospital devices.

The machine, the result of two decades of research between French and German engineers, has a cylinder five meters wide and high, housing a 132-ton magnet powered by a 1,500 amp coil. The opening for patient entry is 90 centimeters wide.

Iseult aims to deepen understanding of brain anatomy and understand the areas activated during specific tasks.

Scientists hope the scanner will significantly contribute to the investigation of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and psychological problems such as depression and schizophrenia.

Although not ready for immediate clinical use, researchers believe that the knowledge gained could eventually benefit patients in hospitals. A new group of volunteers will be recruited in the coming months to continue the research.


Leave a Reply