Shining Light On The Brain: New MRI Technique Detects Neural Activity

Researchers have developed a new MRI technique that could enable detailed studies of how brain cells develop and communicate. The technique involves engineering blood vessels to express a protein that makes them light-sensitive. When exposed to light, these engineered blood vessels dilate, and this dilation can be detected using MRI.

This new technique offers several advantages over traditional methods for studying brain activity. MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique that provides high-resolution images of the brain. However, traditional MRI techniques cannot directly measure neural activity. The new technique described in the article can indirectly measure neural activity by tracking changes in blood vessel diameter.

The ability to detect light deep within the brain could significantly impact our understanding of brain function. This technique could be used to map changes in gene expression throughout the brain, track how brain cells communicate with each other, and develop new treatments for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Overall, the new MRI technique is a promising tool for studying brain function. It has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of how the brain works and could lead to the development of new treatments for neurological disorders.

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