Projected to open in mid 2010, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) is a facility dedicated to the study and care of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues. Using Elekta Neuromag®, an advanced magnetoencephalography (MEG) device, NICoE plans to shed light on how the brain works after sustaining combat-related injury.
TBI is a leading cause of sustained impairment in military and civilian populations, with an estimated 19 percent of returning service members and vets screening positive. While the psychological impact of these injuries can be devastating, research teams at NICoE hope to use MEG technology to find answers that may provide better care for service members and veterans - possibly leading to the customization or development of new treatment techniques.
Elekta Neuromag works by measuring and recording magnetic fields created by electrical activity within the brain. Completely noninvasive, the device detects instantaneous changes in brain activity, allowing clinicians to track changes that happen in milliseconds. For example, the device is sensitive enough to detect the brain's response to a sound, word, image or other stimulus. It also allows clinicians to observe subtle pathological changes that occurred after injury or the development of a disorder such as epilepsy.
"We look forward to welcoming NICoE into our expanding network of MEG users," says Stephen Otto, Chairman of Elekta Neuromag. "The last two years have seen a considerable increase in the number of MEG system orders and installations from Elekta. We attribute this directly to the growing list of experimental MEG examinations which are now beginning to enter the clinical mainstream, joining the established indications of epileptic focus localization and presurgical functional mapping. Better diagnoses and treatments of brain injury will not only result in improved care for those injured in conflicts overseas, but also the many suffering from motor vehicle accidents, sports related injuries and other trauma. We are extremely pleased that MEG is being seen to play a role in helping those afflicted."
In addition to Elekta Neuromag, NICoE will feature advanced equipment and services for psychological health, as well as the treatment of TBI, including a 3T MRI Scanner, Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) system, 64-slice PET /CT scan, virtual reality room, firearm simulator, occupational therapy gym and more.