PRESS RELEASE Stockholm, Sweden, October 6, 2006 Alexian Brothers Health System will bring world-leading technology to Chicago with the acquisition of an Elekta Neuromag®, a cutting-edge device that provides extremely sophisticated, real-time 3-D mapping of brain activity for use by both clinicians and researchers. The system is expected to be operational in January 2007.
“As the first community-based hospital system to embrace this emerging technology, Alexian Brothers Hospital Network is defining the paradigm for other hospital systems to establish aggressive Neuroscience initiatives,” said Mark Frey, CEO for Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, and the Executive Vice President of the Alexian Neurosciences Institute.
Elekta Neuromag provides real-time mapping of brain activity by non-invasively measuring the magnetic fields produced by the brain. Electrical activity in neurons in the brain produce magnetic fields that pass through brain tissue and the skull, and which can then be recorded outside the head using the Elekta Neuromag, an advanced magnetoencephalography (MEG) device.
The real-time, millisecond mapping of neuronal activities throughout the brain provided by Elekta Neuromag holds the promise for better understanding of and finding a treatment for functional brain disorders such as epilepsy. These improvements are further enhanced by the highly innovative MaxFilter™ software that filters all magnetic interferences and artifacts, both internal and external, and provides an analysis with more reliable data.
“Compared with other pre-operative registration methods, MEG offers real advantages with respect to both the time required and its 3D resolution, since activity of the brain is measured directly and in real time,” says Anthony DeCarolis, President and CEO of Elekta, Inc. and head of Elekta’s operations in North America. “Non-invasive, real-time brain mapping and monitoring is considered one of the most exciting developments in neuroscience today. As the only MEG vendor on the market with the financial stability needed to be committed to the long-term development of MEG technology, we are alone in being able to offer long-term relationships and ensure future development of the platform and its applications, thereby securing the customers' investment,” ends DeCarolis.
“The new system will be used for both direct patient care as well as the development of new clinical applications,” explained Dr. Jeffrey David Lewine, who will direct the new MEG center. “The clinical program at the center will support neurologists and neurosurgeons throughout the Midwest who will use it for surgical patients with brain tumors, vascular malformation and epilepsy.
“Major translational research programs will focus on traumatic brain injury, dementia, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, stroke, learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders, with a strong emphasis on using brain imaging profiles to guide patients to effective, individually tailored therapies.”
Worldwide, the list of new applications for MEG continues to steadily grow through research, and applications include pre-surgical mapping for neurosurgery as well as MEG-MRI integration to enhance the accuracy of surgical navigation and planning of open surgery and radiation treatments. The value of brain mapping using MEG technology has been clinically established and Medicare/Medicaid in the U.S. reimburses MEG studies.