Real-time, millisecond mapping of neuronal activities throughout the brain holds promise for better understanding and treatment of functional brain disorders such as epilepsy

Elekta has signed an agreement to acquire the shares in the magneto-encephalography (MEG) brain monitoring company, Neuromag OY of Helsinki, Finland for an amount of approximately EUR 4 million. The acquisition of Neuromag is expected to contribute positively to Elekta's earnings per share during fiscal year 2003/04.

Neuromag is the leading global supplier of non-invasive MEG brain monitoring systems. Since 1994 a total of 32 Neuromag systems have been sold to leading neuroscience centers around the world. These centers use MEG technology for real-time functional brain mapping and imaging which is unattainable with traditional imaging modalities.

"With MEG we are, for the first time, able to precisely and in real-time locate and quantitatively correlate neuronal activity in different areas of the brain", said Dr. Dan Leksell, VP Medical Affairs at Elekta. "This precise, real-time monitoring of the brain will increase our understanding of how the brain functions and provide precise mapping of functional disorders. With improved understanding of the physiology of the brain, we will be in a better position to explore potential new treatment modalities", Dr Leksell concluded.

MEG technology is used for pre-surgical mapping of the brain, such as for localization of epileptic foci. The value of this type of brain mapping has been clinically established and Medicare/Medicaid in the US reimburses MEG studies.

Prior to the acquisition, Elekta was the exclusive distributor of Neuromag's MEG systems in Japan and other parts of Asia for many years.

"We are very pleased that Neuromag has joined the Elekta family. Neuromag has a history of researching and developing clinically valuable sophisticated technology. I believe that Elekta's neuroscience customers will see the addition of real-time functional brain mapping as a natural fit to their programs", said Dr. Leksell.

"We believe that brain mapping with MEG technology is a promising new clinical technology which will be increasingly used as an aid prior to brain surgery. As we strive to develop increasingly comprehensive treatment solutions, we also hope that this sophisticated diagnostic system will play an important role in our efforts to improve treatment of certain functional disorders with Leksell Gamma Knife", ends Dr. Leksell.

"The partnership with Elekta makes perfect sense", says Doctor of Technology, Antti Ahonen, Managing Director at Neuromag, the leading provider of MEG technology world-wide. "Our partnership with Elekta will open up an effective and well established global distribution organization for Neuromag, while at the same time provide Elekta with a state-of-the-art diagnostic technology with tremendous growth potential", ends Dr. Ahonen.

Compared with other pre-surgical mapping techniques for the brain, MEG is clinically superior both in terms of patient throughput and spatial resolution. Functional MRI (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) all measure neuronal function indirectly by measuring metabolic activity. In contrast, MEG measures the neuronal activity directly as it happens. While both Electroencephalography (EEG) and MEG record neuronal activity directly, MEG offers better spatial resolution, thus providing more accurate localization.


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