Brain Imaging Centre to Put Wales at Leading Edge of Neurology

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 4, 2004 | Go to article overview

Brain Imaging Centre to Put Wales at Leading Edge of Neurology


Byline: By Madeleine Brindley Western Mail

A pounds 10m imaging centre will see Wales propelled to the forefront of brain research across the world.

State-of-the-art facilities will help scientists to unravel some of the greatest mysteries of the human brain and bring new hope to stroke, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis patients.

The new Cardiff University Brain and Repair Imaging Centre will be the first in the UK to combine two brain-scanning systems.

The bulk of the pounds 8m funding for the centre and the imaging facilities will come from the Department of Trade and Industry, in recognition of the agreed merger between Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine.

Announcing the pounds 8m funding package today, Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury said, 'This award for new ground- breaking equipment recognises the outstanding work that Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine have already carried out in the field of brain research.

'The centre will help both organisations maximise the benefits of the merger and keep both UK science and the work that is being carried out in Cardiff at the cutting edge of research worldwide.'

The new centre will combine Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) - both non-invasive scanning techniques - to study the brain processes involved in everyday tasks, such as visual and auditory perception, attention processes, social functioning, memory, learning and speech.

The research will not only benefit academics but could lead to new and improved treatments for conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease and for patients with schizophrenia and depression.

The project director at Cardiff University, Professor Peter Halligan, said, 'In bringing together these two highly sophisticated pieces of equipment, we are creating a facility as advanced as any of its kind in Europe or North America - a facility that offers new opportunities for collaboration across a range of disciplines.

'The combination of these systems will put Cardiff, and Wales, at the international forefront of developments in brain imaging for the cognitive, social and clinical neurosciences. …

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