Scan of brain's wiring produced

The world’s most detailed scan of the brain’s internal wiring has been produced with the hope it will help increase understanding of a range of neurological disorders.

Produced by scientists at Cardiff University the MRI machine reveals the fibres that carry all the brain's thought processes. These fibres, called axons, are the brain's wiring, which carry billions of electrical signals. The brain scanned is that of BBC medical correspondent, Fergus Walsh, and the scan shows the direction of the messaging and the density of the brain's wiring. The BBC article explains that another volunteer scanned was Sian Rowlands, who has multiple sclerosis. The scan shows axonal density and this can help explain how the lesions affect motor and cognitive pathways, which can trigger Sian's movement problems and extreme fatigue. Speaking to the BBC, Professor Derek Jones, CUBRIC's director (Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre), said it was like getting hold of the Hubble telescope when you've been using binoculars. "The promise for researchers is that we can start to look at structure and function together for the first time," he said. The special MRI scanner, one of three in the world, is being used for research into many neurological conditions including MS, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy.
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