MagLab MRI machine provides in-depth analysis of strokes

New research conducted at the Florida State University-based National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has revealed a new, innovative way to classify the severity of a stroke, aid in diagnosis and evaluate potential treatments.

“Stroke affects millions of adults and children worldwide,” said Sam Grant, MagLab researcher and associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. “This research offers a new technique for the chemical analysis of metabolites during stroke and a means of evaluating dynamic changes in cell processes and size in living tissue.”

The research is detailed in two papers, “Metabolic properties in stroked rats revealed by relaxation-enhanced magnetic resonance spectroscopy at ultrahigh fields,” in Nature Communications and “Metabolic T1 dynamics and longitudinal relaxation enhancement in vivo at ultrahigh magnetic fields on ischemia” in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.

The new technique is a way of narrowly applying energy to the metabolites of a specimen exposed to a very high magnetic field. Metabolites are the biological compounds used in the chemical process of breaking down food or other chemicals into energy and producing new materials.

By selectively “exciting” these metabolites and analyzing their distribution and confinement in brain tissue, the research team can investigate the metabolic microenvironment and tell whether cells were shrinking or expanding, a critical tool to understanding the severity of stroke, Grant said.

That information could help medical professionals better treat patients.

“Strokes cause an interruption of blood and oxygen to flow to the brain,” explained Jens Rosenberg, another MagLab researcher and one of Grant’s co-authors. “Through this research, we can see how neurons and other neural cells respond to the disruption of blood flow after stroke and use that information to better understand the full impacts of stroke.”   

The MagLab’s flagship 900 MHz Ultra Widebore NMR magnet system was a critical component to the research. Utilizing this powerful magnet, the research team, which included scientists from the Champaulimod Center in Portugal and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, were able to acquire localized chemical signatures of metabolites from 125-microliter volumes within the brain with high sensitivity and fidelity in six seconds.

Typical MRIs at hospitals or doctor’s offices measure around 1.5 – 3 tesla (the unit of magnetic field strength), while the 900 MHz measures a whopping 21.1 tesla, providing at least seven times the sensitivity.

“This very high field coupled with the RF pulse sequence design by our collaborators and homebuilt RF probes offer a unique non-invasive way of evaluating stroke evolution and potential treatments,” Rosenberg said.

The team also sees exciting possibilities to use this technique to further investigate debilitating diseases.

“By evaluating spectral regions previously undetectable, we hope to fingerprint certain diseases, like ischemic stroke, so that we can identify new characteristics that are specific to pathological conditions at the metabolic level in vivo,” Grant said. “There is a lot of work to be done to identify these dynamic changes and decide when and how our treatments can be most effective.”

Further research on metabolites using this technique could also be used for analysis of neurological disorders such as dementia, schizophrenia, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases.

(Image credit)

The Problem with Changing Your Name For a Man

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The problem doesn’t lie with the women who make a conscious choice to take their partner’s name, but the fact that society sees it as the default. Challenging the patriarchal tradition of taking a husband’s name isn’t just about rejecting something rooted in misogyny, it’s about displacing the gendered system which minimizes a woman’s identity. This social practice constantly reinforces the hierarchy within marriage, one in which women play the role of “Mrs.” because their identity is somehow irrevocably changed once they marry. Marriage should be about mutual respect and equality, which means respecting the individual identities (a la birth names) of both partners.

Read more on Feminspire!

#268 Because of Miss and Mrs.

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Tumblr blogger The Middle Eastern Feminist :

"Because we are taught that women are defined by their relationship to their fathers or husbands- their male guardians. Because we are taught that we are handed over as possession from one male guardian to another. Because we are told that our worth is interchangeable according to our status towards men, ignoring the fact that cis gendered heteronormative relations are not the only form of relationships. Because we are taught that our identities are not defined by us, that we do not have agency, and that it is the men in our lives and our relationships with them that determines who we are as women and as humans.* The importance of feminism in this regard is crucial and a moral imperative!”

"This is not a criticism of women who choose to get married and are happily engaged in matrimony. However, we are all political agents who repeat and reflect historical and culturally established practices that reflects a limiting view of human relationships- one that is heavily based on human ownership. But it is through having these types of conversations that gender and marriage equality has become possible within traditional relationships; and more diverse and complex human relationships are emerging, allowing expression of humanity that is more inclusive and empathy based ."

As mentioned in previous posts, feminism is not an ideology that exists to crush women who make traditional choices. It is simply about questioning and analysing both the “traditional”* options and why that choice is made. It is about raising awareness about the fact that we have choices and do not have to follow the blueprints society has set out for us. It is about raising awareness of the history of those blueprints and their purpose. And it’s about clearly stating that we are free to make choices and should be free from judgement and criticism when chosing for ourselves.

*:

1. Read:  #155 Because she’s someone’s sister/mother/daughter/wife.

2. A lot of the characteristics, activities and professions that we consider traditionally male or female aren’t that traditional. A lot of our “traditional” ideas about gender, such as girls wearing pink or IT being a male field, aren’t even a hundred years old.