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New MEG lab established in Halifax, Canada

New MEG lab established in Halifax, Canada

New MEG lab established in Halifax, Canada

November 26, 2010 (HE53).  Earlier this year the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), IWK Health Centre, and Elekta Neuromag announced the opening of a new clinical research imaging centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Laboratory for Clinical Magneto-encephalography (MEG Lab) is based at the IWK Health Centre, a regional hospital specializing in the care for women and children and engaged in leading edge research.  The total cost of the MEG Lab is $5.3M. The Government of Canada is contributing $2.45M via the NRC, Elekta is contributing $1.51M and the remaining funds have been provided by the IWK, including $500K financial contribution from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). MEG is an imaging technology that uses electrical activity in the brain to measure magnetic

The 306 channel Elekta MEG system in the children's hospital in Halifax, Canada
The 306 channel Elekta MEG system in the children's hospital in Halifax, Canada

fields. The Elekta MEG system has 306 SQUID channels with two planar gradiometers and one magnetometer at each location.  With this advanced imaging capability, a host of new diagnostics for brain disease and disorders will be investigated.

Three research priorities have been identified:

  • Research will capitalize on existing core competencies in epilepsy by conducting diagnostics research on drug therapies, surgical treatment, and new treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  • Imaging methods will be further developed for the assessment of consciousness in brain injury, developmental disorders, and altered awareness.
  • MEG has emerged as one of the leading technologies for presurgical mapping prior to, and neurocognitive assessment following, removal of a brain tumor.

The MEG Lab represents a critical link between basic science and real-world clinical problems. It will bring medical doctors and scientists together, serving as a focal point for specialists from all disciplines. At the present time, this group is attracting brain imaging experts from around the world and includes more than 20 local collaborators from NRC, IWK, local hospitals and Dalhousie University.  For more information:
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/facilities/ibd/satellite-labs-atlantic.html