A state-of-the-art £1.5m Siemens 3-Tesla MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner is now treating patients at The James Cook University Hospital.
The scanner will help patients with conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or brain tumours who need highly detailed imaging of their brain.
The joint project between Durham University and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides the very latest facilities for biomedical research and technology for patients.
The scanner produces high-resolution images of activity in the brain which allow detailed diagnosis and monitoring of patients’ conditions to enable the best possible treatment decisions to be made. It is more powerful, faster and quieter than the hospital’s current scanner improving patient comfort without compromising quality.
Research projects by Durham’s academics include investigations of autism, the brain mechanisms of visual perception and how vision can be impaired as a result of brain damage, and the effects of hormones on the brain.
The scanner was offically opened on Friday 23 November 2012 by Durham University student and rowing cox, Lily van den Broecke, who guided her rowing crew to gold at the London Paralympics earlier in the year.
Lily said: “It is thanks to scanners like this that paralympic gold medallist and fellow crew member David Smith was saved from a fatal tumour. Combined with the great staff and patient care, this scanner will become more than just a machine and it is an honour to welcome it to the hospital.”