New 3D hologram allows Neurosurgeons to "walk through" our brains

New 3D hologram allows Neurosurgeons to "walk through" our brains
By Robert Hackwill

Neuroscientists have completed a hologram which could one day allow doctors to peer into a complete 3D image of their patient’s brain.

The hologram is the next step forward from MRI scans according to some clinicians.

Taking a walk inside your brain sounds like science fiction, but this hologram takes us a step closer, according to the researchers who created it.

The team at 3D developers Holoxica in Scotland
claim this is the first ever 3D digital hologram of the human brain fibre connections.

Developers say a hologram of a healthy brain was made via a technique called “Fibre Tractography”.

The technique tracks nerve fibre pathways inside the brain by measuring the movement of water molecules in the brain’s white matter.

Developers claim the use of holograms will have a profound impact on medical science allowing clinicians to identify, diagnose and treat a wide range of neurological conditions.

Neurosurgeon and Alzheimer’s specialist at Britain’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Dr. Basil Ridha says he is interested in the technology’s future potential.

“If you have degeneration, or you have areas of inflammation, or a stroke, all of these things to visualise and see how anatomically it impacts on surrounding structures and pathways is vital, so the brain now is not only the location of a lesion, but what networks pass through that area is of importance. So sometimes we want to know, for example, the visual pathways involved in a particular lesion,” he says.

The 3D holographic display was backed with cash from the EU’s Research and Innovation budget.

Ridha adds that brain holograms could prove a useful medical educational tool.

“The brain is such a complex three-dimensional structure and sometimes it is quite difficult to describe, or understand the actual connections. So to see it in 3D may be a short-cut to education and it can reinforce the learning process,” he says.

Developers say they plan to adapt their holographic video display to existing medical imaging machines including MRI, CT and Ultrasound scanners.