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9 October 2013

Syringe helps doctors see inside brain

A new device invented by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is helping doctors capture the exact area in the brain where epileptic seizures begin. The test could help reduce the need for highly invasive investigations when used in tandem with other tests.

Improved  accuracy

Philip Hillel, a consultant healthcare scientist from the Medical Physics Department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: 'Spilt-seconds make all the difference when a patient is having an epileptic fit, and giving patients who are often shaking and moving the precise amounts of a radioactive dye within the required 20 seconds is virtually impossible with a normal syringe. Thanks to this device, we have improved the accuracy of the test and ensured the patient does not get given more radiation doses than necessary.

'When looked at alongside other diagnostic tests, the 3D images produced from this scan can confirm the exact area in the brain where abnormal activity begins, sometimes without the need for other highly invasive investigations which could involve potential damage to parts of the brain.'