Scientists from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Croton Healthcare Canada Inc. (Croton) will collaborate to study breakthroughs in concussion diagnosis. The team will examine the effectiveness of novel diagnostic techniques using magnetoencephalography (MEG), a brain imaging technology that SFU has been helping to lead the development of for more than a quarter century.
The study will focus on determining the ability to predict chronic symptoms of concussion and more serious traumatic brain injuries. Results will be integrated with those of other institutions, to confirm multi-center reproducibility.
“We are very excited to be working closely with SFU for the advancement of diagnosis and evaluation of concussion,” said Gordon Haid, vice president of Croton. “It is estimated that over three million individuals sustain a concussion annually in North America. We are eager to take this first step toward finding better ways to diagnose the extent of brain injury, while being committed to improving the quality of care moving forward.”
The MEG technology will non-invasively record sophisticated brainwave results from individuals who have sustained brain injuries, compared to those who have not. Results will be analyzed using an advanced patent pending technique known as “VESTAL,” which was originally developed at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and is currently under exclusive license to York Instruments, a company affiliated with Croton.
VESTAL software measures the frequency and origin of particular brainwaves, which appear to be specifically affected after brain injury. The methods and associated software platform are to be included with York Instrument’s newly developed MEGSCAN system, which maps brain activity by recording magnetic fields produced by electrical currents occurring naturally within neurons of the brain. The system will create newly accessible MEG technology solutions for the growing challenges in healthcare.
“We welcome the further validation of VESTAL at independent sites using different MEG hardware,” said Mingxiong Huang, professor in UCSD’s Department of Radiology and co-developer of VESTAL. “Such clinical studies will advance our understanding of neurological disorders such as concussion. In addition, MEG source imaging with VESTAL can be used as an objective and sensitive tool in assessing the efficacy of existing or new concussion treatments.”
Leading SFU neuroscientists Dr. Sam Doesberg and Dr. Vasily Vakorin have joined forces with SFU’s Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, British Columbia leadership chair in multimodal technology for healthcare innovations, to bring the latest advances in MEG predictive data analysis. The team plans to perform the study at SFU’s ImageTech Lab, currently under construction at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The site is a world-class medical imaging lab, designed to translate brain technology advances, healthcare innovations in diagnostics and treatment monitoring into standard clinical neuroscience. The ImageTech Lab is being established by SFU and the City of Surrey, in partnership with Fraser Health. Croton has joined Surrey’s Health and Technology District on Innovation Boulevard as another strong technology company partnering in order to bring rapid impacts in health improvements and outcomes.
“It is our hope that this globally innovative science will rapidly lead to better care for the countless people who are affected by concussion and related brain injuries, whether from sports related injuries, automobile accidents or other types of trauma,” said D’Arcy.
Croton Healthcare LLC, through its subsidiaries Croton Healthcare Canada Inc, York Instruments Ltd and The Concussion Network Ltd, is involved in MEG technology and its clinical applications. The goals of the interrelated set of companies are to fully exploit the exquisite sensitivity possible from magnetic measurements of the human brain and use them to increase the quality of care available to those suffering from a variety of clinical disorders and injuries. These include brain trauma, epilepsy, tumors along with other clinical disorders affecting brain networks – with each being studied with the very latest technologies and methodologies. Strong collaborations with commercial and academic partners are a core element of the company’s strategy.
About Simon Fraser University
SFU is defined by its integration of education, research and community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and has more than 135,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.