NeuRA Imaging

FACILITY INFORMATION

MRI scanner
Philips 3 Tesla Achieva TX scanner. 32 receiver channel RX system, Multitransmit TX.  Max gradient strength 80 mT/m, max slew rate 200mT/m/ms. Second, broadband transmit channel (13C and 31P). Range of coils for most body parts. 32 channel extremities coil, 32 channel head coil, 4 channel RF rat/mouse coil.

MRI components and services
– LCD screen for presentation of fMRI paradigms
– Trigger (press button) box for recording responses
– Computer (PSYCHO) for presenting fMRI paradigms and for recording psychophysics data. PSYCHO operates a range of common presentation software (yours can be loaded on request).
– PSYCHO II (back up system which is replica of PSYCHO).
– 3T compatible patient physiological monitoring system (Schiller) for heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, expired gasses (CO2, O2), pulse oximeter.
– MRI compatible EEG system (BrainProducts)
– VCG gating.
– Permanent archiving of all raw (DICOM) data.
– Full radiography service.
– Full Philips maintenance service.
– Radiologist duty of care report on all relevant scans.

SR Research Eye Tracker
EyeLink 1000 system with the following characteristics:
– Non-ferromagnetic optimized design with up to 2000 Hz sampling rate
– Down to 0.01º RMS spatial resolution amd real-time eye position access of 1.4 msec (SD < 0.4 msec) @ 2000 Hz
– Supports Camera-to-eye distances of 60 – 150 cm

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FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Abdominal muscle stimulation to improve bowel function in spinal cord injury

Bowel complications, resulting from impaired bowel function, are common for people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). As a result, people with a SCI have high rates of bowel related illness, even compared with those with other neurological disorders. This includes high rates of abdominal pain, constipation, faecal incontinence and bloating. These problems lower the quality of life of people with a SCI and place a financial burden on the health system. A treatment that improves bowel function for people with a SCI should reduce illness, improve quality of life and lead to a large cost saving for health care providers. Bowel problems have traditionally been managed with manual and pharmacological interventions, such as digital rectal stimulation, enemas, and suppositories. These solutions are usually only partially effective, highlighting the need for improved interventions. The abdominal muscles are one of the major muscle groups used during defecation. Training the abdominal muscles should improve bowel function by increasing abdominal pressure. During our previous Abdominal FES research with people with a SCI, we observed that Abdominal FES appeared to lead to more consistent and effective bowel motion. However, this evidence remains anecdotal. As such, we are going to undertake a large randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of Abdominal FES to improve the bowel function of people with a SCI. This study will make use of a novel measurement system (SmartPill, Medtronic) that can be swallowed to measure whole gut and colonic transit time. We will also assess whether Abdominal FES can change constipation-related quality of life and the use of laxatives and manual procedures, as well as the frequency of defecation and the time taken. A positive outcome from this study is likely to lead to the rapid clinical translation of this technology for people living with a SCI.
PROJECT