European Research Project Aims to Improve Diagnosis and Therapy of Brain Diseases

August 16, 2010 – 7:22 am

The partners in a new publicly-funded European research project have now announced the details of the multinational and multidisciplinary programme titled ‘CSI: Central Nervous System Imaging.’ The three-year ENIAC (European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) project aims to achieve substantial advances in state-of-the-art medical 3D-imaging platforms by focusing on the diagnosis and therapy of serious diseases of the central nervous system and brain. The project hopes to significantly enhance medical imaging technologies with major improvements in sensors, equipment and computing platforms to boost early diagnostics and prevention capability while reducing total equipments cost.

One of the main challenges facing Europe is the aging population. And with many of the elderly people suffering from diseases of the central nervous system, the number of patients is growing. These serious illnesses require some of the most expensive diagnosis and therapy procedures. In addition, these diseases, which include degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, Epilepsy and circulatory problems such as strokes, are among those with the fastest growing impact on society.

Minimally-invasive ICT-based imaging technologies such as PET (Positron Emission Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and EEG (Electro EncephaloGraphy) play a vital role in detecting and tracking the evolution of these illnesses and determining the strategy and the effectiveness of the prescribed therapies. Part of the ENIAC ‘Nanoelectronics for Health and Wellness’ sub-programme, the CSI project will pursue the simultaneous capturing and extraction of data produced by next-generation imaging devices to provide the best correlated information to the physician through an innovative and intelligent merging in both timing and spatial resolution.

“This combined and synergistic approach can be made possible only through advances in various technology fields that include sensors, integrated equipment and systems for data fusion and novel data processing platforms that support Teraflop-range computing capability at the doctor’s desktop,” says project coordinator Salvatore Coffa, Group Vice President and R&D General Manager, Industrial and Multisegment Sector, STMicroelectronics. “The results of the project will anticipate new perspectives to improve patients’ support and treatment for central nervous systems diseases, at much lower cost.”

Among the 15 Project Partners are STMicroelectronics, University of Bologna, Philips Electronics, Philips Healthcare, Austriamicrosystems AG and IMEC.

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