New technology aids neurodegenerative disease research

Media Release
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education

Researchers looking for treatments for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and other neurodegenerative disease will be assisted by the launch of a 7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (7T MRI) scanner at the University of Melbourne.

The 7T MRI scanner was made possible through a $40.23 million investment by the Australian Government and was officially launched by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education Senator the Hon Scott Ryan.

The innovative scanner is one of only two to have been installed in the Southern Hemisphere by the National Imaging Facility (NIF), with the other at the University of Queensland.

“Australia has a proud history in producing ground-breaking research. This nation has helped shape some of the most important innovations of the past two centuries,” Senator Ryan said.

“The 7T whole-body MRI machine strengthens the University of Melbourne’s place on the leading edge of scientific research.

“This machine will reinforce our knowledge of many neurodegenerative diseases including stroke, epilepsy, motor neurone disease, brain tumours, post-traumatic stress, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“Access to top quality research infrastructure – such as the 7T MRI – will ensure Australia can continue to compete globally and build a first-class research system.”

The purchase and installation of the machine at the Melbourne Brain Centre was also supported by contributions from the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

As well as the new 7T MRI scanner, $200 million has been provided over the next five years to boost Australia’s dementia research capacity.

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