Surrey leading nation in brain imaging

As part of Innovation Boulevard, researchers are merging two technologies for better treatment of brain disorders

SFU Neuroscience Professor Ryan D'Arcy

Surrey is becoming a western Canadian leader in brain imaging with the help of federal funding.

Two leading edge technologies are being merged to allow for much greater brain diagnostics for tumours, epilepsy, dementia, depression and brain injury.

It’s a collaboration between the City of Surrey, Simon Fraser University and Fraser Health, which are partnering in a high-tech health vision know as Innovation Boulevard.

Researchers are taking  a whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and an upgraded 275-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine – with the MEG being a long-established, SFU-driven medical technology advance.

“Combining advanced MRI and MEG offers the best possible window into the brain in action,” said SFU neuroscientist and project lead Dr. Ryan D’Arcy. “The Surrey Memorial ImageTech Lab positions B.C. for global leadership. When you include the MEG capability in particular, there is nothing like it in Western Canada.”

The federal government is providing $3.6 million for Innovation Boulevard’s growing technology test-bed to support ImageTech Lab, considered one of its major achievements.

Access to the latest MEG capabilities for debilitating conditions such as epilepsy will “immediately and profoundly impact our region’s children and families,” D’Arcy said, noting that it will now be possible to realize breakthroughs in treatments for brain cancer, stroke, dementia and other serious brain conditions, across the lifespan.