Ottawa – Canadian National Defence Ministry, has announced collaboration with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre to invest in brain imaging technology.
The ministry said on Monday in Ottawa that the collaboration is one of a number of the ministry’s initiatives aimed at improving mental health services to military personnel and their families.
It said it has invested 2.2 million dollars over a four-year period for the collaboration.
It said under a signed agreement, it would acquire access to the state-of-the-art Positron Emission Tomography/fMRI scanner.
The ministry said the scanner is the only one of its kind in Canada devoted entirely to brain and mental health research.
“The Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scan, identifies which parts of the brain are metabolically active using specially labeled molecules.
“Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a technique for measuring brain activity by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity,’’ it said.
It explained that the combined use of the two technologies would allow clinicians and scientists from Canadian Forces Health Services and The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre to shear experience.
It would also examine the effects of various drugs used to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses on brain functions.
The ministry said further that the mental health research is expected to lead to more personalised treatment for those suffering from mental illness. (Xinhua/NAN