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This movie was made using a new technology called '3D real time source localization' using a software program called 'Dynamic Electrical Cortical Imaging' (DECI)... (more)

Overview


Our proprietary core brain imaging technology, Dynamic Electrical Cortical Imaging (DECI), captures and displays the three-dimensional electrical activity of the brain in real-time using conventional off-the-shelf electroencephalographic (EEG) equipment. Like EEG, our technology is inherently safe and non-invasive, merely requiring the contact of electrodes to a patient’s scalp. However, unlike conventional EEG, whose waves are pale reflections of the underlying complexities within the brain, DECI, through the use of a high-level mathematical transformation known as an inverse solution, produces vivid representations of moving electrical fields and their generators. It is also very inexpensive when compared to other imaging technologies such as MRI, CT and PET. An additional advantage it holds over most other methods is its ability to acquire over 2000 images per second, whereas fMRI, for example, requires several seconds for a single image. This enables us to capture numerous fine events that are blurred together as one with competing technologies.

DECI is the result of 5 years of intense research and development by a small but dedicated team of scientists, engineers and clinicians.

ABOUT DECI

Cerebral Diagnostics Canada Inc. has developed a new brain imaging system called Dynamic Electrical Cortical Imaging or DECI.

EEG was a disruptive technology in its time, and has been a viable product for over 70 years. Our technology represents a major advance which stands on the shoulders of EEG. EEG currently displays crude waveforms of neural activity as hills and valleys on a screen. It has been known for decades that these waveforms were just the tip of an iceberg, and that they were pale reflections of deeper more meaningful events in the brain. Because of past limitations in mathematics, specifically, an unsolved problem called the “inverse problem??, researchers were unable to pinpoint where in the brain particular waveforms were coming from. Dramatic advances in mathematics have positioned our company to make major strides, and has allowed for the creation of DECI.

Our main accomplishment has been to successfully view the generators of electrical field activity emanating from deep inside the brain, in real-time and in three dimensions

DECI, like other non-invasive neuroimaging modalities such as fMRI, creates both 2-D and 3-D still images of the brain. However, DECI goes beyond other imagining systems by visualizing the very rapidly changing electrical fields within the brain as brain movies. DECI is non-invasive and those having their brain scanned merely wear a soft electrode head-cap.

DECI can make over 2000 images of the brain per second. This is an order of magnitude faster than fMRI or PET scans of the brain.

To operate DECI, all that is required is an ordinary desktop computer and a high-end commercial amplifier which sells for 15 thousand dollars. fMRI machines cost 3.5 million dollars, and MEG machines cost 10 million dollars.

We believe that our technology is truly disruptive. To explain why this is the case a little background is needed: There are measuring sticks in the imaging industry to evaluate new technologies. The main ones are called “temporal resolution?? and “spatial resolution??. Temporal resolution refers to the ability for the technology to distinguish between events in the brain that are separated in time; and spatial resolution is the same idea but for space. An outstanding technology would have both high temporal and spatial resolution. Further, an excellent technology would be safe, require no special facilities, be portable, and affordable. High temporal resolution is like having a fact shutter speed. The electrical fields of the brain shift with astounding rapidity, hence a fast technology, like that of DECI, is needed to understand brain function.

DECI’s temporal resolution is second to none, and on par with Magnetoencephalography (MEG). DECI can presently differentiate between events occurring in the brain which are 1/2048th of a second apart. Its spatial resolution is reasonably good, and improving. Currently we resolve space to cubes of 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 cm. This resolution divides the brain into approximately 6400 cubes which allows for good localization of brain activity for many clinical and research purposes.

We make brain movies in real time and so the person under study can see his own brain thinking in real time. However, the shifts are so fast that it is impossible to make much sense of them. For this reason we have added numerous software visualization and signal analysis features to extract meaning.

The accuracy of source localization in localizing brain signals

Cerebral Diagnostics is part of an emerging field called “source localization??. Most new technologies come under fire and over time the best ones stand up to scrutiny. Source localization is gradually gaining respectability. Since its inception 20 years ago there have been many naysayers that have attacked it; but there are also many supporters. If you check PubMed (the massive online data base of medical journal articles), you will find that there are well over 500 hundred articles many of which have appeared in distinguished peer reviewed journals about source localization. Each one had to stand up to scientific scrutiny. The algorithms that find the brain signals in our images were created by mathematicians.

The early algorithms weren’t very accurate in localizing brain signals, especially those deep in the cortex. The new algorithms are getting better and likely to continue to improve. There are multiple scholarly sources of evidence that show that the latest algorithms are at least moderately accurate. One is called “evoked potential studies??. A second are comparative studies such as the work by Drs. Wennberg and Zumsteg done at the Toronto Western Hospital which found a striking overlap between where PET localized the generator of epileptic activity in the cortex and where source localization placed it.

The third line of evidence in favour of the newer algorithms comes from specialized advanced tests called simulation studies.

For a document demonstrating the accuracy of our software's localization capabilities, please click here.

cOMPARISON

  • Here is a chart outlining how the current DECI prototype compares to other commonly used neuroimaging systems.

    DECI

    MEG

    fMRI

    PET

    MRI

    Cost

    $25.000*

    $10,000,000

    $3,500,000

    $2,000,000

    $2,000,000

    Measures

    Electrical Activity

    Magnetic Activity

    Blood Flow

    Brain

    Metabolism

    Structure

    3D movies in real-time

    Yes

    No

    No

    No

    No

    Temporal

    Resolution

    Virtually

    Instantaneous

    (1ms)

    Virtually

    Instantaneous

    (1ms)

    3-5s

    10-20 min

    5 min

    Special facilities required?

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    View Shifting of electrical fields

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No

    No

    Invasive

    No

    No

    No

    Yes (Injection of radioactive tracer)

    No

    Spatial

    Resolution

    5 mm, but improving

    2mm

    3-4mm

    3-5mm

    1.5mm

    *This is the cost of a top of the line amplifier plus a set of caps and all necessary computing equipment; but does not include the cost of the DECI software bundle. Research licence for DECI is $1,340 per month