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Pain-free ultrasonic device measures brain pressure

Wednesday, June 01, 2016 - 01:43

Lithuanian scientists pioneer an ultrasonic device to safely and painlessly measure brain pressure. Amy Pollock reports.

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Measuring pressure inside the skull has meant risky brain surgery under anaesthetic. Now Lithuanian scientists have developed an ultrasound device to do the job much more gently. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF TELEMATICS (BIOMEDICINE) LABORATORY AT KAULAS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, ARMINAS RAGAUSKAS, SAYING: "The device consists of just three parts: first of all it is ultrasonic Doppler blood flow meter, which measures blood flow in ophthalmic artery and of course computer and some mechanical parts to fix ultrasonic transducer on to the face of the patient." Like an armband being inflated to measure blood pressure, the Vittamed device compares the pressure inside the artery behind the eye to external pressure on the tissue around the eyeball using Doppler ultrasound waves. Its developers say this means quicker treatment for patients with head injuries - a major cause of death around the world, brain tumours and eye conditions like glaucoma. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF TELEMATICS (BIOMEDICINE) LABORATORY AT KAULAS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, ARMINAS RAGAUSKAS, SAYING: "We believe and we had clinical evidences, that non-invasive intracranial pressure measurement and non-invasive intracranial pressure monitoring is very widely needed in very wide fields of medicine, where invasive intracranial pressure measurement and monitoring is not applicable." And its uses go beyond the surgical theatre - the Vittamed is now being used to help NASA astronauts dealing with the effects of microgravity. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF TELEMATICS (BIOMEDICINE) LABORATORY AT KAULAS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, ARMINAS RAGAUSKAS, SAYING: "Astronauts, they have brain swelling, they have optic nerve swelling, they have visual impairment, and this syndrome needs to be understood and managed. Our devices are used for these purposes, too." The device is in the running for the European Inventors Award to be announced in June.

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Pain-free ultrasonic device measures brain pressure

Wednesday, June 01, 2016 - 01:43