On 4 October last week, in Mattarello, the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences of the University of Trento and Fondazione Caritro, its institutional partner, joined together in a meeting to welcome the newly-arrived MRI scanner that had just been purchased.
It is a powerful and cutting-edge machine that produces images of the brain and is fundamental to observe its health and behavior and to study different brain-related conditions like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Carlo Miniussi, director of CIMeC, affirmed: “Fondazione Caritro has supported CIMeC since the beginning, to develop a research center focused on brain functioning. In October last year we celebrated CIMeC’s 10th anniversary. The center has grown and built an impressive network of international collaborations. But we also want this university research center on neuroscience to be a resource for local communities and their needs, to help people with nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia”.
Michele Iori, president of Fondazione Caritro, commented: “The Foundation must have a long-term vision of the future. Today, we can say that supporting CIMeC had a very positive effect on the local community”.
CIMeC had long wished to present its people, technologies and activities to those who provided funding for the project and believed in it more than 10 years ago.
The unveiling of the new MRI scanner provided the occasion to do that. This 3 Tesla, fully equipped MRI machine is among the most powerful and advanced on the market in world clinical research.
The staff of CIMeC and Roberto Bottini, PhD, organized the visit to the MRI laboratory and gave an overview of the many functions of the new scanner. This new MRI scanner is suitably equipped to be used in all the research projects that are carried out the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences in terms of image quality, speed and stability over time.
In particular, among the different on-going projects, the machine will play a key role in the context of many programs funded by the European Research Council, helping the University of Trento strengthen its position in the international research arena.
CIMeC staff also presented its transcranial stimulation laboratory, where they explore experimental drug-free treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and magnetoencephalography, with which it is possible to obtain very detailed information on how neurons communicate.
Research at CIMeC develops in different directions, but special attention is given to projects focusing on issues of old age. The Center is working on the diagnostics and rehabilitation of cognitive deficits at the Center for Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CeRiN) and also on the early diagnosis of dementia. CIMeC has recently started an interdepartmental research network of researchers within the University to explore the themes of healthy ageing and of cognitive and neural plasticity from a multidisciplinary point of view.