Device to treat mentally challenged developed

The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research has developed the country’s “first” Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) that can help treat mentally challenged people and heart ailments, a IGCAR top official said on Sunday.

SQUID’s sensitivity is so high that it is possible to detect even the tiny magnetic field associated with physiological activities of the human heart and brain, said IGCAR Director Baldev Raj.

“This device, which was indigenously made couple of days back at our unit, would be useful to cure mentally challenged people,” he said.

The device would help identify defective nerves and also help treat heart ailments. SQUID-based measurement of bio-magnetic fields is expected to complement conventional diagnostic tools like ECG (to probe human heart) and EEG (electroencephalography- to probe human brain) which measure the electric potential on skin surface, Raj said.

The SQUID-based measurements – magnetocardiography-MCG and magnetoencephalography-MEG – offer a number of advantages such as magnetic measurement techniques which are non-contact, much less sensitive to the conductivity variation of intervening tissues and offer superior source localisation accuracies, he said.

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