Large grant to Melanie Ganz from the Elsass Foundation

Congratulations to NRU postdoc Melanie Ganz for receiving nearly 3.9 mio DKK from Elsass Foundation for her new 3-year project "How can you avoid to put children with cerebral palsy in general anesthesia while they
are in a brain scanner?" which will be hosted at NRU starting in April 2019.

Project abstract:
It is standard procedure in most Danish hospitals to employ general anesthesia when small children are in need of medical imaging procedures that demand anesthesia. Anesthesia is used to prevent the child from leaving the scanner, to reduce motion artefacts and for dealing with children that are too anxious to enter the scanning environment. Movement during the image acquisition can cause serious distortions of the imaging data, which can invalidate its quality and potentially lead to an erroneous conclusion. Even though complications directly related to general anesthesia are rare, there is an increasing concern about the potential neurotoxic effects of general anesthesia. Additionally, there are logistic and financial challenges associated with the use of general anesthesia.
The aim of our project is to utilize recent developments in medical imaging hardware technology in order to show that most young children can undergo medical imaging procedures without anesthesia and that it is still possible to obtain a high-quality diagnostic scan. We want to test the clinical efficacy of a marker-less motion tracking device that can register the child’s movements while scanning which allows for motion correction of the acquired images.
Our goal is to demonstrate the clinical utility of a novel approach of imaging including training, preparation and the use of the tracking device in children with cerebral palsy that undergo MRI scans for diagnostic purposes. Results from this project can be used when the new dedicated childhood brain damage MRI system funded by the Elsass Foundation is installed at BørneRiget, the new childrens’s hospital to open in Copenhagen in 2024.