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Medical diagnosis: will brain palpation soon be possible?

If there is one technique used by the physician to explore the human body during every medical examination in order to make a diagnosis or prescribe further tests, it is palpation. By its nature, however, the brain cannot be palpated without using a highly invasive procedure (craniotomy, or opening the skull), which is limited to rare cases.

By drawing on seismology, researchers from the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU) led by Stéfan Catheline have just developed a noninvasive brain imaging method using MRI that provides the same information as physical palpation. Ultimately, it could be used in the early diagnosis of brain tumours or Alzheimer’s disease. This work is published in PNAS.
Published on October 6, 2015 Updated on March 9, 2016