Queensland research helps deliver ground-breaking diagnosis technology

MEDICAL conditions ranging from breast cancer to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could be diagnosed much more quickly through research being done by Queensland researchers working with US artificial intelligence technology.

The team from the Innovation and Translation Centre and Siemens Healthineers are using an extension of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology called magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

MRS allows researchers to learn more about the chemical content of tissues and organs, providing a deeper understanding and earlier detection of conditions like PTSD.


The work is being done at the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane.

“It’s through my Government’s Advance Queensland program that we’ve been able to support the TRI’s Innovation and Translation Centre, which allows the TRI to collaborate with Siemens Heathineers here at Draper Laboratories,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“TRI’s goal is to turn this research into a new medical technology to improve the diagnosis of conditions such as PTSD.

“For the first time, medical clinicians will be able to identify the changes in a patient’s brain chemistry associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or blast injury.

“MRS also offers the ability to assess women at high risk of breast cancer in whom very early tissue changes can be identified.

“We hope this breakthrough will give a greater insight into these conditions and diseases, allowing for quicker diagnoses.”

It is hoped the new technology will be able to detect cellular changes leading to breast cancer years before the disease emerges.

TRI CEO Professor Carolyn Mountford said the newly developed scanning technologies and techniques would provide a better platform for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cancer, trauma, immunotherapy, chronic pain and other disorders and diseases.

“This will be a game-changer, as we will soon have the technology available to us to have a non-invasive test for PTSD to determine if soldiers and emergency workers are prone to the disorder and if so, can be rested or not immediately deployed again,” Professor Mountford said.