• Take a Closer
    Look at the Brain

    Worldwide, more than 450 million people are living with compromised brain health. GE Global Research scientists, along with our medical and academic partners, are asking the big questions to drive neuroscience forward.
    See what we're doing!
    Disclaimer: Technology in development that represents ongoing research and development efforts. These technologies are not products and may never become products. Not for sale. Not CE marked. Not cleared, approved or authorized by the U.S. FDA or other national regulatory authorities for commercial availability.

    Guess what?

    The brain is so complex, our understanding of it is about 50 years behind that of every other organ.
  • What if a smaller scanner could create higher-quality brain images?

    We’re working on it!

    Along with the Mayo Clinic, we have a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a lightweight, cryogen-free, 3T, brain-only system. It will make imaging more accessible for neurological and psychiatric disorders ranging from stroke and Alzheimer’s disease to traumatic brain disorder and depression.

    Guess what?

    A traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system today has a mass of 6 to 13 metric tons. The new scanner will be 85% to 95% smaller. Relatively speaking, that’s like replacing a tractor-trailer with a toy truck.
  • What if tiny, implanted devices
    could affect brain health?

    That’s the idea!

    We’re working with John Donoghue and his team at Brown University to create ultra-small, wireless, implantable recording and stimulation systems that can electrically communicate with individual neurons. These tiny devices will monitor brain function and allow us to develop treatments for a wide range of brain disorders.

    Guess what?

    Just the lead in a mechanical pencil is larger than these tiny, wireless devices that can provide functional monitoring inside the brain for years at a time.
  • What if probing more cell markers could improve disease understanding?

    We think it can!

    That’s why we’re working with Sam Gandy and Patrick Hof from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to develop technologies that will help us understand disease signatures. They’ll help us detect underlying cellular changes that lead to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, so diagnoses happen earlier and treatments can be developed more effectively.

    Guess what?

    Today, we probe 3 or 4 cell-type markers at a time—it’s like filling in one word in a crossword puzzle. Our new technology lets us start with 10 times as many words completed.
  • What if analyzing Big Data could generate new insights about the brain?

    It can!

    We’re collaborating with public and private consortiums and using advanced computing technologies to integrate anatomic and functional brain imaging data, genotypic information, tissue and cell-based data, and other clinical and cognitive measures. These new methods and tools for crunching large and varied data will provide clues that could help us treat brain disorders more effectively.

    Guess what?

    Each next-generation sequencing sample analysis generates terabytes of data—outnumbering the items in the U.S. Library of Congress by a factor of three or more.

GE’s mission is to know the brain as well as we know the body. Future generations won’t have to face Alzheimer’s, TBI and other neurological diseases.

It is an ambitious vision, but one that GE believes is achievable through an unwavering commitment to technology and the growth of a collaborative research ecosystem that brings top researchers together to rally behind this cause.

At GE Global Research, we have launched a global innovation effort aimed at closing this gap and accelerating the advancement of brain health technologies. Across our research labs, GE brings a diverse set of skill sets from across the science and engineering spectrum to solve tough problems and move the needle of what’s possible in the industries we play in. Now, we are collaborating with top researchers and institutions to find new insights about brain health previously not possible.