Dr. Matthias Schmidt

Dr. Matthias Schmidt

Dr. Matthias Schmidt

Neuroscience

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Neuroradiologist Dr. Matthias Schmidt improves imaging techniques to diagnose neurological disorders and brain injuries earlier and more accurately. He focuses on new image analysis and on using existing imaging technologies in new ways. “We can do more and better with the imaging tools that we have,” he says.

The Professor at Dalhousie Medical School develops ways to increase the diagnostic yield of brain images. “Images produced by MRI, CT and ultrasound scans include information that we don’t yet know how to tap into,” says Dr. Schmidt. “This information could be crucial to earlier and more accurate diagnoses.”

Dr. Schmidt collaborates with mathematicians, physicists and engineers to make that crucial information available to clinicians. “Imaging tools are constantly improving. As a result, more information is collected and recorded more rapidly than ever before,” notes Dr. Schmidt. “We need to constantly improve our analysis of that information in order for patients to fully benefit.”

Dr. Schmidt and his colleagues also explore how existing imaging tools can be used differently to diagnose neurological disorders earlier. For example, they are developing ways to study the development of epilepsy and to predict seizure recurrence with MRI.

When new techniques are developed, Dr. Schmidt turns his attention to clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the new techniques. “We want to find out how well the new techniques predict disease, outcomes and the effectiveness of treatments,” he says.

Through his work, Dr. Schmidt has developed an interest in the ethical and legal implications of pediatric neuroimaging research. He explores issues of safety, informed consent and the management of unexpected findings as a member of a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional team in neuroethics.

Until now, Dr. Schmidt has focused his research on children and detecting injuries in the developing brain. He recently began additional clinical training in interventional neuroradiology. He expects this to broaden his research to include diagnosis and treatment of adult neurovascular disease.

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