Healthcare Industry News:  Magnetoencephalography 

Devices Neurology

 News Release - February 9, 2006

VSM comments on favourable recent MEG studies

VANCOUVER, Feb. 9 (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) - VSM MedTech Ltd. (TSX:VSM ), world leader in the emerging clinical market for Magnetoencephalography (MEG) functional brain imaging systems, commented on three peer-reviewed studies and a review article with favourable implications for future market development of MEG.

Of the three MEG studies, one involved mild cognitive impairment (a precursor to Alzheimer's disease) and was conducted by researchers at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. The other two studies involved the use of MEG for measuring neural activity in patients with brain tumours and multiple sclerosis, respectively, and were conducted by researchers at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, using a CTF MEG(TM) system provided by VSM. The review article was written by Dr. Hugues Duffau, Department of Neurosurgery, Hopital Salpetriere, Paris, France. The conclusions are the responsibility of the authors.

"These published conclusions are important because they provide the strongest indications to date that MEG may have clinical diagnostic value for Alzheimer's disease, brain tumours and multiple sclerosis," said Dr. Mark Gelfer, Medical Director of VSM. "We are heartened by the progress toward clinical acceptance of MEG reflected by these studies and by others published in recent months."

The studies are among more than 300 published annually and listed on www.pubmed.gov, a service provided by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. This list of MEG studies published on www.pubmed.gov covers at least 16 brain diseases and disorders affecting more than 100 million people in the US and many more around the world.

The mild cognitive impairment study is the latest in a series of articles by researchers at the University Complutense of Madrid showing promising results involving MEG and Alzheimer's disease. This new study was published in January 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging (Maestu et al). It involved MEG evaluations of 15 elderly volunteers with normal cognitive function from the University for Elders at the University Complutense of Madrid. Two years after the MEG evaluations, five of the volunteers had developed mild cognitive impairment. The MEG data showed that the five subjects had exhibited decreased activity over a segment of the brain known as the left hippocampus, compared with the ten who did not develop the impairment. "These findings represent an early detection procedure of subjects that will develop mild cognitive impairment before the symptoms are so clear that a conventional diagnosis can be made," concluded the authors, although they cautioned that the results may not be definitive because of the small sample size.

The brain tumour study was published in January 2006 in the journal Annals of Neurology (Bartolomei et al). It involved MEG evaluations of 17 brain tumour patients. The study was the first to demonstrate that brain tumours interfere with normal brain function by disrupting the functional connectivity of brain networks. The authors concluded that patients with brain tumours "have dramatic alterations in functional connectivity," and that this lost connectivity is particularly apparent in the MEG gamma band. The loss of gamma band connectivity can only be shown with MEG and is important because it may explain cognitive dysfunction seen in these patients.

The multiple sclerosis study was published in February, 2006 in the journal NeuroImage (Cover et al). It involved MEG evaluations of ten MS patients compared with healthy volunteers as controls. The study found that MEG data displayed highly significant differences between the MS patients and the healthy volunteers in connectivity between the various regions of the brain. The authors concluded that the MEG data may serve as "a potential marker for the neurological damage inflicted on patients by multiple sclerosis." They added that there is a "widely recognized need for an objective measure of brain function in MS" that could serve as an objective marker to evaluate disease progress and treatment efficacy in MS patients.

The review article, in the journal The Lancet Neurology in August 2005, discussed brain mapping for cancer surgery. Dr. Duffau, the author, noted that MEG has recently become available for planning and guiding tumour surgery. MEG, according to the article, is used mainly for sensorimotor, language, auditory, and visual mapping and may also help measure tumour infiltration. Dr. Duffau suggested that MEG be included among complementary techniques for brain mapping before surgery. "The best approach would be to combine all these different neurofunctional imaging methods during preoperative assessment," he said.

About VSM MedTech Ltd.

VSM MedTech develops, manufactures and markets medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Targeting significant global market opportunities, VSM equips healthcare providers with noninvasive technology that improves the standard of patient care.

This document may contain forward-looking statements, relating to the Company's operations or to the environment in which it operates, which are based on VSM's operations, estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond VSM's control. A number of important factors, including those set forth in other public filings, could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. VSM disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Source: VSM MedTech

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