1Tigran Ghevondyan

Background(s):

Mankind is permanently working on and developing new devices for studying the brain, for assessing the cognitive and psycho-emotional state of a person. Currently, to study the functional activity of the brain, devices are used which combine the concepts of PET / CT, fMRT, fNIRS. These methods use X-rays, powerful magnetic fields, infrared rays, and visible light rays. For diagnostic and treatment, pdrticularly of brain pathology these methods are successfully combining with recently appeared methods of endovascular and interventional radiology.

The purpose of this study was to try to use a heat infrared chamber to visualize the processes of functional activity of the human brain. Several types of infrared cameras were used in our studies, among which the FLIR thermal camera in the CATS62Pro cell phone became the main research hardware. More than 900 thermal images of the head, face, hands, feet and about 80 thermal video recordings of the mentioned body parts are filmed with thermal camera. A comparative analysis of images and video recordings showed a significant advantage of the method of thermal video recordings for studying the functional activity of the brain.

Material(s) and Method(s):

Almost 800 photographs and video recordings of the head, face, limbs of more than 70 people of both sexes, different nationalities and different races were subjected to a multilateral study. Some participants had to be filmed multiple times, which was based on the requirements for the development of different sides of the method. The age of the participants ranged between 2 years and 86 years. Among studied persons one has suffered from left hand dysfunction. Video recordings of the heads of six men aged 32-85 formed the basis of this study. All six men were united by one sign – the absence of hair on their heads or the fact that they shaved their head hair. In men, non-contact imaging of five parts of the head was made: parietal, frontal, occipital, right and left temporal. Five static frames were cut from each video recordings, respectively, the 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th and 21st seconds. The arrangement of these static images in a row and their comparative evaluation made it possible to carry out a more detailed assessment of brain activity. During filming, the men sat in a chair and looked at a dimly neutrally painted wall from a distance of about two meters. Filming was carried out in a moderately lit room, at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

Result(s):

Based on the analysis of thermal records, the following results were obtained. Video recordings of the head with a thermal imager make it possible to obtain information of a qualitatively new level compared to thermal photographs and, therefore, video recordings should become the basic method for studying the functional activity of the brain using thermography.

The thermal camera detects and registers the occurrence, presence, movement, extinguishing of warm foci and fields that correspond to functionally active areas of the grey matter of brain.

The functional activity of the brain is observed in all five parts of the head: parietal, frontal, occipital, in both temporal regions. In the simple sitting test used in this study, brain activity is more pronounced in the parietal and occipital parts of the head, which can be explained by the work of the sensorimotor zones of the anterior and posterior central gyri of both hemispheres of the brain, and the cerebellum, to maintain body position.

The movement speed of the active zones on the surface of the head is very high, however, they are completely captured and recorded by the thermal camera due to the high frame rate in infrared video mode (30 frames per second).

A direct interconnection was observed between functional activity of brain right hemisphere and left hand functional acquired restriction.

A relatively long video recording made it possible to detect an unexpected phenomenon that was remained undetected in thermal photographs [8]. We are talking about “flashes” of infrared radiation, which have different distribution over the area and different intensity. Flashes illuminate the entire or almost the entire head of the subject.

It was found that the frequency of outbreaks varies in different men: from one to five outbreaks in 30 seconds. Preliminary data indicate a possible connection or relationship between the frequency of outbreaks, on the one hand, and the general state of the body, brain functional activity, on the other hand.

Conclusion(s):

Now, the method has three disadvantages. 1) The impossibility of recording radiation from the cortex of the lower and inner parts of the brain, including the hippocampus and amygdala. 2) Low quality of thermal images of the head in persons with thick hair on the head, especially in women. 3) The need to have at own disposal five of the same type of thermal imaging cameras, since in some studies of the brain it may be necessary to synchronize video recording of brain activity in all five of the above-mentioned sections of the head at the same time.

However, along with its shortcomings, the method has broad prospects for being applied due to its advantages. The advantages are: no contact with the body of the subject during recording or video filming, high spatial, temporal, temperature resolution of the thermal camera, relative cheapness, absolute absence of influence of the thermal camera on the body, high autonomy from external power sources. Thermal video recording, along with direct or transcutaneous corticography, allows to get a picture of the “thought construction” in the brain even before these thoughts are realized by a person. And in comparison with the method of corticography, which is excessively traumatic and fraught with complications, thermal video recording has an important advantage, which gives a live, direct picture on-line. In addition, in the case of corticography, obtaining a picture is mediated through the transformation of electrical impulses into a color picture, through image reconstruction programs. Already today, the use of thermal video recording of the head is able to independently solve a number of problems in the areas of clinical resuscitation, neurosurgery, neurology, psychiatry, psychophysiology, for the early detection of autism in children, in the field of lie detection, in assessing the condition of astronauts in spaceships and stations. Undoubtedly, with all its limitations, the presented method of thermal videography is a valuable addition to the well-known widely used radiological methods for studying the brain, body. New era is beginning for cooperation and common work thermal imaging methods and methods and devices of endovascular and interventional radiology.