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Isis Innovation has released the latest version of its FSL software, which allows clinicians and researchers to analyse images of the brain to provide insights into schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease.

The software uses multiple functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) ‘snapshots’ to track brain activation, produce high-resolution images of brain structure in fine detail, and map the brain’s connectivity patterns.

The new software, FSL 4.0, includes improvements relevant to many different types of research. Pharmaceutical studies, which look at how different brain structures are affected by drug treatment or disease, can be improved by one of the new tools – FIRST – which provides much greater accuracy in modelling structures in the brain, analysing whether parts of the brain are changing shape, not just volume.

Another new tool analyses images to find unexpected signals and analyse the differences between patients and control groups with normal brain function. It can help groups to differentiate between different types of a disease.