Modern Mesmerism: The History And Future Of Medical Magnetism In The Brain (IET London Network March 2019)

Modern Mesmerism - Group Discount
"The average proton does not know the difference when inside a submarine or human brain" is where his intrigue started explained Professor Daniel Bulte Associate Professor in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford at the "Modern Mesmerism: The history and future of medical magnetism in the brain" event held at the IET Savoy Place organised by the IET Central London Network – March 2019.
Professor Bulte gave an engaging and entertaining account of how mesmerism prompted the creation of modern MRI scanners used in hospitals today. Professor explained how Franz Mesmer himself was fascinated with magnets and energy fields which led him to eventually franchise the Mesmeric Procedure where folk in the Victorian area, would want to gather and receive mesmeric treatments!! The appeal of mesmerism led Charles Dickens to also take some tutorials!

Such was the benefits (…Queue the placebo effect) of this procedure, in 1784, it led to a French Royal Commission appointed by Louis XVI to study Mesmer's magnetic fluid theory to try to establish it by scientific evidence. The Royal commission had many special scientists, including Benjamin Franklin and the founding father of Chemistry Antoine Lavoisier. An interesting fact presented during the talk was that this commission was one of the first times a peer review took place of clinical trials and scientific methods. At about that time, the theory of Animal Magnetism was known to scientists, where this was the era that introduced us to taking dead frogs legs and making them move by applying electrical shocks.

Professor Bulte then went on to talk about how the world adapted to frontal lobotomy, which itself gave the foundation of electric shock therapy. From this, Professor talked how MRI scans were then developed and brought the lecture to the modern day where he explained how TMS research is using AI to understand how people might react during a stroke, and how electrical signals might be used in the future to undo any damage post stroke. He also reviewed other topics such as Functional MRI, Magnetic Resonance, Magnetoencephalography, MEG Squids, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and how all these developments use energy, magnets and electricity to advance modern treatments.

Speaking with Professor Bulte, I asked him how medical implants might be effected with these developments, he mentioned you should definitely tell your doctor if you have any implants before being scanned by an MRI machine :) 

Apparently he has had over 500 MRI scans. See his video about 'Robot Patients' here.
Posted by Rimesh Patel on Mar 14, 2019 11:01 PM Europe/London


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