About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Approach to Map Brain Neurons Before Surgery Identified

by Sheela Philomena on November 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Font : A-A+

 New Approach to Map Brain Neurons Before Surgery Identified

UC San Diego Health System neurosurgeons map the brain neurons by tracking the movement of its water molecules. “Water molecules in brain nerves move in an oriented manner. However, outside the nerves, the molecules move randomly. Neurosurgeons at UC San Diego can use these distinct properties to locate important connections and to guide where surgery should occur or not.”

The technique, called tractography or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), has been used for investigational and diagnostic purposes to better understand the effect of stroke and neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. UC San Diego Health System neurosurgeons are among the first in the nation to apply this technology to guide brain tumor surgery. “There are no margins for error in the brain. Every centimeter of brain tissue contains millions of neural connections so every millimeter counts,” said Chen.

Advertisement

“With tractography, we can visualize the most important of these connections to avoid injury. In doing so, we will preserve the quality of life for our patients with brain cancer.” Anthony Chetti is one of the beneficiaries of tractography-guided brain surgery. Chetti developed a tumor in the region of the brain called the occipital lobe, the portion of the brain responsible for processing visual information. “Anytime that you are told that you can potentially lose your vision, you are scared,” said Chetti, a San Diego school teacher.

“But when Dr. Chen shared the tractography images with me and showed me how he was going to avoid injury to the connection between my eye and the occipital lobe, I was reassured.” Chetti underwent a complete excision of the brain tumor without any damage to his vision. “When I woke up from surgery, I asked for my glasses immediately and began running systems checks. I could see the clock. I could read the words on a sign. It was immediately evident that there were no problems,” said Chetti.
Advertisement

Tractography scans can reveal tiny open paths between nerve fibers to reach brain tumors. The scans are color coded and display tiny neural connections. Other current imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cannot achieve this type of visual display.

“There is no way of predicting where these fibers would lie except with tractography,” said Chen. “I believe that many brain tumor patients will benefit from tractography-guided surgery. By observing the flow of water molecules, we can visually reconstruct the complex symphony of brain connections. The resulting images are not only accurate but breathtakingly beautiful, giving us a glimpse into the extraordinary human mystery of the brain.”

Chen added that this radiology application is new and that UC San Diego teams are learning how best to apply the technology. Chen is actively investigating ways to optimize the use of tractography information through collaboration with world renowned experts, including Anders M. Dale, PhD, vice-chair of radiology, and director of the newly established Center for Translational Imaging and Personalized Medicine at UC San Diego, School of Medicine.

Source: Newswise
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
Spirituality and Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are the abnormal growth of brain cells that may be benign or metastatic. Brain tumors ....
Quiz on Brain
The human brain is exquisitely intrinsic and is the seat of all emotions. If you are curious about ....
Brain Depression - Animation
Interactive section of Medindia provides information about chemistry of Brain depression...
Scientists Are Exploring Whether Malignant Neural Stem Cells Give Rise To Brain Tumor Stem Cells
It is believed that glioma is derived from brain tumor stem cells. Despite this, the source and ......
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use