March 23, 2016 – Bedside Brain Map
Anchor lead: A new innovation allows functional areas of the brain to be mapped at the bedside, Elizabeth Tracey reports
When people have epilepsy they sometimes must have a part of their brain removed. Now a new technique developed by Nathan Crone and colleagues at Johns Hopkins can use electrodes implanted surgically into the brain to precisely map functional areas right at the bedside so surgery can proceed with precision.
Crone: It’s very important to map brain function so that when we go to remove the area of the brain that’s responsible for seizures we’re not interfering with language function and motor function. So we’ve been developing a way in which you can map both the location and the timing of activation in the brain when you perform various tasks. The thing that’s most challenging to map is language, because language function relies on multiple different brain areas. You need to see how its activated relative to other areas. :34
Crone is hopeful the technique will dramatically improve accuracy and safety for these patients. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.