Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-invasive mapping helps to localize language centers before brain surgery

Date:
April 8, 2013
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
A new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique may provide neurosurgeons with a non-invasive tool to help in mapping critical areas of the brain before surgery, reports a new study.

A new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique may provide neurosurgeons with a non-invasive tool to help in mapping critical areas of the brain before surgery, reports a study in the April issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Evaluating brain fMRI responses to a "single, short auditory language task" can reliably localize critical language areas of the brain -- in healthy people as well as patients requiring brain surgery for epilepsy or tumors, according to the new research by Melanie Genetti, PhD, and colleagues of Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland.

Brief fMRI Task for Functional Brain Mapping

The researchers designed and evaluated a quick and simple fMRI task for use in functional brain mapping. Functional MRI can show brain activity in response to stimuli (in contrast to conventional brain MRI, which shows anatomy only). Before neurosurgery for severe epilepsy or brain tumors, functional brain mapping provides essential information on the location of critical brain areas governing speech and other functions.

The standard approach to brain mapping is direct electrocortical stimulation (ECS) -- recording brain activity from electrodes placed on the brain surface. However, this requires several hours of testing and may not be applicable in all patients. Previous studies have compared fMRI techniques with ECS, but mainly for determining the side of language function (lateralization) rather than the precise location (localization).

The new fMRI task was developed and evaluated in 28 healthy volunteers and in 35 patients undergoing surgery for brain tumors or epilepsy. The test used a brief (eight minutes) auditory language stimulus in which the patients heard a series of sense and nonsense sentences.

Functional MRI scans were obtained to localize the brain areas activated by the language task -- activated areas would "light up," reflecting increased oxygenation. A subgroup of patients also underwent ECS, the results of which were compared to fMRI.

Non-invasive Test Accurately Localizes Critical Brain Areas

Based on responses to the language stimulus, fMRI showed activation of the anterior and posterior (front and rear) language areas of the brain in about 90 percent of subjects -- neurosurgery patients as well as healthy volunteers. Functional MRI activation was weaker and the language centers more spread-out in the patient group. These differences may have reflected brain adaptations to slow-growing tumors or longstanding epilepsy.

Five of the epilepsy patients also underwent ECS using brain electrodes, the results of which agreed well with the fMRI findings. Two patients had temporary problems with language function after surgery. In both cases, the deficits were related to surgery or complications (bleeding) in the language area identified by fMRI.

Functional brain mapping is important for planning for complex neurosurgery procedures. It provides a guide for the neurosurgeon to navigate safely to the tumor or other diseased area, while avoiding damage to critical areas of the brain. An accurate, non-invasive approach to brain mapping would provide a valuable alternative to the time-consuming ECS procedure.

"The proposed fast fMRI language protocol reliably localized the most relevant language areas in individual subjects," Dr. Genetti and colleagues conclude. In its current state, the new test probably isn't suitable as the only approach to planning surgery -- too many areas "light up" with fMRI, which may limit the surgeon's ability to perform more extensive surgery with necessary confidence. The researchers add, "Rather than a substitute, our current fMRI protocol can be considered as a valuable complementary tool that can reliably guide ECS in the surgical planning of epileptogenic foci and of brain tumors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Melanie Genetti, Frederic Grouiller, Serge Vulliemoz, Laurent Spinelli, Margitta Seeck, Christoph Martin Michel, Karl Schaller. Noninvasive Language Mapping in Patients With Epilepsy or Brain Tumors. Neurosurgery, 2013; 72 (4): 555 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318282cdad

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Non-invasive mapping helps to localize language centers before brain surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408122314.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2013, April 8). Non-invasive mapping helps to localize language centers before brain surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408122314.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Non-invasive mapping helps to localize language centers before brain surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408122314.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins