Mapping brain function using multi-modal approach

Published On 03/07/2016

Researchers test less-invasive methods for pre-surgical brain mapping

brain scan with patientLe Bonheur Children’s Neuroscience Institute recently tested a multi-modal approach to pre-surgical brain mapping, comparing the combination’s validity and precision to the traditional, but more invasive method of cortical stimulation mapping (CSM). Researchers, led by Abbas Babajani-Feremi, PhD, combined high gamma eletrocorticographic (hgECoG) recordings, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to identify function-specific areas of the brain. The study made the cover of the March 2016 edition of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Results proved the combination is an effective way to determine which areas of the brain are responsible for specific functions prior to surgery. Finding an alternative to CSM is important, as CSM carries risk of electrically induced seizures and requires patient cooperation, which can be difficult in young or developmentally delayed patients.

“The main aim of our research is to introduce ways of performing pre-surgical mapping of the brain functions with non-invasive methods,” said Andrew C. Papanicolaou, PhD, co-director of the Neuroscience Institute. “We were able to specify the high degree of agreement of the results of the non-invasive method to those of the invasive methods, bringing us closer to the ultimate goal of substituting the methods of brain mapping without any loss in precision.”

Babajani-Feremi A1, Narayana S2, Rezaie R3, Choudhri AF4, Fulton SP5, Boop FA6, Wheless JW5, Papanicolaou AC2. Language mapping using high gamma electrocorticography, fMRI, and TMS versus electrocortical stimulation. Clin Neurophysiol. 2016 Mar;127(3):1822-36. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2015.11.017. Epub 2015 Nov 26.