Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for Neuroscience has developed and is using translational, interactive 3D technology to map the human brain and guide surgeons during epilepsy surgery, and to help determine the location of brain tumors for removal. The 3D mapping guides surgeons during epilepsy procedures to see exactly where electrodes have been placed in the brain and portions of the brain that may have to be removed to help stop seizures.

DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) images of the brain are integrated and downloaded, using MediXAD software, onto PCs in the operating room. This allows surgeons to view an almost real-time digital map of a patient's brain and better perceive brain activity information. MediXAD also lets surgeons virtually "slice" the brain into sections, zoom in for close-ups, and rotate the image.

During typical epilepsy surgery, surgeons and neurologists would view conventional MRI or CATscan images of a patient's brain prior to surgery, and then visualize where implanted electrodes were in the brain during the procedure. The new technology helps surgeons better understand the relationship between areas where seizures are coming from and vital brain structures so that surgery can be performed with the goal of stopping the patientís seizures.

The need for

this technology was developed out of questions raised in the past about where tumors are located in juxtaposition to other parts of the brain, and at what points these fibers go inside a tumor. The software does not require any pre-processing beyond standard fMRI analysis and can be incorporated into existing complex medical visualization systems.

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