Brain tumours have been found to be present in six for every thousand people. The prediction point to a slow growth of the tumour with virtually no seen symptoms or problems for several years until it becomes fatal. It is clear now that early surgical removal of low level-tumour improves life expectancy, even prolonging life up to more than one year.
This fact justifies the Neurosurgeons’ wish to remove the tumour even when patients show no serious complaints. This surgery may reveal itself complex since frequently the tumour resides in regions of the brain with great importance for movement or language, and severe impairment could result from medical intervention.
Nowadays, with the current anatomic knowledge, we’re able to predict these regions within a small variance in healthy people, however the same is not said for patients with a tumour. Since the presence of a tumour in the brain can lead to a movement or alteration of these eloquent areas to an unknown location, functional MRI has revealed itself as the only type of technique capable of show where these regions exactly are.
MRI-based functional mapping is non-invasive and can provide valuable insight before surgery as part of the preoperative information that is used by the doctor to perform surgical planning. The surgical steps are then predefined and a navigation route is set into place to extract the tumour in a safer, short and with better functional outcome surgery.
Localization of motor and language functions and the lateralization of language are the most used preoperative information extracted from functional MRI by the neurosurgeon.
However, there are still practical concerns regarding the quality of MRI-based functional mapping. The quality of functional brain maps is difficult to evaluate as often impossible to be distinguished from activity artefacts such as motion and performance artefacts or the strength of the brain activity. Interpretation of functional brain maps therefore heavily relies on the knowledge of local experts.
Braincarta will then facilitate the Neurosurgeon/Patient communication and relationship while providing valuable insights to the Neurosurgeon, helping towards an improved decision making.