SECOND OPINION | MEDICAL INNOVATIONS | BRAIN MAPPING
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WEBSTER PILCHER>>When we open up the skull during surgery and we look at the brain, there are no landmarks on the surface to tell us
what the functions are underlying the surface of the brain. But today, with stimulation brain mapping,
we can now, with millimeter accuracy, map the surface of the brain so that we can perform these delicate operations much more effectively. The opportunity to interact with the physical human brain at the time of surgery is a gold mine These operations are not common on a national level, but each operation provides to us an opportunity to learn more about the brain. Every human brain, just like every human body, is different. In the brain, we all have a language cortex, but it may be larger or smaller in an individual patient. It may be located farther forward in one patient, farther behind in another patient. And so it’s absolutely critical to map every
single patient with accuracy to avoid damaging their most delicate functions. So, in this video clip, we have the patient
on the table, fully awake, lying on her right side, with the left side of her brain exposed. PILCHER>>So, you see what that was. PATIENT>>That is a key. (Mispronounces “Table” as “Enfratabbor”) PILCHER>>…posterior. PATIENT>>This is a rhinoceros. PILCHER>>Did you see what that was? PATIEN>>This is a pitcher. PILCHER>>Based on positive and negative responses
to the stimulation, we are able then to map out an area of brain smaller than a postage stamp that is responsible for language. If we have at the end of the next five years
five major medical centers performing awake brain surgery with awake brain mapping, all using the same techniques, we can then download all of that information into a data consortium. We can develop algorithms of machine learning, which can provide information in real time to the surgeon performing surgery in a delicate brain area as to, “What will the outcome be if this small tissue is removed from this
patient?” The goal of this program is to provide the
best possible outcome for every patient, to allow that patient to leave the hospital walking, talking, and behaving normally, and, at the same time, to collect information about that patient’s brain that will inform the next operation that we’re going to perform a week or a month later.

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