Tags: 'Brain | Mapping' | Preserves | Speech | After | Surgery

'Brain Mapping' Preserves Speech After Surgery

Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM

A special procedure -- mapping the language areas in the brain -- is helping preserve language capabilities of patients who must undergo surgery for large brain tumors.

At the time of the surgery, various sites on the cortex of the brain are stimulated to find the exact language sites so the neurosurgeon can avoid them.

The technique was described by University of California, San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Nader Sanai, who has used it on 250 patients with gliomas close to or within the language pathway.

Gliomas are the most frequent primary brain tumors in adults, accounting for 40 percent of all tumors and 78 percent of cancerous tumors. Dr. Sanai explained that without the mapping there is a high risk of damaging a person's language function during the surgery.

But with the mapping, the results are surprisingly good.

"There is an overall risk of about 1.6 percent of having a permanent language deficit, despite the fact that these are very large tumors in arguably the most eloquent area of the brain," he said.

Currently, language mapping is only being performed at select high-level neurosurgery centers, such as UCSF.

Dr. Sanai presented his results at a meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

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A special procedure -- mapping the language areas in the brain -- is helping preserve language capabilities of patients who must undergo surgery for large brain tumors. At the time of the surgery, various sites on the cortex of the brain are stimulated to find the exact...
'Brain,Mapping',Preserves,Speech,After,Surgery
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2006-00-27
Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM
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