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Brain mapping is a technique where the biological quantities of a human brain are represented as spatial quantities resulting in maps. As with many other medical technologies, brain mapping is fast-evolving as well. Among several uses, brain mapping is chiefly used while performing surgery on the brain.
When surgery is to be performed on the brain such as surgery for epilepsy, the surgeon would want to comprehend how the brain areas are affected by seizures. The surgical intervention is meant for removing as much as seizure focus as possible while preserving crucial functions like understanding, speech, vision, movement, and sensation.
Why is brain mapping performed?
Brain mapping is a process which helps in identification of functions of various parts of the brain. Mapping the brain by stimulating different areas of the brain areas can aid in creating a map for a particular person. The map allows the doctor in understanding what parts of the brain are responsible for performing critical functions including sensation, movement, speech and other functions.
Which functions of the brain can be mapped electrically?
Typical areas of the brain which have motor, language, visual and sensory functions are needed to be mapped. When current is applied to a single area at a time, the doctor understands which part of the brain is responsible for which function.
When the patient is not able to speak due to the current, then the area is likely to be crucial for language function. If the limbs, face or trunk of the patient stop moving as the current passes, the area that is tested is responsible for movement. On the other hand, if the individual experiences tingling, numbing, and other sensations when the current is applied, it means that a sensory region is discovered.
How is electrical brain mapping performed?
Electrical brain mapping for guiding brain surgery for epilepsy can be performed in two distinct processes: directly during the surgery or in a two-stage procedure.
In the first stage of the process, the surgeon creates an opening in the skull which helps in exposing the surface of the brain. Small electrical contacts or electrodes are placed on the brain surface even though no brain tissue is removed. As soon as the electrodes are in the right position, the scalp is closed. The electrodes not only record the seizure of the patient electrically but also allow mapping of various areas of the brain. The last stage is surgery where abnormal brain tissues are removed.
Brain mapping process during surgery:
Electrical brain mapping may also be performed during the surgery which exposes part of the brain. This is termed as intraoperative brain mapping since it occurs while performing the main operation. The process of mapping may last for an hour to several hours at a stretch.
Brain mapping is also used to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In these cases, the brain map shows extreme shrinkage of the brain due to tissue loss.
Microdiscectomy for symptomatic lumbar disc in young patients who have failed nonoperative treatment has a high success rate based on outcome measures, patient satisfaction, and return to active duty. Patients with sequestered or extruded lumbar disc herniations had significantly better outcomes than did those contained herniations. Patients with contained disc herniations and smoking have less satisfaction rates.
Cervical pillows assist in alleviation of neck pain by providing a better sleeping position. They provide relaxation as well as maintaining a natural, healthy cervical posture. Cervical pillows benefit those with neck muscle strain and also used for prevention of neck pain. In clinical testings, there have been positive results on neck pain, headaches as well as sleeping quality with the use of cervical pillows.
Are you experiencing excruciating headache? you probably didn't know but you could be suffering from brain aneurysms. It is described as bulge formation in the blood vessel in the brain. It is a totally asymptomatic condition as one does not display any symptoms until the bulge vessel ruptures which may result in blood releasing in the skull which may further lead to a stroke. The bulge is often formed in the gaps between the tissues covering the brain and brain itself.
Most common treatment options for ruptured aneurysm
There are two common treatment options for a ruptured brain aneurysm endovascular coiling and surgical clipping. Both these procedures have certain risk factors, therefore it is best to discuss the details with a neurologist. The endovascular coiling is a less invasive process where the surgeon inserts a hollow tube or catheter into an artery and threads it through the body to reach an aneurysm. Then a guide wire is sent to push a soft platinum wire through the catheter. This coils up and disrupts the flow of blood into the aneurysm and leads to blood clotting. The clotting is essential in sealing off the aneurysm from the artery.
The surgical clipping is a process used for closing off the aneurysm, and a section of the skull is required to be removed for assessing the affected part. It also helps in locating the blood vessel that is responsible for the problem. Finally, a metal clip is placed on the neck of the aneurysm to stop the flow of blood. Though endovascular coiling is less invasive and said to be safer, adequate post-treatment care is necessary to minimize risks.
To treat larger aneurysms, a treatment called flow diverters may be useful. Since, the treatment is decided based on the size, location, apperance and your health condition, your doctor will be the best person to take the final call.
Other procedures to treat symptoms
Other than the surgical procedures several treatments might be prescribed to treat the symptoms and to manage complications. A few commonly advised treatments are:
- Pain relievers: To manage headaches
- Calcium channel blockers: One of the most common complications that may arise with an aneurysm is calcium entering the walls of blood vessels which may result in narrowing of walls. Calcium channel blockers are medications may be prescribed by the doctors to deal with the complication
- Anti seizure medications: Medications such as levetiracetam, phenytoin, valproic acid, and others are prescribed to treat seizures associated with aneurysms
- Procedures to prevent stroke: An insufficient blood flow may result in a stroke and to prevent it, the drug vasopressor is injected intravenously, or angioplasty is performed.
- Rehabilitative therapy: Damage to the brain may require the patient to undergo several physical and occupational therapy.
If you suffer from the condition, it is advised to keep a check on the blood pressure and quit smoking as they can help in reducing the risks associated with aneurysms. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Low back pain as a result of muscle spasm responds well to exercise. But if the pain is due to a problem in the spine, exercise needs to be done more cautiously. One common warning sign of nerve compression is sciatica, or pain that radiates from the back down into the leg. The pain may be accompanied by a tingling "pins and needles" sensation. If you have sciatica, don't begin a new exercise program without speaking to a doctor.
Patients who continue with the recommended exercises had significantly lower disability scores than those who did not continue with the exercises and were put on traction. Pain and global improvement were also better in the exercise group. In conclusion, no specific effect of traction on standard physical therapy was observed in most of study groups. We suggest focusing on back education and exercise therapy in the management of patients suffering from this chronic condition.
Studies investigating walking as an intervention in Backache report a reduction in pain either measured immediately post-treadmill vertical walking or after a 3-week period of PBWS(partial body weight suspension) walking. Other studies that investigated the effects of physiotherapy in a chronic Backache population compared to exercise and walking treatment reported a significant difference in pain reduction in favour of the two interventions when compared to physiotherapy alone.
Walking is a fundamental human activity, that is easy to perform, has a low risk of injury and is associated with many health benefits. While much research has investigated exercise and advice to remain active as management strategies for low back pain, few studies specifically target walking as the primary intervention. The american college of sports medicine (acsm)  recommend 30 min of low intensity aerobic activity 3â5 times a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The positive role for increasing moderate physical activity in the management and prevention of many chronic health conditions is now well established.
I have operated for slip disc before 5 months back, but my left leg having numbness and tingling sensation and left thigh is not toned and weak.
Pituitary tumors are a rare occurrence, and not all of them show some kind of symptoms. However, in some cases, the patients may display few symptoms. This totally depends on whether the tumor is functional or non-functional. When the tumor is functional, it means that they are releasing excess hormones while non-functional tumor would not cause excess release of hormones.
Types of pituitary tumors:
As already pointed, there are two variants of pituitary tumors- functional and non-functional.
- Functional adenomas can lead to issues owing to the hormones they release. Typically, a functional adenoma creates an excess amount of a single hormone. The symptoms are dependent on the type of hormone secreted by them.
- Tumors which do not lead to excess secretion of hormones tend to become large even before they are noticed. They may lead to different kinds of symptoms when they press against other parts of the brain or nerves or other areas of the pituitary.
- Non-functional adenomas which do not lead to any symptoms are often found owing to the MRI or CT scan performed for other health troubles. These tumors are becoming more common since CT scans and MRIs are done more commonly, and these are the most prevalent type of tumors. There is no need to treat them as long as they do not cause any discomfort or symptoms.
Symptoms caused by pituitary tumors:
The carcinomas, as well as macroadenomas, are large enough to press on a nearby nerve or other parts of the brain regardless of whether they are functional or not. This may lead to signs and symptoms such as loss of peripheral vision, headaches, dizziness, facial numbness or pain, blurred or double vision and loss of consciousness. Sudden bleeding into the tumor can lead to loss of consciousness and even death. Depending on the type of nerves affected by the pituitary tumor can cause weakness, unexplained loss or gain of weight, nausea, feeling tired and cold, menstrual changes, erectile dysfunction, and reduced interest in sex, particularly in men.
Treatment of pituitary tumors:
Many patients suffering from pituitary tumors do not need any treatment. However, there are various factors like the size, type, and reach of the tumor that play an important role in deciding whether the patients require treatment or not. Moreover, the age of the patients and overall health conditions are the most crucial aspect in the decision of the same.
Surgical removal of the pituitary tumor is generally advised by the doctor when the tumor is pressing on the optic nerves or when the tumor is overproducing some hormones. On the other hand, radiation therapy makes use of high-energy X-rays for destroying tumors. Lastly, treatment with medicines can help in blocking excess secretion of hormone and even shrink certain types of pituitary tumors.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!