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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. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.
I have taken MRI cervical spine .I have disc BULGES in C3-C4, C4-C5 and L5-S1. Please explain what might be the problem. This BULGES gives which type of problems. Please help me.
When cells divide abnormally and uncontrollably, they can form a mass or lump of tissue. This lump is called a tumor. Bone tumors form in your bones. As the tumor grows, abnormal tissue can displace healthy tissue.
Some tumors are benign, meaning they aren’t cancerous. While benign bone tumors won’t spread to other parts of the body and are unlikely to be fatal, they can still be dangerous and may require treatment. Benign tumors can grow and could compress your healthy bone tissue. Other tumors are malignant, meaning they’re cancerous. Malignant bone tumors can cause cancer to spread throughout the body.
Causes of bone tumor:
The cause of bone tumors is unknown. They often occur in areas of the bone that grow rapidly. Possible causes include:
- Genetic defects passed down through families
- In most cases, no specific cause is found.
Symptoms of bone tumor:
Symptoms of bone tumor may include any of the following:
- Bone fracture, especially fracture from slight injury (trauma)
- Bone pain, may be worse at night
- Occasionally a mass and swelling can be felt at the tumor site
- Some benign tumors have no symptoms.
Diagnosing a bone tumor:
There are some common conditions like fractures, infections and other conditions that may resemble tumors. But, to be sure some physical examination to be performed which will check the tenderness in the bone and also the range of motion. Blood or Urine test may be performed to detect different proteins that may indicate the presence of tumor. Doctor may go with X-rays and depending on the X-ray results other imaging tests might be necessary i.e. CT scan, MRI PET scan. In some cases biopsy is also performed. In this test. a sample of the tissue that makes up the tumor is removed.
Treating bone tumor:
Bone cancer is generally treated with Surgery in which the entire tumor is removed. The surgeon carefully examines the margins of your tumor to make sure no cancer cells are left. Surgical techniques have improved greatly. Other ways to treat is radiation therapy which is used in conjunction with surgery. Still if the doctor feels that cancer cells are likely to spread or already spread then Chemotherapy is recommended.
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.
With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.
Signs & Symptoms
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time
However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.
Early Detection and Screening
More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:
- Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.
Types of Breast cancer
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.
Making A Diagnosis
If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Hi i'm from Kalimpong District west bengal .I have got slip disc. I'm taking medicine from yesterday only .Can I do any exercise or brisk walk apart of medicine. Please kindly suggest me.
Hello sir. I have lower back pain since 2 months back. I have done mri there is disk problem. What is permanent solution is surgery kindly help me.
Sir Last one month I have a problem of slip disk. I am doing regular exercise for spinal disk slip. Can I do running and play cricket with problem of slip disk?
I am 33 and my body has became very stiff due to no physical exercise. I have slip disk and neck ailments. Also mental tension getting worse. But need to come over this. What could be the starter guidelines for getting started with Yoga/Meditation.
The treatment options for bone cancer depends on the type of cancer one is suffering from, the general health of the patient, the stage of cancer and the general preference of the patient. Different treatment options are designed for different types of cancer, based on the diagnosis. Each treatment responds in a different way. An oncologist decides the treatment options considering all the factors mentioned above. For instance, some cancer is best suited to surgery, while some cancer needs radiotherapy or chemotherapy to curb them. In many cases, all three modes of treatment might be required to tackle the growth of the cancer cells.
The goal of surgery is to eradicate the cancer cells in totality along with some surrounding healthy tissues. This involves special techniques to remove a tumor in one piece. Following are the types of surgeries that are available:
- Removing the cancer cells sparing the limb: At the very first sight, the surgeon tries to understand whether it is possible to separate cancer cells from the tissues and the nerves. If the same is possible, the surgeon tries to save the limb while getting rid of the cancer cells. For the sake of safety and to ensure that the surgery is effective, the surgeon removes some of the healthy bone from the body and may replace the same with tissue from other parts of the body. To achieve this, a doctor might seek the help from of a bone bank or use a special metal prosthesis.
- Surgery that does not involve the limbs: If the bone cancer does not involve the legs and the arm, surgeons can remove the affected bone along with some healthy bone from the surrounding areas. Cancer of the ribs and the spine are good examples of this type.
- Surgery that affects the limb: Bone cancer that has spread to a significant extent and is strategically located in such areas that it is very difficult to remove, requires amputation. While this form of treatment is being increasingly discouraged by the wider medical community, it still does exist. In such cases, patients are fitted with artificial limbs and trained to do their job without the use of natural limbs.
This is a form of drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill cancer cells throughout the body. This medication is mostly given through an IV and the medication kills whatever cancer cells it comes across.
Radiation therapy involves the use of special X-ray beams that have high power and can kill cancer cells. The patients are required to lie on a table, while a machine moves around the affected area and treats it with high energy X-rays, thereby killing the cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to reduce the size of a tumor before operating on it. Also, Brachytherapy is another kind of radiotherapy in which plastic tubes for introducing radioactive sources are placed over tutor bed during surgery, later it is connected with brachytherapy machine to give extra high dose to tutor bed to improve cure rates.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!