The discipline of Neurosurgery focused on the Central Nervous System (CNS) treats different types of intracranial tumors (gliomas) or epilepsy in adults and children.
Cortical mapping helps identify meaningful networks of neurons during brain surgeries (resection of a brain tumor or an epileptogenic lesion, for example) to prevent behavioral deficits. These types of surgeries can be performed when the patient is asleep or awake.
Awake craniotomy (or awake surgery) requires a multidisciplinary approach combining neurosurgery, neuropsychology, and speech therapy. The active participation of the patient during the surgery helps identify the eloquent areas of the brain in order to preserve motor and cognitive functions. The preserved cognitive functions can be linguistic, visual, spatial, computational, etc., depending on the location of the tumor and the patient’s symptoms.
By using a neurostimulator and stimulation probe to transmit electrical energy, it is possible to generate a transient disturbance of the neural network of the targeted area. The patient’s response to this disturbance makes it possible to locate the functional areas to be preserved during resection.