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Brain mapping in a patient with congenital blindness - a case for multimodal approaches.

  • Author(s): Roland, Jarod L
  • Hacker, Carl D
  • Breshears, Jonathan D
  • Gaona, Charles M
  • Hogan, R Edward
  • Burton, Harold
  • Corbetta, Maurizio
  • Leuthardt, Eric C
  • et al.
Abstract

Recent advances in basic neuroscience research across a wide range of methodologies have contributed significantly to our understanding of human cortical electrophysiology and functional brain imaging. Translation of this research into clinical neurosurgery has opened doors for advanced mapping of functionality that previously was prohibitively difficult, if not impossible. Here we present the case of a unique individual with congenital blindness and medically refractory epilepsy who underwent neurosurgical treatment of her seizures. Pre-operative evaluation presented the challenge of accurately and robustly mapping the cerebral cortex for an individual with a high probability of significant cortical re-organization. Additionally, a blind individual has unique priorities in one's ability to read Braille by touch and sense the environment primarily by sound than the non-vision impaired person. For these reasons we employed additional measures to map sensory, motor, speech, language, and auditory perception by employing a number of cortical electrophysiologic mapping and functional magnetic resonance imaging methods. Our data show promising results in the application of these adjunctive methods in the pre-operative mapping of otherwise difficult to localize, and highly variable, functional cortical areas.

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