Dr. Bradley Lega on Brain Mapping

Dallas neurosurgeon Dr. Bradley Lega answers questions about brain mapping.

Q:

What is brain mapping?

A:

Brain mapping involves looking at the brain and identifying precise locations that are important for specific functions. We do this in order to design a surgical strategy based on what we find.

Q:

How do you use brain mapping?

A:

I use brain mapping and computer-assisted navigation technologies to improve the safety and effectiveness of neurological surgery. Good brain mapping brings together high-quality imaging with electrical brain data. The team of experts here at UT Southwestern makes this kind of precise mapping possible.

In a recent case, a patient with a brain tumor was having seizures. The tumor was immediately adjacent to the part of the brain responsible for language. We put in a grid that mapped his seizures and the tumor so we could take out as much of the tumor as possible, treat the seizures, and not affect his language. He’s undergoing additional treatment for the tumor, but treating the seizures allowed him to go back to work.

Q:

What’s the benefit of brain mapping for patients?

A:

These kinds of techniques help us do surgeries more safely. When a patient comes to me for surgery, I am able to use different technological tools to help me map or see the brain to get information to inform my surgeries and execute them.