Novel way of brain mapping to be used in pre-surgical planning

Summary Innovation and Advantages: Harvard researchers have developed a method for mapping the organization of a patient’s brain for pre-surgical planning by using functional MRI, but without requiring performance of specific task. With this system, a patient would lie in an MRI scanner, at rest with their eyes open or closed. The procedure could also be performed if the patient is under anesthesia or during sleep. The technology might be used to test language lateralization prior to epilepsy surgery or to localize key functional brain areas prior to tumor removal or other form of resection. Because patients would not have to comply with a task, the method can be used in children and infants or patients otherwise unable to perform the tasks. In addition, the method can be used to map all brain systems simultaneously so that a single brain imaging approach could be used for all functional mapping needs. Lastly, the method is robust and requires less time to construct images as compared to task-based procedures.

Applications Markets/Needs Addressed: Many medical conditions such as brain tumors and seizures are treated surgically by operating on a patient’s brain. However, surgery carries the risk of damaging functional areas of a patient’s brain, which may leave a patient with certain impaired functions. Typically, an attempt is made to identify functional areas of an individual patient’s brain prior to surgery. Common methods of identifying these functional areas require performance of a task designed to elicit a given brain function while the patient undergoes a functional MRI to monitor their brain activity. By identifying areas of the brain that are active during the performance of the task, functional areas of the brain may be identified. This method requires the patient to be conscious, alert, and compliant to instructions during the measurement. In certain surgeries, a patient may be unable to perform the task, for example if they are unconscious or severely injured. Therefore, there is a need for a method of pre-operatively identifying functional areas of a patient’s brain without requiring that the patient be able to perform a task on command. For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Alan Gordon Email: Telephone: (617) 384-5000

Inventor(s): Buckner, Randy L.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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