Michael Reardon, MD
Michael Reardon, M.D.
The specific connections between the thalamic nuclei and the cortex have traditionally been investigated via post mortem gross dissection and histology. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging have allowed for segmentation of the thalamic nuclei based on diffusion tensor imaging with subsequent examination to determine which portion of the cortex they are connected too. This knowledge is a potentially powerful tool for neurosurgeons in pre-surgical planning and post-operative evaluation.
The particular project will be focusing on patients with epilepsy and deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation is an advanced treatment technique for patients with epilepsy in which leads are surgically placed into the thalamus for the delivery of electrical stimuli in the hopes of halting intrinsic brain electrical hyperactivity. We predict that the utilization of diffusion tensor imaging in the pre-surgical planning prior to the placement of deep brain stimulators will provide the neurosurgeon with a map for targeted placement into specific thalamic nuclei. Post procedure imaging will also be analyzed and compared to measurements obtained during invasive EEG monitoring, which will be considered as the gold standard.