Online advanced brain mapping course: acquiring the mental imagery necessary to operate the brain


Attendance type(s): Virtual

Event Dates: 20 Sep—13 Dec 2021

  • 20/09/2021
  • 13/12/2021

The classical approach to brain tumors consists in the surgical removal of a tumor located within a brain with a definitely fixed functional organization, while preserving structures commonly considered as crucial (e.g. the rolandic, Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas). However, in the last two decades, the integration of four new concepts to glioma management has dramatically changed the approach to these tumors. First, intraoperative electrical stimulation has become the gold standard mapping technique for resection of tumors within eloquent areas, as it had demonstrated to be a safe, accurate and reliable tool to identify and preserve the cortical and subcortical functional boundaries in each step of tumor resection. Second, the inter-individual anatomo-functional variability in the organization of eloquent areas, hence, the necessity to map the brain in order to identify the functional regions in an individual patient. Third, the application of network based models to understand complex cognitive brain functions such as language or memory, therefore, brain connectivity should be taken into account. Fourth, cerebral plasticity, which is the dynamic potential of the brain to reorganize itself following injury.

The acquisition, integration and application of this whole new perspective to treat brain tumors can be very challenging. The volume of information is overwhelming as there are thousands of scientific publications, books, meetings, courses, websites, etc. Some professionals decide to spend a long period in a brain mapping specialized center, however, not everyone has the time or resources to complete that training. The present brain mapping program has been designed with the main objective to cover this gap, showing a step by step training in mapping surgery, which is done entirely online by reviewing videos and supplementary material. It has been designed as an on-line experience with two types of activities; asynchronous learning using a Learning Management System, and a synchronous learning through webinars with the instructors. The course has been designed by surgeons at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and educators from Hospital Virtual Valdecilla in Santander, Spain.

The course director is Juan Martino, a neurosurgeon with extensive experience in glioma surgery in eloquent areas. The course also has important contributions from experienced groups in brain mapping around the world. The course is structured into three sections, the fundamental steps to acquire the knowledge to perform brain mapping surgeries:

1-The first part of the course is oriented to the study of the anatomy of the brain white matter. Detailed knowledge of the architectural anatomy of the white matter tracts is paramount, for strategically planning for surgical management of parenchymal brain lesions, such as gliomas.

2-In the second part, the main concepts about brain mapping will be analyzed in detail. Questions such as how a bipolar stimulator works, how to position the patient for awake craniotomy, how to tailor the craniotomy, or how to map language or memory will be addressed in this section.

3-Finally, in the third part, surgical mapping challenging cases are presented. The cases will be reviewed step by step, from the initial diagnosis, surgical planning with tractography reconstruction, neuropsychological evaluation, surgical procedure with cortical and subcortical mapping, to the postoperative oncological and functional results.

Contact Details

Name: Helena Anguren

Address: Hospital virtual Valdecilla Avda Valdecilla sn 39008 Santander Cantabria España

Phone: 0034942203895