Best Poster awarded to Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen for use of NBS to guide implantation of cortical stimulators in stroke

HELSINKI, Finland – Jan. 2, 2012 -- A team of clinical researchers* from the Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), Tübingen won the award for best poster at the recently held 3rd International Symposium on NBS in Neurosurgery in Berlin, Germany, organized by the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

In their poster Navigated TMS Guiding Surgery in Stroke, Leão et. al. describe the use of Navigated Brain Stimulation (eXimia NBS System, Nexstim Oy, Helsinki, Finland) for diagnostics and surgical planning in chronic stroke patients prior to implantation of motor cortex stimulator (MCS).

The goal of the MCS implant program at Tübingen is to help restore movement in severely-affected chronic stroke patients with no residual hand function. Earlier studies of MCS in stroke, at other research sites, has shown a large variability of results. This is most likely attributable to poor patient selection, according to the researchers.

"We aim to improve the success of implantation in stroke patients by using navigated TMS (nTMS) for patient selection, with a specific mapping protocol developed exclusively to guide the position of the implant in severely affected stroke survivors" wrote Leão. "Determining exactly where and how the residual hand function is, in the lesioned cortex, is the main objective of nTMS mapping- thus guiding the implantation of the stimulation electrodes", added Leão.

The clinical researchers concluded that nTMS, used pre-operatively as a mapping tool, provides unique information that can enhance the success of neuromodulation, while being a non-invasive and safe procedure. Knowing in advance the where and how individual motor pathways are functioning (by measuring the amplitude and latency of TMS-evoked MEPs) helps improving the results of surgery and rehabilitation programs.

*M.T. Leão, F. Grimm, G. Naros, A. Gharabaghi