Abrazo Central Campus first in Arizona to use advanced technology to treat complex neurological conditions

Oct 27, 2017

PHOENIX – Patients with brain tumors and other complex neurological conditions could have new hope for treatment, thanks to a state-of-the-art technology at Abrazo Central Campus.

The hospital is the first in Arizona to use Brightmatter Plan, a brain mapping software that provides neurosurgeons with a three-dimensional guide to remove deep brain tumors, including those that have been deemed 'inoperable.'' The sophisticated tool also helps patients who have suffered a stroke or other head trauma.

“With BrightMatter, we can see details in the brain not visible to the human eye, allowing for safer surgical intervention,” said Dr. Marco Marsella, a neurosurgeon who performs endoscopic endonasal and open skull-base surgeries, as well as neuro-endoscopic, minimally invasive and conventional craniotomies.

Marsella is the first in the state to use the BrightMatter technology and BrainPath® a minimally invasive procedure that enables neurosurgeons to navigate between the natural folds and neural structures in the brain without cutting or damaging anything else in its path.

BrightMatter employs diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, to help surgeons visualize MRI images of the brain’s pathways and consider approaches for navigating around critical structures during surgery. This additional information may allow access to brain locations previously deemed inoperable.

That is important, Marsella said, because the disruption to certain key brain regions could significantly impact a patient’s motor skills and other critical functions, such as the ability to speak or walk. BrightMatter™’s 3D map of the patient’s brain guides physicians in avoiding these key regions.

Traditionally, dedicated technical specialists had to generate this type of map through a laborious, manual process that often did not consider the entire brain region.

Nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. In addition, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year and more than 5.3 million children and adults live with a lifelong disability because of a traumatic brain injury, based on statistics from the American Stroke Association and Brain Injury Association of America, respectively.

“BrightMatter used with BrainPath is revolutionizing the way we treat these patients,” Marsella said. “The result may be smaller incisions, more effective procedures and shortened recovery time.’’

For more information about advanced neurological procedures at Abrazo Central Campus, visit www.Abrazohealth.com/Neuro or call 844-800-3574.

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