From research to clinical practice: Implementation of functional magnetic imaging and white matter tractography in the clinical environment

Atira S. Bick*, Arnaldo Mayer, Netta Levin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the last two decades functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has dominated research in neuroscience. However, only recently has it taken the first steps in translation to the clinical field. In this paper we describe the advantages of fMRI and DTI and the possible benefits of implementing these methods in clinical practice. We review the current clinical usages of fMRI and DTI and discuss the challenges and difficulties of translating these methods to clinical use. The most common application today is in neurosurgery. fMRI and DTI are done preoperatively for brain tumor patients who are having tumors removed and for epilepsy patients who are candidates for temporal resection. Imaging results supply the neurosurgeon with essential information regarding possible functional damage and thereby aid both in planning and performing surgery. Scientific research suggests more promising potential implementations of fMRI and DTI in improving diagnosis and rehabilitation. These advanced imaging methods can be used for pre-symptomatic diagnosis, as a differentiating biomarker in the absence of anatomical measurements, and for identification of mental response in the absence of motor-sensory abilities. These methods can aid and direct rehabilitation by predicting the success of possible interventions and rehabilitation options and by supplying a measure for biofeedback. This review opens a window to the state of the art neuroimaging methods being implemented these days into the clinical practice and provides a glance to the future clinical possibilities of fMRI and DTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume312
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain tumors
  • DTI
  • Pre-surgical evaluation
  • fMRI

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