Historical epilepsy surgery in Poland 12 January 2022 – Posted in: news – Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Dec 8th, 2022 we participated in a historical neurosurgical procedure of implanting multiple special electrodes to precisely localize the source of seizures in a young 21 year-old patient. The electrodes contained arrays of both standard macro-contacts (each less than 1cm big) to record large brain wave activities and special micro-contacts (each less than 100 micrometers big) to record local brain waves and even detect electrical impulses from individual brain cells (single neurons). These were implanted using a neurosurgical technique called stereo EEG, in which the electrodes are inserted into the brain from various angles (as in the photo) to surround the seizure-related areas just sound in stereo systems. The ‘stereotactic’ Implantation was carefully planned in advance by the team of Prof. Pawel Tabakow in the hospital of the Medical University of Wroclaw to reach the anatomical goals in the grain with less than 2mm error (!!!). After the surgery, the electrodes were connected to our recording systems to monitor brain activities for the next several days as the patient was waiting for seizures to be localized by a neurology team led by Dr. Monika Sluzewska.
During this seizure monitoring, our BME lab team led by Dr. Kucewicz and our collaborators from the Neurophysiology of Mind lab led by Dr. Jan Kaminski were entertaining the patient with a series of tasks to remember pictures and words, as the large and local brain wave activities and the electrical impulses of single neurons were registered on the recording systems. It was fascinating to see these electrical activities ‘fired’ as the patient engaged in the remembering specific stimuli in the tasks or even when talking with the experimenter. We are getting closer to resolving the correlates of particular memories in the human brain…
Big thanks to Neuralynx (USA) and Inomed (Poland) companies for providing the necessary technological assistance and training. Special acknowledgments to Dr. Peter Reinacher from Freiburg, Germany, for sharing his expertise in implanting the special electrodes in this innovative procedure. Finally, none of this work would be possible without participation of the patient, who will hopefully be seizure-free now!