Like most scientists, Dr. Sameer Sheth enjoys both innovation and research. Which is good, because this April, some of his research was presented in an innovative new way.
The journal JoVE published a video article by a team of scientists that includes Dr. Sheth. The scientists hail from Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital and from The School of Medicine at Kings’ College, London. (Co-authors from our Neurosurgery Department include neurosurgeon Dr. Neil Feldstein, neurosurgeon Dr. Guy McKhann, and resident Dr. Robert McGovern.)
Of course, videos about science aren’t a new idea. And peer-reviewed journals aren’t new, either. In fact, peer-reviewed journals are the gold standard for publishing scientific research. What’s new is that this peer-reviewed journal is dedicated to producing and publishing videos.
Why videos? According, to Dr. Sheth,
“For complicated procedures, there’s nothing like a picture, or even better, a video. We tried to encapsulate the basic steps of the surgical and research aspects of these procedures in order to allow clinicians and scientists anywhere in the world to perform these kinds of studies.”
In the article, the authors demonstrate a new way to use a technique called Stereotactic Electroencaphalography, or SEEG. SEEG is often used in epilepsy surgery. It can help pinpoint the exact area in the brain that is causing someone’s seizures.
Then the doctors and the patient usually just settle down to wait. The patient stays in a special wing of the hospital until the electrodes record enough seizure activity. After the electrodes have recorded enough information, they are removed. Then the patient can go home.
But when they’re not recording seizure activity, the SEEG electrodes can record everyday brain activity. So with their patients’ cooperation, Dr. Sheth and the other researchers have made extra use of SEEG during the “waiting” time.
In the video, the scientists demonstrate how they record brain activity as someone completes simple tasks on a computer. With the SEEG electrodes in place, the researchers can “look” very deep within the brain, to an area called the anterior cingulate cortex. Using complicated data analysis–also described in the video–they can interpret this information about the brain’s activity.
This is an exciting technique that has the capability of helping doctors and scientists worldwide with their research. And they won’t simply read a brief “methods” section about it.
Instead, they will watch the nuances of these techniques, as performed by a team experienced with them. Dr. Sheth and the other researchers even make sure to explain which aspects of the process are trickiest, and give tips for smooth sailing.
Image credit: [George Rex]/Flickr
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