About this Research Topic
The historical localizationist interpretation of brain functional organization has been recently replaced by the hodotopical model, in which brain functions do not correspond to fixed anatomical areas, but rely on complex cortico-subcortical networks with a huge plastic potential. Neuroplasticity is responsible for the final connectomic organization of functional brain networks. Brain tumor patients usually show huge neuroplasticity phenomena. In these patients, connectomic analysis is essential to plan surgical strategy and achieve the “maximal safe resection” of the tumor that is associated with improved outcome and prolonged survival. Several brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques are currently used for connectomic analysis in brain tumor patients, including navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS), fMRI, tractography, direct electrophysiological stimulation (DES), etc. As well, modern electrophysiological approaches have been developed to analyze and induce neuroplasticity in these patients before and after surgery, aiming to stimulate brain functional reorganization, make resection safer, and promote postoperative functional recovery.
Disclosing neuroplasticity phenomena and investigating connectomics underlying the brain functional organization in brain tumor patients is essential to plan and achieve the maximal safe resection of the tumor. Several electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques can be used before and during surgery to map spatial relationship between the tumor and adjacent eloquent networks that must be preserved during surgery. Among these, nTMS/TMS, TES, fMRI, MEG, tractography, and finally awake surgery and DES are the most commonly used. Nevertheless, the integration of information provided by these techniques requires a multidisciplinary approach and a joint collaboration between different professionals, including neuroscientists, neurologists, neuradiologists, neuropsychologists, and neurosurgeons with a strong expertise in the field. A comprehensive review of technical aspects of a multidisciplinary approach for connectomics analysis is still lacking. This article collection will provide new insights into novel multidisciplinary approaches to perform advanced connectomics analysis of brain functional organization through the description of the modern pre- and intraoperative electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to plan and achieve the maximal safe resection of brain tumors, as well as the illustration of novel neuromodulation approaches based on advanced brain stimulation techniques used to disclose neuroplasticity phenomena, and promote neurological reorganization and recovery prior and after surgery.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to summarize the state-of-the-art of modern preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques used for connectomic analysis, and for promoting brain reorganization/recovery, from the neuroscience lab to the rehab ward. The scope is to enhance knowledge of brain functional organization, improve surgical treatment and outcome, and promote neurological recovery in brain tumor patients.
Original articles, review, editorials, and case reports focusing on the following themes are welcome:
• Multidisciplinary connectomics approaches combining advanced techniques, including nTMS/TMS, fMRI, MEG, tractography, DES, etc. for preoperative planning and surgery of brain tumors
• Advanced brain mapping using nTMS and DES, with a focus on complex cognitive functions
• Advanced fMRI approaches for connectomic analysis
• Advanced brain tractography, even in combination with nTMS, fMRI or other technologies
• Qualitative/quantitative analysis of neuroplasticity/connectivity using nTMS/TMS or other brain stimulation technologies (DES, TES, tDCS, tACS, tTBS, transcranial ultrasound, etc.)
• Neuromodulation approaches using nTMS/TMS or other brain stimulation techniques to promote brain functional reorganization before surgery, and postoperative neurological recovery.
Keywords: brain tumors, connectomics, neuroplasticity, connectivity, transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS, nTMS, tractography, fMRI, neuromodulation, brain mapping, preoperative planning, direct electrical stimulation, DES
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