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Front Integr Neurosci. 2012 Apr 24;6:15. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2012.00015. eCollection 2012.

"Connectomic surgery": diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography as a targeting modality for surgical modulation of neural networks.

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Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford CA, USA.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is being used to treat a growing number of neurological disorders. Until recently, DBS has been thought to act mainly by suppressing local neuronal activity, essentially producing a functional lesion. Numerous studies are now demonstrating that DBS has widespread network effects mediated by white matter pathways. The new science of connectomics aims to map the connectivity between brain regions in health and disease. Targeting DBS specifically to pathways which exhibit pathological connectivity could greatly expand the possibilities for treating brain diseases. This brief review examines the current state of brain imaging for visualization of these networks and describes how DBS might be used to restore normal connectivity in pathological states.


connectomics; deep brain stimulation; default mode network; diffusion tensor imaging; tractography

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