Sensing when the brain is under pressure
Posted April 12, 2012on:
Brain tumors and head trauma, including concussions, can elevate pressure inside the skull, potentially crushing brain tissue or cutting off the brain’s blood supply. Monitoring pressure in the brains of such patients could help doctors determine the best treatment, but the procedure is so invasive — it requires drilling a hole through the skull — that it is done only in the most severely injured patients.
That may change with the development of a new technique that is much less risky. The method, described in the April 11 issue of Science Translational Medicine, could allow doctors to measure brain pressure in patients who have suffered head injuries that are milder, but would benefit from close monitoring.
MIT researchers have developed a way to monitor pressure inside the brains of patients with injuries such as the bleeding seen in this CT scan.
Image: Lucien Monfils/wikipedia