Laughing During Brain Surgery? It’s Possible!

Research on Brain Stimulation

The thought of patients laughing and joking during their brain surgery operations might seem odd.  But it actually helps neurosurgeons to ensure the goals of surgery are attained.  One method that is being researched is using an electrical stimulation to “evoke positive affect and anxiolysis without sedation.”  This research has been published, “Cingulum stimulation enhances positive affect and anxiolysis to facilitate awake craniotomy.”

During their research, they have found that the electric stimulation, called cingulum bundle stimulation, helped to bring out a positive feeling and was able to reduce any anxiety the patient may have had during an awake craniotomy. Please note, that this research was over three epileptic clients who potentially have frequent seizures.

One article in the February 4th U.S. News discusses the findings by these surgeons during operations to overcome epilepsy.  Overall, they have noticed that when conducting “awake” neurosurgeries, some patients become uncomfortable or frightened.  One way they overcame any fears is through cingulum (electrical) stimulation.  Many patents have maintained positivity throughout the surgery, helping surgeons to complete their goals.  Even better, surgeons are able to ensure they are removing the proper parts of the tumor versus the brain.

Here is a patient undergoing the research:

As a neurosurgeon, I have conducted many awake surgeries.  Some clients share that they feel too nervous to remain awake during a surgery.  This potential new method could help future surgeries.

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