The brain and gliomas: when the connections are crucial

The structural and functional systems of the brain have complex networks in which connections play a prominent role. Gliomas are infiltrating tumors that can alter the normal function of these connections in different ways. Operating on and dealing with these tumors requires a global approach that considers the tumor relative to the brain, and therapeutic goals are measured in terms of quality of life and effective brain functioning. Consequently, neurosurgeons need to assemble a large amount of information before deciding to operate. As never before, modern neurosurgeons have the opportunity to enrich their cultural background through the translational flow of information as a result of neuroscience research. Intraoperative brain mapping techniques provide the unique opportunity to directly explore brain function and represent an extraordinary integration with non invasive methods. The aim of this congress is to gather international leading experts from different neuroscience domains to foster the exchange of knowledge between basic and clinical neuroscientists. It will represent close interactions between neurosurgeons, neurologists, neurophysiologists, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists and basic neuroscientists. Connections will be the keyword of the congress, as the talks will explore interactions between the brain and gliomas, beginning with the normal structure and function of the brain through fascinating research in cortical and subcortical brain anatomy and theoretic brain function modeling. Non-invasive brain mapping techniques, such as fMR (active and resting state), TMS and neuropsychology exploration, will also be discussed, leading to a core feature of the congress, which includes the latest surgical techniques and intraoperative brain mapping. An entire section will be dedicated to outcome measures, with a special emphasis on quality of life from neurosurgical and neuropsychological perspectives. Indeed, connections between brain surgeons, neuroscientists, neuroimaging experts and neuropsychologists is definitely a keyword in modern glioma therapy. 

Marco Maria Fontanella
Giannantonio Spena