Dr. Ramin Rak To Speak Before U.S. Congress About Brain Mapping During Awake Brain Surgery

Will be One of 10 Experts from Across Nation to Speak, As Part of Congressional Briefing on Brain Mapping and Neuroscience.

Online PR News – 06-May-2014 – Rockville Centre, NY – Leading neurosurgeon Ramin Rak, M.D., F.A.AN.S., Co-Surgical Director and Director of the Awake Craniotomy and Brain Mapping Program of the Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC), as well as Director of the Brain Tumor Program at NS-LIJ Huntington Hospital, will be one of 10 neuroscience experts from across the U.S. to speak before members of Congress on May 20. Dr. Rak will discuss the topic “Brain Mapping in Awake Brain Surgery.”

The program, which will focus on brain mapping and neuroscience, is sponsored by the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) and the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus.

“It is a great thrill and honor to be invited to speak before Congress on this topic, and to be part of this important educational program,” said Dr. Rak. “These is so much we need to learn about the brain and its functions, and I am proud to be part of this effort.”

It is a great thrill and honor to be invited to speak before Congress on this topic, and to be part of this important educational program, said Dr. Rak

The briefing supports President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative - a new Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. Mapping the brain is a major focus of this initiative.

The briefing is being held at the invitation of Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania), a member of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus. The briefing will take place in the Gold Room of the Congress’ Rayburn Building. Dr. Rak’s presentation will be given at 8 a.m.

Dr. Rak is a leading expert in intraoperative brain mapping in brain tumor surgeries – the use of sophisticated imaging technologies to plan and guide surgery, in order to get the best understanding of each patient’s brain structure and function. He uses brain mapping to guide awake craniotomies – operations in which the patient is awakened during surgery and asked to perform certain tasks in order to avoid touching brain areas that control critical functions (eloquent areas of the brain).

In these procedures, Dr. Rak maps the patient’s brain using functional MRI (fMRI) scans before the surgery to begin identifying functional areas that are affected by the tumor. fMRI scans are done at the same time as neuropsychological tests to see how and where the patient’s brain reacts when the patient completes certain tasks. The fMRI scans are combined with standard MRI and other medical images and programmed into a sophisticated computerized neuronavigation system. This creates a complete picture of brain anatomy and function, and their relationship to tumor structure. These images are used to help guide the surgery.

“Every time I perform an awake brain surgery, it becomes more obvious that every person’s brain is wired differently, and our ability to treat many brain diseases is hindered by a lack of viable technologies and treatments,” said Dr. Rak. “This is why we need to think creatively, so that we can introduce new diagnostics and treatments for our patients.”

Dr. Rak is a member of the Executive Board of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics. SBMT is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary and translational neuroscience medical associations with a network of nearly 200,000 scientists, engineers, physicians and surgeons worldwide. Dr. Rak represents the New York area on the board of this prestigious international organization, and is chairing the Science Committee for the 15th annual World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Congress, which will take place in New York in 2018.

The SBMT board consists of the world’s leading neuroscientists, engineers, radiologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons involved in researching and applying paradigm-shifting technologies in the area of brain mapping and therapeutics in order to better prevent, diagnose and treat serious neurological disorders. SBMT is the leading global advocate for the brain mapping field and a strong supporter of the President’s BRAIN Initiative. The Society also led formation of the NanoBioElectronic Consortium of leading international scientists, with the purpose of integrating nanotechnology, devices, imaging, pharmaceuticals and cellular/stem cell therapeutics.

The Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics is a non-profit scientific society organized for the purpose of encouraging basic and clinical scientists who are interested in the areas of brain mapping, engineering, stem cells, nanotechnology, imaging and medical devices to improve the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients afflicted with neurological disorders. The Society achieves its mission through multi-disciplinary collaborations with government agencies, patient advocacy groups, educational institutes and industry as well as philanthropic organizations.
To learn more about the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, visit www.worldbrainmapping.org. Learn about the Brain Mapping Foundation at www.BrainMappingFoundation.org.

About Neurological Surgery, P.C. - Neurological Surgery, P.C. is one of the New York City area’s premier neurosurgical groups, offering patients the most advanced treatments of brain and spine disorders. These include minimally invasive procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife® and Novalis Tx®), aneurysm coiling, neuro-endoscopy, spinal stimulators, carotid stents, interventional pain management, microdiscectomy, kyphoplasty, and other types of minimally invasive spine surgery. The practice’s physicians represent a range of surgical and nonsurgical specialties, combining compassionate care with highly specialized training. They are leaders in the region’s medical community, with appointments as chiefs of neurosurgery in some of Long Island’s best hospitals. NSPC offers 10 convenient locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as in Queens and Manhattan. For more information, call 1-800-775-7784 or visit www.NSPC.com.

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