Monitoring the brain’s health in patients with severe brain injuries is as crucial as tracking heart rate or blood pressure.
However, there hasn’t been a standard way to do this effectively, until now.
Experts at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, led by Dr. Brandon Foreman, are changing the game with a new approach called multimodal neuromonitoring (MNM).
Understanding Multimodal Neuromonitoring
MNM involves tracking various brain health indicators like blood flow, oxygen levels, pressure, and glucose in the brain. “Just like we can manage heart and lung health through vital signs, MNM gives us a detailed view of the brain’s condition,” explains Foreman.
This innovative method requires specialized equipment and skills, often found in academic medical centers. Surgeons insert advanced catheters into the patient’s brain, allowing for real-time and comprehensive brain health monitoring.
At the University of Cincinnati, this technique is primarily used for patients with traumatic brain injuries. The team, including neurosurgeon Dr. Laura Ngwenya, places brain monitors directly into patients’ brains soon after they arrive in intensive care.
All the data collected is then compiled into a single platform, assisting medical professionals in making informed decisions.
The Future of Brain Health Monitoring
A recent survey involving 35 MNM experts nationwide revealed a consensus on the potential of MNM in improving patient care. The technique is particularly useful for critically ill patients, like those suffering from severe brain injuries or strokes.
However, more research is needed to identify other patient groups who could benefit from MNM.
Foreman emphasizes that MNM isn’t just about the equipment; it requires specific training and expertise. “It’s about interpreting the data correctly to make the best decisions for each patient,” he says.
Recent research presented by Dr. Rudy Luna from UC shows promising results, indicating significant improvements in patient outcomes when MNM data is used daily.
As MNM continues to develop, it holds the potential to transform how we approach and treat severe brain injuries, moving towards more personalized and effective patient care.
The University of Cincinnati’s approach is now being adopted in various academic centers, marking a significant step forward in brain health monitoring.
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The research findings can be found in Critical Care Medicine.
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