What is brain mapping? How is it done and what are its uses?

In brain mapping the architectural details including the structure and function of the normal and abnormal (diseased state) human brain are generated. It uses a multidisciplinary approach involving brain imaging, neuropsychology, clinical neuroscience, computer science and bioinstrumentation, to integrate information on a scale ranging from whole brain structure to the microscopic level.

Image source: emaze.com

Modern brain scanning technique consists of electro encephalography (EEG), magneto encephalography (MEG), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and functional MRI), computed tomography (CT) and the like.A comprehensive brain map is generated using these various imaging techniques on healthy volunteers. To this DNA information can also be added with details like ethnicity, family and medical history and educational background. These are stored as digital brain atlas libraries to serve as base line data and any departure like in a diseased state can be easily recognised.

Human brain mapping is useful for diagnosing and treating several neurological disorders with precision like brain tumours, stroke, epilepsy, seizures, migraine, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. It is also useful in several psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, schizophrenia and the like. In addition, it is helpful in identifying areas of the brain involved in various cortical brain activities such as vision, memory, sleep, smell, taste, behaviour and the like.

Source: thehindu.com