Another step in improving brain surgery for patients
A $500,000 donation from BMO Financial Group has enabled The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro at McGill University, to install a vital surgical imaging tool, known as an O-arm Imaging System. This new technology allows neurosurgeons to perform advanced surgical procedures with maximum precision, enhance operating room efficiencies, and improve overall patient outcomes.
“Health is a top priority of BMO Financial Group’s community investment program,” said Mr. Alan Desnoyers, Vice-President, Metropolitan Montreal, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We are proud to be aligned with The Neuro, a pioneer in providing cutting-edge and compassionate care to patients, and are pleased to facilitate the delivery of the highest level of medical treatment.”
“Providing the best leading-edge treatment to our patients is a core mission of The Neuro,” said Dr. Phil Barker, Interim Director of the Institute, “and private funding that allows us to provide outstanding patient care is critical for us to achieve our goals. With this assistance, BMO is filling a crucial need and we are grateful for their outstanding support.” “The Neuro is a leader in complex neurosurgical procedures and has been a pioneer in developing and implementing image guided neurosurgical technology. The O-arm enables us to further our level of excellence and provide patients with the best care possible,” says Ms. Martine Alfonso, Interim Director of the Hospital.
The O-arm combines intra-operative imaging with image-guided surgery (surgical navigation systems, analogous to a GPS system), providing real-time, high quality 3D images of a patient's anatomy which are essential to surgeons during an operation. Each year, thousands of Canadians require surgical intervention to eliminate or control the symptoms of conditions such as epilepsy, brain tumours, and Parkinson’s disease.
“For Parkinson’s patients, the difference in quality of life before and after surgery is enormous,” says Dr. Abbas Sadikot, neurosurgeon at The Neuro and Head of Functional Neurosurgery Service at the MUHC. Due to tremor, stiffness or slowness, Parkinson’s patients often have difficulty performing even the simplest tasks, such as picking up a glass of water or writing legibly on a piece of paper. But relief can come with the flip of a switch for some Parkinson’s sufferers. By surgically implanting devices called Deep Brain Stimulators (DBS) that electrically stimulate specific parts of the brain, symptoms of tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking impairments can be dramatically relieved.
A crucial step towards a successful outcome is determining whether an implanted device has been correctly placed. “The O-arm is absolutely essential to these surgeries because it allows us to confirm that the DBS is in the correct location in the brain so patients don’t have to come back for a second surgical procedure for corrections and adjustments. Prior to acquiring the O-arm, we used post-operative MRI to check the results, and patients had to come back for revision surgeries,” says Dr. Sadikot. Other advantages include: increased efficiency in the OR due to fast access to images – the O-arm takes just minutes to combine intra-operative CT with pre-op MRI - which also means increased safety due to minimized radiation exposure for surgical staff. The O-arm is used mainly in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease but it is also used with patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, cluster headaches and for some spinal surgeries.
The Neuro is in the midst of its largest ever campaign. The ‘Thinking Ahead’ Campaign is a five-year initiative to invest in people and expand facilities and services at The Neuro, and has raised over $42 million to date. The Campaign will help The Neuro, which is one of seven National Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research, achieve: the largest and most innovative brain imaging centre in the world, new treatment avenues for brain disease, a pioneering neuropalliative care centre, a world class spine and spinal cord repair centre, and global leadership in understanding and repairing the brain.
About the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The Montreal Neurological Institute was named as one of the Seven Centres of Excellence in Budget 2007, which provided the MNI with $15 million in funding to support its research and commercialization activities related to neurological disease and neuroscience.
BMO Financial Group
Founded in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group has a long tradition of community support and contributed more than $54 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations in 2010, supporting numerous health and higher education establishments in Quebec. BMO’s first donation was to a hospital in 1835.