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Connectomics

The study of brain connections.

Connectomix is excited to introduce and educate clinicians in the field of Connectomics, the study of brain connections. We are expanding our network and are collaborating with leading clinicians in the fields of Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Rehabilitation Medicine.

All TMS treatments at Connectomix are planned by referring physicians that have been educated and trained in the use of personalised brain mapping technology. Patients remain under the care of their referring physician throughout the treatment process. Should you be interested in finding out more on how you can integrate personalised brain mapping technology and TMS into your practice, please contact us for more information.​

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We offer personalised brain mapping and TMS services.

Rapid advances in neuroscience over the past decade have had poor translation into clinical practice. The human connectome project, an NIH funded initiative has generated a wealth of data outlining how brain connections translate into function and how this relates to clinical disease. Up until recently, leveraging this knowledge into clinically useful information has not been possible outside of highly funded Ivy league settings in the US. This has changed. Connectomix aims to make personalised brain mapping technology and its application through transcranial magnetic stimulation, surgical planning and diagnostics accessible to South Africa.​

Making meaningful connections

The application of resting state fMRI to the study of psychiatric conditions has led to a fundamental change in how psychiatric disease is diagnosed and thought about. In 2017, Drysdale et al. published a landmark paper in Nature, whereby patients with depression, when compared to a control group, had distinct aberrations in cerebral connectivity. These aberrations could be used for diagnostic purposes and as predictors of treatment response.​

At a fundamental level, this study gave ground to the fact that depression is a disorder of aberrant cerebral connectivity and that the connectivity problem can be detected by studying resting state fMRIs. While these findings were ground-breaking, there is a serious translational medicine problem, whereby the vast majority of clinicians are not able to access the technology required to analyse resting state fMRIs in a meaningful manner.​

Connectomix, through our partnership with Omniscient Neurotechnology, can provide your practice with the ability to analyse your patient’s brain connectivity in exactly this manner, with the purpose of extracting clinically useful information. We will obtain the specialised MRI imaging for your patients and train you in the analysis of resting state fMRI data. Importantly, we will train you to identify targets for transcranial magnetic stimulation based on your patients personalised brain map. This will empower you to make your own TMS plans and allow you to augment your practice with TMS capability.​

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

The TMS arm of Connectomix in South Africa is underpinned by the use of AI generated personalised brain maps to identify TMS targets that are patient specific. This requires accurate physical identification of TMS targets. As such, we have invested heavily in a cutting-edge navigated and robotic TMS systems.​

Navigated TMS accurately maps the scalp in relation to the underlying brain. This is achieved by loading patient MRI data onto navigation software. With use of a registration probe and a reference frame that is placed on the patient’s forehead a three-dimensional brain and scalp model is created in real space. By extrapolation, the exact position of each brain segment is deduced by its relationship to the scalp. This information can then be used to localise and treat TMS targets with precision.​

As Connectomix is using highly sophisticated brain maps, targeting accuracy is central to the service we provide. Connectomix has put extensive procedures in place to ensure accurate TMS targeting is achieved. Staff are extensively trained, a Neuroscientist is in charge of overseeing treatment accuracy and there is continuous auditing of the navigation process to keep it at a standard equivalent to that used in Neurosurgical operative practice. We aim to provide world-class TMS treatment that is based on deep scientific understanding of the human connectome and cutting-edge technology.​

The application of patient specific connectivity-based brain maps into clinical practice is a monumental step for translational medicine. Comprehension of the information provided by these maps and implementation of executable treatment plans in the form of TMS has potential to significantly change the lives of countless patients suffering from mental illness and other problems.​

In achieving this endeavour, Connectomix aims to make personalised brain mapping technology and its application through diagnostics, transcranial magnetic stimulation and surgical planning accessible to all interested clinicians in Southern Africa and by extrapolation to their patients. We are genuinely excited by the opportunity to equip your practice with both personalised brain data diagnostic tools and TMS treatment capability. We look forward to working together.​

In achieving this endeavour, Connectomix aims to make personalised brain mapping technology and its application through diagnostics, transcranial magnetic stimulation and surgical planning accessible to all interested clinicians in Southern Africa and by extrapolation to their patients. We are genuinely excited by the opportunity to equip your practice with both personalised brain data diagnostic tools and TMS treatment capability. We look forward to working together.​

SELECTED REFERENCE LINKS

Resting-state connectivity biomarkers define neurophysiological subtypes of depression.
Drysdale AT, et al. Nat Med. Jan 23(i)28 – 30. PMID: 27918562

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