Living brain image wins photography prize

June 27, 2012 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

This image of a living human brain, taken during surgery, won the 2012 Wellcome Trust Award for biomedical photography. Robert Ludlow, UCL Institute of Neurology, London; Wellcome Trust.

“Through the skill of the photographer, we have the privilege of seeing something which is normally hidden away inside our skulls,” Roberts said in a statement. “The arteries are bright scarlet with oxygenated blood, the veins deep purple, and the ‘grey matter’ of the brain a flushed, delicate pink. It is quite extraordinary.”

Medical photographer Robert Ludlow captured the image of the living brain while observing brain surgery on a patient with epilepsy. Neurosurgeons implanted electrodes in the brain to detect areas where typical electrical communications in the brain had gone haywire, triggering seizures. In subsequent surgery, these areas were removed, and the patient made a full recovery.

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