Watching The Brain At Work

For Albert Taxin, the first hint of trouble came one steamy day last July. The 52-year-old owner of Philadelphia's venerable Bookbinder's restaurant collapsed while jogging. His physician wrote it off as heat stroke, but then it happened again, and again. Finally, neurosurgeons found a malignant brain tumor--and the nightmare began. Doctor after doctor refused to operate, fearing that surgery would leave Taxin an invalid. The tumor had displaced the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement, and the doctors were unsure of its exact location. Eventually, one neurosurgeon sent Taxin to Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif., for an experimental brain scan known as magnetic source imaging (MSI).

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