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Newsletter from NEUROSURGIC


Sent to all members Aug 15, 2009.


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Activa RCMedtronic's Deep Brain Stimulation Devices Approved for Parkinson's and Essential Tremor

The FDA has given Medtronic approval to market the Activa RC and Active PC deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices, featuring the option of rechargeability, and indicated "for the treatment of the symptoms of advanced Parkinson's disease and essential tremor."

From the press release:

Both Activa RC and Activa PC devices provide bi-lateral stimulation (to both sides of the brain) and offer a more advanced approach to device programming, and additional tools for capturing history relevant to the patient's therapy. New programming options provide greater ability to fine tune the stimulation field and give patients more options to optimize their settings compared to previous DBS devices. Additionally, information about patient symptoms and side effects can be stored in the device, which is helpful to physicians in determining the best programming settings for each patient.

See movie from Medtronic about Activa therapy.

Read more on medGadget.com

AutoLITTTreating Untreatable Brain Tumors: FDA Approves New Laser Surgery

Monteris Medical Earns 510(k) Clearance for AutoLITT(TM)
KALAMAZOO, Mich., and WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 13. An MRI-guided laser surgery method, in investigational use at both The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, holds promise for thousands of brain tumor patients and has earned clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in neurosurgery. The first applications of the technology are expected to be for the treatment of otherwise inoperable brain tumors.


Read more on MONTERIS Medical

NussbaumNeurosurgeon Wins BrainLab Award for Stereotactic Radiosurgery Study

Eric Nussbaum, M.D., chair of the National Brain Aneurysm Center based at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., was presented with the 2009 BrainLAB Community Neurosurgeon Award at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) annual conference in San Diego on Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

The BrainLAB Community Neurosurgery Award is presented to a neurosurgeon practicing in a nonacademic setting with the best abstract related to central nervous system tumors. Dr. Nussbaum is receiving the award for his presentation entitled "Long-Term Follow-Up, Results and Complications of the Middle Fossa Approach for Hearing Preservation in Acoustic Neuromas"


Read more on itnonline.com

SyngoDigital Subtraction Angiography on a Single Image

Analyzing angiography sequences typically requires viewing a series of black and white images and noticing the differences the contrast medium created as it passed through the obstructions in the vessels. To help with visualization and to improve diagnosis, Siemens is releasing a new digital subtraction angiography (DSA) software, the syngo iFlow, that automates the process to produce a color image highlighting the path of the contrast medium.

Read more on Medgaget.com

The Risk of Neurosurgery - Residency Hours

It seems as though the field of neurosurgery is struggling to strike a balance between properly trained doctors with enough residency hours under their belt prior to going into practice, and the risks overworked medical students pose to their patients. Neurosurgery is full of "complex, high-risk tasks," according to this month's Journal of Neurosurgery. Residents must work long hard hours, which is thought to compromise the quality of their care. But without the training garnered by those long hard hours, neurosurgeons of tomorrow may pose a public health risk by making mistakes on their patients.

Read more on About.com.

Promising New Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Researchers at three U.S. institutions have been studying a new form of brain stimulation called cortical brain stimulation, with promising results.

"Imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies have demonstrated that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) area of the brain plays a critical role in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD)," said Emad N. Eskandar, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, who will be presenting the study results on May 5, 2009 at the 77th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Diego. "These findings prompted research in which we used an investigational epidural cortical stimulation system to deliver targeted stimulation to the left DLPFC in 12 patients with MDD."

Read more at About.com.

Utah neurosurgeon named AANS secretary

SAN DIEGO - William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD, will be named secretary of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons for the first year of a three-year term, at the AANS Annual Meeting in San Diego, on May 4 to 6.

An active member of the AANS since 1995, Couldwell has served on the AANS Board of Directors since 2006 as a director-at-large.

He is chair of both the Development Committee and the editorial board of the association's peer-reviewed socioeconomic publication, AANS Neurosurgeon. He is also a member of the following committees: Executive, Finance, NeurosurgeryPAC Board of Directors, the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation Executive Council and Strategic Planning.

Read more on thespectrum.com

New imaging analysis predicts brain tumor survival

U-M researchers develop 'parametric response map' to analyze changes in a tumor’s blood flow.

Ann Arbor - As early as one week after beginning treatment for brain tumors, a new imaging analysis method was able to predict which patients would live longer, researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found. The method uses a standard magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, protocol to monitor changes over time in tumor blood volume within individual voxels of the image, rather than a composite view of average change within the tumor. This parametric response map allowed researchers to see specific areas in which tumor blood volume increased or decreased, that may have canceled each other out when looking at the changes as an average.

Results of the study appear in the advance online edition of Nature Medicine.

Read more - University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Neurosurgery meets Social Media

On March 18, 2009, Henry Ford neurosurgeons Kost Elisevich and Steven Kalkanis led a team of doctors in a surgical procedure to remove a brain tumor.

The 47-year old male patient had recently been diagnosed with a tumor in the speech area of his brain. During the surgical procedure, called an awake craniotomy, the patient was put to sleep while his brain was exposed, then awakened to answer questions while the surgical team mapped out the specific areas of his brain involved in speech. Once the mapping was complete, the the patient was put back to sleep while the surgeons removed the tumor, avoiding the sensitive areas identified during the mapping procedure.

Although awake craniotomies are not unusual these days, the thing that made this surgery unique was that the patient agreed to allow his surgical team to broadcast their progress during the surgery on Twitter, and upload video to YouTube.


Read more and see movies on Brain Tumor Action Network

Neurosurgeon who beat the odds speaks at Erlanger

It took a marathon 19-hour surgery to remove the bulging tumor from the top of the child’s head, then meticulously piece the head back together.

But despite a “spectacularly” successful surgery, the baby died three weeks later, according to the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. Ben Carson.

The child had languished in a nursing home “waiting to die” before Johns Hopkins doctors were made aware of the situation, and that delay had allowed the tumor to spread, Dr. Carson said Thursday during a lecture at Erlanger hospital.

Read more from Chattanooga Times Free Press

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