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Concept: Neurosurgery

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To assess effectiveness of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA, Gliolan(®)) in patients treated for malignant glioma under typical daily practice conditions in Spain, using complete resection rate (CR) and progression free survival at 6 months (PFS6).

Concepts: Glioma, Neurosurgery, Resection

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Vestibular schwannoma is the most frequent cerebellopontine angle tumor. The aim of our study is to reflect our experience in the surgical treatment of this tumor MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective study of 420 vestibular schwannomas operated in our hospital between 1994-2014. We include tumor size, preoperative hearing, surgical approaches, definitive facial and hearing functional results, and complications due to surgery.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Al-Andalus, Neurosurgery, Vestibular schwannoma, Schwannoma

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A brief overview of failed back surgery syndrome, with emphasis on low back pain status post spinal cord stimulation, and post-surgical spinal manipulation is presented.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Back pain, Neurosurgery

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The aim was to investigate associations between different measures of socioeconomic position (SEP) and incidence of brain tumours (glioma, meningioma and acoustic neuroma) in a nationwide population-based cohort.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Cancer, Oncology, Brain tumor, Types of cancer, Neurology, Neurosurgery

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Eva Perón, best known as Evita, underwent a prefrontal lobotomy in 1952. Although the procedure was said to have been performed to relieve the pain of metastatic cancer, the author carried out a search for evidence that suggests that the procedure was prescribed to decrease violence and to modify Evita’s behavior and personality, and not just for pain control. To further elucidate the circumstances surrounding the treatment of this well-known historic figure, the author reviewed the development of the procedure known as prefrontal lobotomy and its three main indications: management of psychiatric illness, control of intractable pain from terminal cancer, and mind control and behavior/personality modification. The role of pioneering neurosurgeons in the development of prefrontal lobotomy, particularly in Connecticut and at Yale University, was also studied, and the political and historical conditions in Argentina in 1952 and to the present were analyzed. Evita was the wife of Juan Perón, who was the supreme leader of the Peronist party as well as president of Argentina. In 1952, however, the Peronist government in Argentina was bicephalic because Evita led the left wing of the party and ran the Female Peronist Party and the Eva Perón Foundation. She was followed by a group of hardcore loyalists interested in accelerating the revolution. Evita was also suffering from metastatic cervical cancer, and her illness increased her anxiety and moved her to purchase weapons to start training workers' militias. Although the apparent purpose was to fight her husband’s enemies, this was done without his knowledge. She delivered fiery political speeches and wrote incendiary documents that would have led to a fierce clash in the country at that time. Notwithstanding the disreputable connotation of conspiracy theories, evidence was found of a potentially sinister political conspiracy, led by General Perón, to quiet down his wife Evita and modify her behavior/personality to decrease her belligerence, in addition to treating her cancer-related pain. Psychosurgery was purportedly intended to calm Evita and thus avoid a bloody civil war in Argentina. It was carried out in maximum secrecy and involved a distinguished American neurosurgeon, Dr. James L. Poppen, from the Lahey Clinic in Boston. A recorded and videotaped interview with a former scrub nurse and confidante of Dr. James L. Poppen revealed that prior to the lobotomy on Eva Perón, he performed lobotomies on a few prisoners in the prison system in Buenos Aires. Later, Dr. Poppen seems to have regretted his involvement and participation in this sad chapter in Argentine history. The treatment of Evita at the end of her life was influenced by extraordinary circumstances of time and place but also involved general issues of medical professionalism, the ethics of neuroscience, and the risks of being manipulated by labyrinthine byzantine politics. This story serves as a reminder that any physician, even one considered to be one of the best in the world, may act naively and become a pawn in a game he cannot begin to fathom.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Neurosurgery, Argentina, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón, Lobotomy, Juan Perón

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an effective neurosurgical tool to treat a range of conditions. Its use in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia is now well established and has been approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). The NICE does, however, emphasise the need for a multidisciplinary team to manage these patients. Such a team is traditionally composed of neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists. Neuropsychiatrists, however, are increasingly recognised as essential members given many psychiatric considerations that may arise in patients undergoing DBS. Patient selection, assessment of competence to consent and treatment of postoperative psychiatric disease are just a few areas where neuropsychiatric input is invaluable. Partly driven by this close team working and partly based on the early history of DBS for psychiatric disorders, there is increasing interest in re-exploring the potential of neurosurgery to treat patients with psychiatric disease, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although the clinical experience and evidence with DBS in this group of patients are steadily increasing, many questions remain unanswered. Yet, the characteristics of optimal surgical candidates, the best choice of DBS target, the most effective stimulating parameters and the extent of postoperative improvement are not clear for most psychiatric conditions. Further research is therefore required to define how DBS can be best utilised to improve the quality of life of patients with psychiatric disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Neurology, Parkinson's disease, Deep brain stimulation, Dystonia, Mental disorder, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry

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In a previous study we found significantly decreased N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and total N-acetyl (tNA) groups in the thalamus of patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) compared with healthy individuals (HI). No significant difference between the groups could be found in the frontal deep white matter (FDWM).

Concepts: Dementia, White matter, Neurosurgery, Pressure, Hydrocephalus, Normal pressure hydrocephalus

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The classic cut and sew maze is thought to reduce stroke, in part because of left atrial appendage (LAA) elimination. Multiple LAA elimination techniques have evolved with the introduction of new surgical treatment options for atrial fibrillation (AF), but the impact on stroke remains unknown. We studied the rate of late neurologic event (LNE) in the era of contemporary AF surgery.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Atrial fibrillation, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Atrial flutter, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Left atrial appendage

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Object The focus of the present study was the evaluation of outcomes after unstaged and staged-volume Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in children harboring intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Methods Twenty-two children (median age 9.5 years) underwent GKS for AVMs and were followed up for at least 2 years thereafter. The disease manifested with intracranial hemorrhage in 77% of cases. In 68% of patients the lesion affected eloquent brain structures. The volume of the nidus ranged from 0.1 to 6.7 cm(3). Gamma Knife surgery was guided mainly by data from dynamic contrast-enhanced CT scans, with preferential targeting of the junction between the nidus and draining vein. The total prescribed isodose volume was kept below 4.0 cm(3), and the median margin dose was 22 Gy (range 20-25 Gy). If the volume of the nidus was larger than 4.0 cm(3), a second radiosurgical session was planned for 3-4 years after the first one. Nine patients in the present series underwent unstaged radiosurgery, whereas staged-volume treatment was scheduled in 13 patients. Results Complete obliteration of the AVM was noted in 17 (77%) of 22 patients within a median period of 47 months after the last radiosurgical session. Complete obliteration of the lesion occurred in 89% of patients after unstaged treatment and in 62.5% after staged GKS. Four (67%) of 6 high-grade AVMs were completely obliterated. Complications included 3 bleeding episodes, the appearance of a region of hyperintensity on T(2)-weighted MR images in 2 patients who had no symptoms, and reappearance of the nidus in the vicinity of the completely obliterated AVM in 1 patient. Conclusions Radiosurgery is a highly effective management option for intracranial AVMs in children. For larger lesions, staged GKS may be applied successfully. Initial targeting of the nidus adjacent to the draining vein and application of a sufficient radiation dose to a relatively small volume (≤ 4 cm(3)) provides a good balance between a high probability of obliteration and a low risk of treatment-related complications.

Concepts: Brain tumor, Anatomical pathology, Radiobiology, Gamma knife, Neurosurgery, Congenital disorders, Arteriovenous malformation, Cerebral arteriovenous malformation

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