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Doug Kondziolka, William T. Couldwell and James T. Rutka

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Won Seok Chang, Midori Nakajima, Ayako Ochi, Elysa Widjaja, James T. Rutka, Ivanna Yau, Shiro Baba and Hiroshi Otsubo

Advanced dynamic statistical parametric mapping (AdSPM) with magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to identify MRI-negative epileptogenic lesions in this report. A 15-year-old girl had MRI-negative and pharmacology-resistant focal-onset epilepsy. She experienced two types of seizures. Type I consisted of her arousal from sleep, staring, and a forced head-turning movement to the left, followed by secondary generalization. Type II began with an aura of dizziness followed by staring and postictal headache with fatigue. Scalp video-electroencephalography (EEG) captured two type I seizures originating from the right frontocentral region. MEG showed scattered dipoles over the right frontal region. AdSPM identified the spike source at the bottom of the right inferior frontal sulcus. Intracranial video-EEG captured one type I seizure, which originated from the depth electrode at the bottom of the sulcus and correlated with the AdSPM spike source. Accordingly, the patient underwent resection of the middle and inferior frontal gyri, including the AdSPM-identified spike source. Histopathological examination revealed that the patient had focal cortical dysplasia type IIB. To date, the patient has been seizure free for 2 years while receiving topiramate treatment. This is the first preliminary report to identify MRI-negative epilepsy using AdSPM. Further investigation of AdSPM would be valuable for cases of MRI-negative focal epilepsy.

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Eisha A. Christian, Elysa Widjaja, Ayako Ochi, Hiroshi Otsubo, Stephanie Holowka, Elizabeth Donner, Shelly K. Weiss, Cristina Go, James Drake, O. Carter Snead and James T. Rutka

OBJECTIVE

Small lesions at the depth of the sulcus, such as with bottom-of-sulcus focal cortical dysplasia, are not visible from the surface of the brain and can therefore be technically challenging to resect. In this technical note, the authors describe their method of using depth electrodes as landmarks for the subsequent resection of these exacting lesions.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed on pediatric patients who had undergone invasive electroencephalography with depth electrodes that were subsequently used as guides for resection in the period between July 2015 and June 2017.

RESULTS

Ten patients (3–15 years old) met the criteria for this study. At the same time as invasive subdural grid and/or strip insertion, between 2 and 4 depth electrodes were placed using a hand-held frameless neuronavigation technique. Of the total 28 depth electrodes inserted, all were found within the targeted locations on postoperative imaging. There was 1 patient in whom an asymptomatic subarachnoid hemorrhage was demonstrated on postprocedural imaging. Depth electrodes aided in target identification in all 10 cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Depth electrodes placed at the time of invasive intracranial electrode implantation can be used to help localize, target, and resect primary zones of epileptogenesis caused by bottom-of-sulcus lesions.

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James T. Rutka

With this landmark issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS), we celebrate the 75th anniversary of continuous publication of articles in neurosurgery. It is likely not a coincidence that the diamond anniversary of the JNS coincides precisely with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Harvey Cushing. It is possible that some events in life are inextricably and cosmically tied together, such as the birth of the founding father of our specialty, the society named after him that ultimately became the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), and the journal of this organization—the JNS.

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Han Yan, Eric Toyota, Melanie Anderson, Taylor J. Abel, Elizabeth Donner, Suneil K. Kalia, James Drake, James T. Rutka and George M. Ibrahim

OBJECTIVE

Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) presents a therapeutic challenge in children, necessitating the consideration of multiple treatment options. Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been studied in adults with DRE, little evidence is available to guide clinicians regarding the application of this potentially valuable tool in children. Here, the authors present the first systematic review aimed at understanding the safety and efficacy of DBS for DRE in pediatric populations, emphasizing patient selection, device placement and programming, and seizure outcomes.

METHODS

The systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and recommendations. Relevant articles were identified from 3 electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane CENTRAL) from their inception to November 17, 2017. Inclusion criteria of individual studies were 1) diagnosis of DRE; 2) treatment with DBS; 3) inclusion of at least 1 pediatric patient (age ≤ 18 years); and 4) patient-specific data. Exclusion criteria for the systematic review included 1) missing data for age, DBS target, or seizure freedom; 2) nonhuman subjects; and 3) editorials, abstracts, review articles, and dissertations.

RESULTS

This review identified 21 studies and 40 unique pediatric patients (ages 4–18 years) who received DBS treatment for epilepsy. There were 18 patients with electrodes placed in the bilateral or unilateral centromedian nucleus of the thalamus (CM) electrodes, 8 patients with bilateral anterior thalamic nucleus (ATN) electrodes, 5 patients with bilateral and unilateral hippocampal electrodes, 3 patients with bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) and 1 patient with unilateral STN electrodes, 2 patients with bilateral posteromedial hypothalamus electrodes, 2 patients with unilateral mammillothalamic tract electrodes, and 1 patient with caudal zona incerta electrode placement. Overall, 5 of the 40 (12.5%) patients had an International League Against Epilepsy class I (i.e., seizure-free) outcome, and 34 of the 40 (85%) patients had seizure reduction with DBS stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS

DBS is an alternative or adjuvant treatment for children with DRE. Prospective registries and future clinical trials are needed to identify the optimal DBS target, although favorable outcomes are reported with both CM and ATN in children.

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James T. Rutka

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Joao Paulo Almeida, Carlos Velásquez, Claire Karekezi, Miguel Marigil, Mojgan Hodaie, James T. Rutka and Mark Bernstein

OBJECTIVE

International collaborations between high-income (HICs) and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been developed as an attempt to reduce the inequalities in surgical care around the world. In this paper the authors review different models for international surgical education and describe projects developed by the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto in this field.

METHODS

The authors conducted a review of models of international surgical education reported in the literature in the last 15 years. Previous publications on global neurosurgery reported by the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto were reviewed to exemplify the applications and challenges of international surgical collaborations.

RESULTS

The most common models for international surgical education and collaboration include international surgical missions, long-term international partnerships, fellowship training models, and online surgical education. Development of such collaborations involves different challenges, including limited time availability, scarce funding/resources, sociocultural barriers, ethical challenges, and lack of organizational support. Of note, evaluation of outcomes of international surgical projects remains limited, and the development and application of assessment tools, such as the recently proposed Framework for the Assessment of International Surgical Success (FAIRNeSS), is encouraged.

CONCLUSIONS

Actions to reduce inequality in surgical care should be implemented around the world. Different models can be used for bilateral exchange of knowledge and improvement of surgical care delivery in regions where there is poor access to surgical care. Implementation of global neurosurgery initiatives faces multiple limitations that can be ameliorated if systematic changes occur, such as the development of academic positions in global surgery, careful selection of participant centers, governmental and nongovernmental financial support, and routine application of outcome evaluation for international surgical collaborations.

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Taylor J. Abel, Emma Losito, George M. Ibrahim, Eishi Asano and James T. Rutka

Epileptic spasms (ES) are a common manifestation of intractable epilepsy in early life and can lead to devastating neurodevelopmental consequences. Epilepsy surgery for ES is challenging because of inherent difficulties in localizing the epileptogenic zone in affected infants and children. However, recent clinical series of resective neurosurgery for ES suggest that not only is surgery a viable option for appropriately selected patients, but postoperative seizure outcomes can be similar to those achieved in other types of focal epilepsy. Increased awareness of ES as a potentially focal epilepsy, along with advances in neuroimaging and invasive monitoring technologies, have led to the ability to surgically treat many patients with ES who were previously not considered surgical candidates. In this study, the authors review the current state of epilepsy surgery for ES. Specifically, they address how advances in neuroimaging and invasive monitoring have facilitated patient selection, presurgical evaluation, and ultimately, resection planning.