Neurosurgical Focus Call for Papers

New submissions should be prepared following the Instructions for Authors.

The subject matter of your manuscript must fit the monthly topic; if it does not fit the topic, your manuscript will not be processed for peer review.

Information concerning Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Please note that systematic reviews (summary of scholarly literature related to a particular research topic or question) and meta-analyses (statistical techniques to combine data from the examined individual research studies) will only be considered for publication if they represent a contribution to the existing literature, and provide insights that help guide practice. Similarly, reviews of national databases should not be submitted if they do not add substantially to our previous knowledge from previously published studies citing novel primary data.

Please submit your manuscript through Neurosurgical Focus submission site.

When you have logged in, click “Submit a Manuscript” and continue on with your submission. Please select the correct monthly topic from the pulldown menu choices. Complete all steps as directed, through to the Submit button.

Please note: submission deadlines are firm (midnight E.T. on the date listed each month) and no late submissions will be considered.

Authors submitting to 2023 issues: The Neurosurgical Focus submission site is undergoing an upgrade and will open for submissions mid-summer. Authors will need to use the new site, as the previous site will be inactive.

2023 Issues

February 2023 - Neurosurgical management of psychiatric disease

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2022

Topic Editors: Sameer Sheth (lead), Emad Eskandar, Rees Cosgrove, Nicole McLaughlin


The neurosurgical management of severe psychiatric disorders continues to evolve in sophistication and grow in utilization. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedures are benefiting from new technology, increased individualization of targeting, ever-improving outcomes, and many other features. Lesion procedures are still actively utilized, fueled by new methodologies, increasingly nuanced strategies for implementation, technical refinements, and attendant improved outcomes. At the same time, many challenges remain, including patient acceptance, psychiatry awareness and referral, insurance coverage, and many others. This issue will cover the broad range of topics related to this expanding and exciting field.

March 2023 - Management of Chiari malformation and craniocervical anomalies

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2022

Topic Editors: Dave Limbrick (lead), Atul Goel, Douglas Brockmeyer, Jennifer Strahle


Substantial advances have been made over the past decade in the fields Chiari malformation, syringomyelia, and related craniocervical anomalies. Imaging, genetics, and robust clinical research have led to the recognition of the complexity of pathophysiology in this region with implications for patient outcomes. We invite manuscripts that focus on translating this understanding to enhance both conventional and innovative neurosurgical treatments.

April 2023 - Adult hydrocephalus: advancements in diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes

Submission Deadline: December 1, 2022

Topic Editors: Mark Hamilton (lead), Hanna Israelsson, Giorgio Palandri, Benjamin Elder, Michael Williams


Adult hydrocephalus is a heterogeneous disorder occurring in a diverse grouping of patients spanning ages from the late teens through elder years, involving different etiologies, pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and treatment needs. The socioeconomic and health system issues are complex and under-evaluated. Better characterization of the diagnostic modalities used for patients with hydrocephalus, such as advanced MRI techniques, neuropsychological evaluation, and CSF removal strategies, has occurred during the last decade. No successful medical therapy currently exists. While surgical treatment procedures with both shunts and endoscopy have evolved, more emphasis needs to be placed on the assessment of patient-specific outcomes and quality of life, not on just shunt-survival measures. Diagnostic and treatment approaches should preferably be evaluated using predefined, objective, and patient-specific outcome metrics combined with both the measurement and reduction of diagnostic and treatment complications. We invite articles that address any of these topics.

May 2023 - Contemporary indications for flow diversion

Submission Deadline: January 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Adam Arthur (lead), Stravropoula Tjoumakaris, Peter Kim Nelson, Ramesh Grandhi


Much has changed in the eleven years since the first flow diverter was approved for usage in the United States. We now have diverse stent structures, surface modifications, and potential applications. This is an area where technology and medical opinions have changed rapidly. In the modern era, when should physicians employ flow diversion?

June 2023 - Machine learning in neurosurgery

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Mohamad Bydon (lead), John Shin, Shelly Timmons, Eric Potts


Machine Learning (ML) is an evolving analytical tool used to predict surgical outcomes, describe risk factors, and highlight interactions between variables. The literature has recently observed an increasing trend of ML in various studies. Multiple ML models have been reported in recent neurosurgical studies including ones with the ability to self-learn and evaluate multivariate interaction from experience. This issue will include ML models in neurosurgical research to predict risks associated with patient characteristics, diagnoses, and procedures. The issue will encourage predictive models that have high potential for clinical applications in the near future. ML models that include imaging parameters or multi-omic data will receive special interest based on their ability to describe the correlation between neuroradiology or basic sciences with clinical practice.

July 2023 - Sacroiliac joint dysfunction: diagnosis and treatment options

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Paul Park (lead), Juan Uribe, Kristen Jones, Yamaan Saadeh, Cristiano Menezes


The sacroiliac (SI) joint is an important source of back pain in the general population, with prior studies estimating rates of 15-20% of back pain etiology being related to the SI joint. SI joint pain related to failed back surgery is also common, with studies quoting the prevalence of such pain at 29%. There is a high chance of neurosurgeons encountering SI related pathology within the context of spine related care, and it is important that neurosurgeons be able to identify and manage SI related pain. SI joint pain is difficult to diagnose, and SI related pain is commonly misdiagnosed as lumbar related. This can result in delays or ineffective care, decreased patient quality of life, and decreased satisfaction. Misdiagnosed SI related pain may also lead to unnecessary interventions and potential patient harm. This issue will raise awareness of the incidence of SI related pain pathologies, understanding the pathophysiology of SI joint related pain particularly with reference to prior lumbar surgery, and providing resources to help improve recognition and appropriate management of SI joint related pathology..

August 2023 - Update on brain metastases

Submission Deadline: April 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Manish Aghi (lead), Priscilla Brastianos, Albert Kim, Steve Kalkanis, Joerg-Christian Tonn


Brain metastases are the most common adult intracranial tumor and confer a significantly worse prognosis compared to patients with systemic cancers lacking brain metastases. Multiple therapeutic modalities are available to treat brain metastases including surgery, radiation, and systemic therapy. Accordingly, multidisciplinary approaches are needed to personalize patient care and optimize patient outcomes. Recently, we have witnessed advances in surgical techniques for treating brain metastases such as the development of stereotactic techniques like laser interstitial thermal therapy. We have also witnessed increasing development of systemic therapies that penetrate the blood-brain barrier for treating brain metastases, including novel molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapies. Although historically, patients with brain metastases had been excluded from systemic cancer clinical trials, an increasing number of trials are now allowing for the inclusion of patients with brain metastases, and, more importantly, additional trials are launching specifically for patients with brain metastases. Results from these trials offer abundant data that can be used to guide treatment decision making and management options, including towards the goal of a precision medicine approach for patients with brain metastases. This issue of Neurosurgical Focus will integrate the breadth of information available on advances in brain metastases management, active research that will drive future treatments, and a roadmap to guide the development of future areas of research.

September 2023 - Cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Praveen Mummaneni (lead), Andrew Chan, Erica Bisson, Mohamad Bydon


In those older than 50 years of age, cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the most common etiology of acquired neurological disability. Surgical decompression is indicated for those with progressive or severe neurological deficits. However, the optimal approach—ventral versus dorsal—remains unclear despite multiple studies on the topic. This issue will highlight original scientific manuscripts devoted to CSM. Modern analyses of prognosis, therapeutics, operative approaches, and surgical outcomes are welcome. Of note, studies focusing on comparative effectiveness research—especially leveraging high- quality prospective datasets—are sought. Investigations involving quality, safety, value, and complications are also encouraged.

October 2023 - Management and controversies of antithrombotic medication in neurosurgery

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Jehuda Soleman (lead), R. Loch Macdonald, Ladina Greuter


Life expectancy is rising worldwide, therefore neurosurgical patients suffering traumatic brain injury or undergoing elective or emergent brain and spine procedures, or are more often of advanced age and under the effect of antithrombotic agents (e.g. aspirin, clopidogrel, vitamin K antagonists, heparin, or different oral anticoagulants). This presents a major challenge for the perioperative but also conservative treatment of these patients, weighing the risk of bleeding against the risk of thrombo-embolic complications. Traditionally, antithrombotics are interrupted for an extended period of time in neurosurgical patients, exposing them to a certain thrombo-embolic risk, however, clear consensus is currently lacking in the literature. The focus of this issue is to address this growing dilemma and improve the knowledge and develop guidelines for the management of patients treated with antithrombotics undergoing brain and spine surgery. Another focus of this issue is the conservative management of traumatic brain injury and other conservatively managed neurosurgical diseases (e.g. cavernoma, AVM, arachnoid cysts) in patients under antithrombotic treatment, as well as topics on the potential benefit of antithrombotic therapy in neurosurgical diseases (e.g. unruptured aneurysms, stroke). Original papers exploring this growing and important filed are encouraged for peer-review.

November 2023 - topic title pending

Submission Deadline: July 1, 2023

December 2023 - Enhanced recovery after cranial surgery

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2023

Topic Editors: Walavan Sivakumar (lead), Luca Regli, Sarah Menacho, Randy D'Amico, Neil Martin


Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols represent a multimodal longitudinal approach to decrease the stress response associated with surgery and hospitalization. Since its inception in abdominal surgery over 20 years ago, substantial improvements in length of stay, reduced costs, complication, and readmission rates have resulted in its rapid adoption across the surgical continuum. Current society guidelines in colorectal, bariatric, head and neck, plastic, thoracic and orthopedic surgery have sped up the adoption of these evidence-based protocols in their respective sub-specialties. Recent work has illustrated ERAS success in spine and peripheral nerve surgery, prompting a focus on ERAS protocols for cranial surgery. This issue will examine the recent developments in cranial ERAS protocols, quality improvement measures, key performance indicator recommendations and lessons learned during ERAS protocol implementation across various care models. Additional focus will be placed on the efficacy of novel technological adjuncts to facilitate ERAS protocols in cranial patients.

Upcoming Issues (no longer accepting submissions)

October 2022 - Pediatric functional disease
Topic Editors: P. David Adelson (lead), Erin Kiehna, George Ibrahim, Chima Oluigbo

November 2022 - Evolution of radiation therapy techniques
Topic Editors: Arjun Sahgal (lead), Jason Sheehan, Ajay Niranjan, Lola Chambless, Lijun Ma, Daniel Trifiletti

December 2022 - Personalized medicine in treatment of neurooncology and neurosurgical disease
Topic Editors: Howard Colman (lead), Priscilla Brastianos, Susan Chang, Michael Vogelbaum

January 2023 - Minimally invasive surgery of lumbar spine
Topic Editors: Robert Heary (lead), Cara Sedney, Timothy Witham, Dean Chou, Xu Sun