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  • Author or Editor: Sameer A. Sheth x
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Robert A. McGovern and Sameer A. Sheth

OBJECTIVE

Advances in understanding the neurobiological basis of psychiatric disorders will improve the ability to refine neuromodulatory procedures for treatment-refractory patients. One of the core dysfunctions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a deficit in cognitive control, especially involving the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). The authors' aim was to derive a neurobiological understanding of the successful treatment of refractory OCD with psychiatric neurosurgical procedures targeting the dACC.

METHODS

First, the authors systematically conducted a review of the literature on the role of the dACC in OCD by using the search terms “obsessive compulsive disorder” and “anterior cingulate.” The neuroscience literature on cognitive control mechanisms in the dACC was then combined with the literature on psychiatric neurosurgical procedures targeting the dACC for the treatment of refractory OCD.

RESULTS

The authors reviewed 89 studies covering topics that included structural and functional neuroimaging and electrophysiology. The majority of resting-state functional neuroimaging studies demonstrated dACC hyperactivity in patients with OCD relative to that in controls, while task-based studies were more variable. Electrophysiological studies showed altered dACC-related biomarkers of cognitive control, such as error-related negativity in OCD patients. These studies were combined with the cognitive control neurophysiology literature, including the recently elaborated expected value of control theory of dACC function. The authors suggest that a central feature of OCD pathophysiology involves the generation of mis-specified cognitive control signals by the dACC, and they elaborate on this theory and provide suggestions for further study.

CONCLUSIONS

Although abnormalities in brain structure and function in OCD are distributed across a wide network, the dACC plays a central role. The authors propose a theory of cognitive control dysfunction in OCD that attempts to explain the therapeutic efficacy of dACC neuromodulation. This theoretical framework should help to guide further research into targeted treatments of OCD and other disorders of cognitive control.

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Charles B. Mikell, Saurabh Sinha and Sameer A. Sheth

The main objectives of this review were to provide an update on the progress made in understanding specific circuit abnormalities leading to psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia and to propose rational targets for therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS). Refractory schizophrenia remains a major unsolved clinical problem, with 10%–30% of patients not responding to standard treatment options. Progress made over the last decade was analyzed through reviewing structural and functional neuroimaging studies in humans, along with studies of animal models of schizophrenia. The authors reviewed theories implicating dysfunction in dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling in the pathophysiology of the disorder, paying particular attention to neurosurgically relevant nodes in the circuit. In this context, the authors focused on an important pathological circuit involving the associative striatum, anterior hippocampus, and ventral striatum, and discuss the possibility of targeting these nodes for therapeutic neuromodulation with DBS. Finally, the authors examined ethical considerations in the treatment of these vulnerable patients. The functional anatomy of neural circuits relevant to schizophrenia remains of great interest to neurosurgeons and psychiatrists and lends itself to the development of specific targets for neuromodulation. Ongoing progress in the understanding of these structures will be critical to the development of potential neurosurgical treatments of schizophrenia.

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Nir Lipsman and Andres M. Lozano

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Brett E. Youngerman, Andrew K. Chan, Charles B. Mikell, Guy M. McKhann and Sameer A. Sheth

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an emerging treatment option for an expanding set of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Despite growing enthusiasm, the patterns and implications of this rapid adoption are largely unknown. National trends in DBS surgery performed for all indications between 2002 and 2011 are reported.

METHODS

Using a national database of hospital discharges, admissions for DBS for 14 indications were identified and categorized as either FDA approved, humanitarian device exempt (HDE), or emerging. Trends over time were examined, differences were analyzed by univariate analyses, and outcomes were analyzed by hierarchical regression analyses.

RESULTS

Between 2002 and 2011, there were an estimated 30,490 discharges following DBS for approved indications, 1647 for HDE indications, and 2014 for emerging indications. The volume for HDE and emerging indications grew at 36.1% annually in comparison with 7.0% for approved indications. DBS for emerging indications occurred at hospitals with more neurosurgeons and neurologists locally, but not necessarily at those with the highest DBS caseloads. Patients treated for HDE and emerging indications were younger with lower comorbidity scores. HDE and emerging indications were associated with greater rates of reported complications, longer lengths of stay, and greater total costs.

CONCLUSIONS

DBS for HDE and emerging indications underwent rapid growth in the last decade, and it is not exclusively the most experienced DBS practitioners leading the charge to treat the newest indications. Surgeons may be selecting younger and healthier patients for their early experiences. Differences in reported complication rates warrant further attention and additional costs should be anticipated as surgeons gain experience with new patient populations and targets.

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Sameer A. Sheth, Jonathan Neal, Frances Tangherlini, Matthew K. Mian, Andre Gentil, G. Rees Cosgrove, Emad N. Eskandar and Darin D. Dougherty

Object

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and disabling psychiatric illness, and in a significant proportion of patients with OCD the disease is refractory to conventional pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. For more than half a century, patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD have been treated with stereotactic limbic system lesions, including dorsal anterior cingulotomy. The authors present their results describing the efficacy and durability of limbic system surgery for OCD, characterizing a large cohort of patients treated at a single institution with a mean follow-up of more than 5 years.

Methods

The authors identified 64 consecutive patients undergoing cingulotomy for refractory OCD at the Massachusetts General Hospital between 1989 and 2009. Changes in OCD and major depressive disorder symptom severity were assessed at both the initial and most recent postoperative follow-up by using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory, respectively. Full and partial OCD symptom responses were defined as Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score reductions of ≥ 35% and 25%–34%, respectively.

Results

Regarding OCD symptom improvement, at the first postoperative follow-up (mean 10.7 months), 35% of patients demonstrated a full response and 7% were partial responders. Thirty patients had a subsequent procedure (repeat cingulotomy or subcaudate tractotomy). By the most recent follow-up (mean 63.8 months), rates climbed to 47% and 22% for full and partial responses, respectively. Of the 24 patients with at least a partial response at initial follow-up, 20 (83%) retained at least a partial response at final follow-up. Comorbid major depressive disorder severity decreased by 17% at the most recent follow-up.

Conclusions

Limbic system surgery based on initial cingulotomy offers a durable and effective treatment option for appropriately selected patients with severe OCD who have not responded to conventional pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy.

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Vengalathur Ganesan Ramesh and Chandramouli Balasubramanian

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Lauren T. Brown, Charles B. Mikell, Brett E. Youngerman, Yuan Zhang, Guy M. McKhann II and Sameer A. Sheth

OBJECT

The object of this study was to perform a systematic review, according to Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) guidelines, of the clinical efficacy and adverse effect profile of dorsal anterior cingulotomy compared with anterior capsulotomy for the treatment of severe, refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

METHODS

The authors included studies comparing objective clinical measures before and after cingulotomy or capsulotomy (surgical and radiosurgical) in patients with OCD. Only papers reporting the most current follow-up data for each group of investigators were included. Studies reporting results on patients undergoing one or more procedures other than cingulotomy or capsulotomy were excluded. Case reports and studies with a mean follow-up shorter than 12 months were excluded. Clinical response was defined in terms of a change in the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score. The authors searched MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge through October 2013. English and non-English articles and abstracts were reviewed.

RESULTS

Ten studies involving 193 participants evaluated the length of follow-up, change in the Y-BOCS score, and postoperative adverse events (AEs) after cingulotomy (n = 2 studies, n = 81 participants) or capsulotomy (n = 8 studies, n = 112 participants). The average time to the last follow-up was 47 months for cingulotomy and 60 months for capsulotomy. The mean reduction in the Y-BOCS score at 12 months’ follow-up was 37% for cingulotomy and 55% for capsulotomy. At the last follow-up, the mean reduction in Y-BOCS score was 37% for cingulotomy and 57% for capsulotomy. The average full response rate to cingulotomy at the last follow-up was 41% (range 38%–47%, n = 2 studies, n = 51 participants), and to capsulotomy was 54% (range 37%–80%, n = 5 studies, n = 50 participants). The rate of transient AEs was 14.3% across cingulotomy studies (n = 116 procedures) and 56.2% across capsulotomy studies (n = 112 procedures). The rate of serious or permanent AEs was 5.2% across cingulotomy studies and 21.4% across capsulotomy studies.

CONCLUSIONS

This systematic review of the literature supports the efficacy of both dorsal anterior cingulotomy and anterior capsulotomy in this highly treatment-refractory population. The observational nature of available data limits the ability to directly compare these procedures. Controlled or head-to-head studies are necessary to identify differences in efficacy or AEs and may lead to the individualization of treatment recommendations.

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Brian P. Walcott, Jonathan B. Neal, Sameer A. Sheth, Kristopher T. Kahle, Emad N. Eskandar, Jean-Valery Coumans and Brian V. Nahed

Object

Dural closure with synthetic grafts has been suggested to contribute to the incidence of infection and CSF leak. The objective of this study was to assess the contribution of choice of dural closure material, as well as other factors, to the incidence of infection and CSF leak.

Methods

A retrospective, consecutive cohort study of adult patients undergoing elective craniotomy was established between April 2010 and March 2011 at a single center. Exclusion criteria consisted of trauma, bur hole placement alone, and temporary CSF fluid diversion.

Results

Three hundred ninety-nine patients were included (mean follow-up 396.6 days). Nonautologous (synthetic) dural substitute was more likely to be used (n = 106) in cases of reoperation (p = 0.001). Seventeen patients developed a surgical site infection and 12 patients developed a CSF leak. Multivariate logistic regression modeling identified estimated blood loss (OR 1.002, 95% CI 1.001–1.003; p < 0.001) and cigarette smoking (OR 2.198, 95% CI 1.109–4.238; p = 0.019) as significant predictors of infection. Synthetic dural graft was not a predictor of infection in multivariate analysis. Infratentorial surgery (OR 4.348, 95% CI 1.234–16.722; p = 0.024) and more than 8 days of postoperative corticosteroid treatment (OR 3.886, 95% CI 1.052–16.607; p = 0.048) were significant predictors for the development of CSF leak. Synthetic dural graft was associated with a lower likelihood of CSF leak (OR 0.072, 95% CI 0.003–0.552; p = 0.036).

Conclusions

The use of synthetic dural closure material is not associated with surgical site infection and is associated with a reduced incidence of CSF leak. Modifiable risk factors exist for craniotomy complications that warrant vigilance and further study.

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Brian P. Walcott, Churl-Su Kwon, Sameer A. Sheth, Corey R. Fehnel, Robert M. Koffie, Wael F. Asaad, Brian V. Nahed and Jean-Valery Coumans

Object

Decompressive craniectomy mandates subsequent cranioplasty. Complications of cranioplasty may be independent of the initial craniectomy, or they may be contingent upon the craniectomy. Authors of this study aimed to identify surgery- and patient-specific risk factors related to the development of surgical site infection and other complications following cranioplasty.

Methods

A consecutive cohort of patients of all ages and both sexes who had undergone cranioplasty following craniectomy for stroke or trauma at a single institution in the period from May 2004 to May 2012 was retrospectively established. Patients who had undergone craniectomy for infectious lesions or neoplasia were excluded. A logistic regression analysis was performed to model and predict determinants related to infection following cranioplasty.

Results

Two hundred thirty-nine patients met the study criteria. The overall rate of complication following cranioplasty was 23.85% (57 patients). Complications included, predominantly, surgical site infection, hydrocephalus, and new-onset seizures. Logistic regression analysis identified previous reoperation (OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.30–8.11, p = 0.01) and therapeutic indication for stroke (OR 2.45, 95% CI 1.11–5.39, p = 0.03) as significantly associated with the development of cranioplasty infection. Patient age, location of cranioplasty, presence of an intracranial device, bone flap preservation method, cranioplasty material, booking method, and time interval > 90 days between initial craniectomy and cranioplasty were not predictive of the development of cranioplasty infection.

Conclusions

Cranioplasty complications are common. Cranioplasty infection rates are predicted by reoperation following craniectomy and therapeutic indication (stroke). These variables may be associated with patient-centered risk factors that increase cranioplasty infection risk.

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Laura Salgado-López, Edith Pomarol-Clotet, Alexandra Roldán, Rodrigo Rodríguez, Joan Molet, Salvador Sarró, Enric Álvarez and Iluminada Corripio