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  • Author or Editor: Asad S. Akhter x
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Miki Katzir, Aboubakr T. Amer, Asad S. Akhter, Stephanus V. Viljoen and Ehud Mendel

The patient is a 69-year-old woman with a history of atlantoaxial instability and cervical pain who underwent an occipital-cervical fusion at an outside hospital. Five days following the procedure she required a PEG tube due to progressive dysphagia. Compared with preoperative imaging, x-ray shows cervical spine hyperextension with a significant decrease in the occipital–C2 angle. A swallow test confirmed aspiration and pharyngeal phase functional impairment. Two-stage surgery consisted of hardware removal, drilling the fused right C1–2 facet, reinstrumentation, and halo placement. The swallowing test confirmed there is no aspiration. We proceeded with rod placement. The patient recovered completely.

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Russell R. Lonser, Asad S. Akhter, Mirosław Zabek, J. Bradley Elder and Krystof S. Bankiewicz

Molecular biological insights have led to a fundamental understanding of the underlying genomic mechanisms of nervous system disease. These findings have resulted in the identification of therapeutic genes that can be packaged in viral capsids for the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions, including neurodegenerative, metabolic, and enzyme deficiency disorders. Recent data have demonstrated that gene-carrying viral vectors (most often adeno-associated viruses) can be effectively distributed by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) in a safe, reliable, targeted, and homogeneous manner across the blood-brain barrier. Critically, these vectors can be monitored using real-time MRI of a co-infused surrogate tracer to accurately predict vector distribution and transgene expression at the perfused site. The unique properties of CED of adeno-associated virus vectors allow for cell-specific transgene manipulation of the infused anatomical site and/or widespread interconnected sites via antero- and/or retrograde transport. The authors review the convective properties of viral vectors, associated technology, and clinical applications.