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Brittany Staarmann, Matthew Smith and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

Wall shear stress, the frictional force of blood flow tangential to an artery lumen, has been demonstrated in multiple studies to influence aneurysm formation and risk of rupture. In this article, the authors review the ways in which shear stress may influence aneurysm growth and rupture through changes in the vessel wall endothelial cells, smooth-muscle cells, and surrounding adventitia, and they discuss shear stress–induced pathways through which these changes occur.

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Smruti K. Patel, Brittany Staarmann, Alexander Heilman, Allie Mains, Jason Woodward and Karin S. Bierbrauer

Spina bifida is the most common nonchromosomal birth defect, resulting in permanent disability of multiple organ systems, yet compatible with long-term survival. Important advances across various disciplines have now improved survival among the spina bifida population. Although the majority of individuals living with spina bifida are now adults, there are few publications in the neurosurgical literature regarding the care of adults with spina bifida, associated medical conditions, surgical interventions, and long-term complications. The major goals for transitioning adult patients with spina bifida are preservation of function and promotion of independence as well as general overall health. Nevertheless, many gaps exist in our knowledge and understanding of the complex needs of this aging patient population. The goal of this paper was to provide a comprehensive updated review of the literature regarding the challenges and considerations involved in the transitional care to adulthood for patients with spina bifida. Unique to this review, the authors provide a first-hand personal communication and interview with an adult patient with spina bifida that discusses many of these challenges with transition.