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Rachid Assina, Christina E. Sarris and Antonios Mammis

Both the history of headache and the practice of craniotomy can be traced to antiquity. From ancient times through the present day, numerous civilizations and scholars have performed craniotomy in attempts to treat headache. Today, surgical intervention for headache management is becoming increasingly more common due to improved technology and greater understanding of headache. By tracing the evolution of the understanding of headache alongside the practice of craniotomy, investigators can better evaluate the mechanisms of headache and the therapeutic treatments used today.

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Christina E. Sarris, Krystal L. Tomei, Peter W. Carmel and Chirag D. Gandhi

Lipomyelomeningocele represents a rare but complex neurological disorder that may present with neurological deterioration secondary to an inherent tethered spinal cord. Radiological testing is beneficial in determining the morphology of the malformation. Specialized testing such as urodynamic studies and neurophysiological testing may be beneficial in assessing for neurological dysfunction secondary to the lipomyelomeningocele. Early surgical intervention may be beneficial in preventing further neurological decline.

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Rachid Assina, Sebastian Rubino, Christina E. Sarris, Chirag D. Gandhi and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

Early neurosurgical procedures dealt mainly with treatment of head trauma, especially skull fractures. Since the early medical writings by Hippocrates, a great deal of respect was given to the dura mater, and many other surgeons warned against violating the dura. It was not until the 19th century that neurosurgeons started venturing beneath the dura, deep into the brain parenchyma. With this advancement, brain retraction became an essential component of intracranial surgery. Over the years brain retractors have been created pragmatically to provide better visualization, increased articulations and degrees of freedom, greater stability, less brain retraction injury, and less user effort. Brain retractors have evolved from simple handheld retractors to intricate brain-retraction systems with hand-rest stabilizers. This paper will focus on the history of brain retractors, the different types of retractors, and the progression from one form to another.