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Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aretaeus, and Galen: ancient roots of the Bell–Magendie Law

Matthew I. Tomey, Ricardo J. Komotar, and J Mocco

✓Since the early 19th century, significant controversy has persisted over the competing claims of two men, Charles Bell and François Magendie, to a pivotal discovery: that the dorsal spinal roots subserve sensation, whereas the ventral spinal roots subserve motion. However, the foundations of neuroanatomy on which Bell and Magendie built their research was formed two millennia in advance. Exploration of the work of four ancient scholars—Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aretaeus, and Galen–reveals a remarkable early appreciation of the separate neural pathways (if not the correct physiology) responsible for sensory and motor control.

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Introduction: New techniques and technologies in the management of ischemic stroke

William J. Mack, Louis J. Kim, Demetrius K. Lopes, and J Mocco

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International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial analysis

J Mocco and L. Nelson Hopkins

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A review of current and future medical therapies for cerebral vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Mocco, Brad E. Zacharia, Ricardo J. Komotar, and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

✓In an effort to help clarify the current state of medical therapy for cerebral vasospasm, the authors reviewed the relevant literature on the established medical therapies used for cerebral vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and they discuss burgeoning areas of investigation. Despite advances in the treatment of aneurysmal SAH, cerebral vasospasm remains a common complication and has been correlated with a 1.5- to threefold increase in death during the first 2 weeks after hemorrhage. A number of medical, pharmacological, and surgical therapies are currently in use or being investigated in an attempt to reverse cerebral vasospasm, but only a few have proven to be useful. Although much has been elucidated regarding its pathophysiology, the treatment of cerebral vasospasm remains a dilemma. Although a poor understanding of SAH-induced cerebral vasospasm pathophysiology has, to date, hampered the development of therapeutic interventions, current research efforts promise the eventual production of new medical therapies.

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Direct thrombolysis for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Maryam Rahman, Gregory J. Velat, Brian L. Hoh, and J Mocco

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an increasingly diagnosed disease with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from a mild headache to cerebral herniation. A potentially devastating syndrome, CVST has been associated with a mortality rate of 6–10%. In prospective studies, the overall rate of death and dependency from CVST ranges from 8.8 to 44.4%. Systemic anticoagulation remains the first-line treatment. However, a percentage of patients deteriorate despite medical therapy. These cases have resulted in the development of thrombolysis or endovascular treatment for CVST. Initial reports of the use of endovascular treatment of CVST have been promising. However, enthusiasm for the use of endovascular thrombolysis and thrombectomy should be tempered by an understanding of possible risks such as intracerebral hemorrhage and/or vessel dissection. The authors review the literature regarding endovascular treatment of CVST with a description of the chemical and mechanical thrombolytic techniques.

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Early history of the stereotactic apparatus in neurosurgery

Maryam Rahman, Gregory J. A. Murad, and J Mocco

Stereotactic neurosurgery has a rich history, beginning with the first stereotactic frame described by Horsley and Clarke in 1908. It is now widely used for delivery of radiation, surgical targeting of electrodes, and resection to treat tumors, epilepsy, vascular malformations, and pain syndromes. These treatments are now available due to the pioneering efforts of neurosurgeons and scientists in the beginning of the 20th century. Their efforts focused on the development of stereotactic instruments for accurate lesion targeting. In this paper, the authors review the history of the stereotactic apparatus in the early 20th century, with a focus on the fascinating people key to its development.

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Angiographically occult, progressively expanding, giant vertebral artery aneurysm

Case report

Ricardo J. Komotar, J Mocco, Sean D. Lavine, and Robert A. Solomon

✓Hunterian ligation is a well-known treatment for complex aneurysms not amenable to direct microsurgical clip application. After proximal parent vessel occlusion, cerebral angiography is typically used to confirm aneurysm thrombosis. The authors report on a vertebral artery (VA) aneurysm that had progressively expanded and caused brainstem compression after hunterian ligation, despite nondiagnostic findings on both conventional and computed tomography (CT) angiography at multiple time points.

This 64-year-old woman underwent hunterian ligation of a 1.8-cm VA aneurysm at the origin of the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery. An immediately postoperative conventional angiogram and follow-up CT angiograms obtained 5 and 6 years postligation confirmed complete obliteration of the lesion. Nine years after the initial surgery, however, the patient experienced neurological deterioration. Although CTs showed substantial aneurysm enlargement together with pontine compression, angiograms once again demonstrated complete right VA occlusion with no retrograde filling of the aneurysm. On reexploration, the aneurysm was effectively debulked, clipped, and obliterated. Arterial bleeding was found in the lesion neck, as was evidence of microrecanalization.

Hunterian ligation for complex aneurysms carries the risk of microrecanalization and lesion expansion despite non-diagnostic angiography. Although this ligation procedure remains a viable treatment option in carefully selected patients, an extended follow-up evaluation period may be required even when imaging suggests aneurysm obliteration.

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Letter to the Editor: Hemostasis

Tomas Menovsky and Maxim R. Parizel

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Endovascular management of fusiform aneurysms in the posterior circulation: the era of flow diversion

Ahmed J. Awad, Justin R. Mascitelli, Reham R. Haroun, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, and J Mocco

Fusiform aneurysms are uncommon compared with their saccular counterparts, yet they remain very challenging to treat and are associated with high rates of rebleeding and morbidity. Lack of a true aneurysm neck renders simple clip reconstruction or coil embolization usually impossible, and more advanced techniques are required, including bypass, stent-assisted coiling, and, more recently, flow diversion. In this article, the authors review posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms, including pathogenesis, natural history, and endovascular treatment, including the role of flow diversion. In addition, the authors propose an algorithm for treatment based on their practice.

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Chronic myelopathy due to a giant spinal arachnoid cyst: a complication of the intrathecal injection of phenol

Case report

Fred Rincon, J. Mocco, Ricardo J. Komotar, Alexander G. Khandji, Paul C. McCormick, and Marcelo Olarte

✓Acquired intradural arachnoid cystic lesions of the spine have been associated with trauma, hemorrhage, parasitic infections, and other insults that cause inflammation and subarachnoid adhesions. The authors describe the case of a previously healthy 36-year-old woman who presented with a chronic myelopathy due to the progressive development of a giant spinal arachnoid cyst that resulted after the intrathecal injection of phenol for the management of chronic upper extremity pain. Neurological examination, spinal computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging were used for diagnostic and follow-up purposes. Even after the initial excision of the cyst, the patient remained symptomatic with minimal functional recovery.