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Juan C. Fernández-Miranda, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Yukinari Kakizawa, Chanyoung Choi and Juan Álvarez-Linera


The goal in this study was to examine the microsurgical and tractographic anatomy of the claustrum and its projection fibers, and to analyze the functional and surgical implications of the findings.


Fifteen formalin-fixed human brain hemispheres were dissected using the Klingler fiber dissection technique, with the aid of an operating microscope at × 6–40 magnification. Magnetic resonance imaging studies of 5 normal brains were analyzed using diffusion tensor (DT) imaging–based tractography software.


Both the claustrum and external capsule have 2 parts: dorsal and ventral. The dorsal part of the external capsule is mainly composed of the claustrocortical fibers that converge into the gray matter of the dorsal claustrum. Results of the tractography studies coincided with the fiber dissection findings and showed that the claustrocortical fibers connect the claustrum with the superior frontal, precentral, postcentral, and posterior parietal cortices, and are topographically organized. The ventral part of the external capsule is formed by the uncinate and inferior occipitofrontal fascicles, which traverse the ventral part of the claustrum, connecting the orbitofrontal and prefrontal cortex with the amygdaloid, temporal, and occipital cortices. The relationship between the insular surface and the underlying fiber tracts, and between the medial lower surface of the claustrum and the lateral lenticulostriate arteries is described.


The combination of the fiber dissection technique and DT imaging–based tractography supports the presence of the claustrocortical system as an integrative network in humans and offers the potential to aid in understanding the diffusion of gliomas in the insula and other areas of the brain.

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Giorgio Spatola, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, German Rey, Juan Linera, Marcos Rios-Lago, Marta Sanz, Jorge Gutiérrez, Pablo Vidal, Raphaëlle Richieri and Jean Régis


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe psychiatric condition. The authors present their experience with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in the treatment of patients with OCD resistant to any medical therapy.


Patients with severe OCD resistant to all pharmacological and psychiatric treatments who were treated with anterior GKRS capsulotomy were retrospectively reviewed. These patients were submitted to a physical, neurological, and neuropsychological examination together with structural and functional MRI before and after GKRS treatment. Strict study inclusion criteria were applied. Radiosurgical capsulotomy was performed using two 4-mm isocenters targeted at the midputaminal point of the anterior limb of the capsule. A maximal dose of 120 Gy was prescribed for each side. Clinical global changes were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, EQ-5D, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). OCD symptoms were determined by the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).


Ten patients with medically refractory OCD (5 women and 5 men) treated between 2006 and 2015 were included in this study. Median age at diagnosis was 22 years, median duration of illness at the time of radiosurgery was 14.5 years, and median age at treatment was 38.8 years. Before GKRS, the median Y-BOCS score was 34.5 with a median obsession score of 18 and compulsion score of 17. Seven (70%) of 10 patients achieved a full response at their last follow-up, 2 patients were nonresponders, and 1 patient was a partial responder. Evaluation of the Y-BOCS, BDI, STAI-Trait, STAI-State, GAF, and EQ-5D showed statistically significant improvement at the last follow-up after GKRS. Neurological examinations were normal in all patients at each visit. At last follow-up, none of the patients had experienced any significant adverse neuropsychological effects or personality changes.


GKRS anterior capsulotomy is effective and well tolerated with a maximal dose of 120 Gy. It reduces both obsessions and compulsions, improves quality of life, and diminishes depression and anxiety.

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Paola A. Rivera-Rivera, Marcos Rios-Lago, Sandra Sanchez-Casarrubios, Osman Salazar, Miguel Yus, Mercedes González-Hidalgo, Ana Sanz, Josué Avecillas-Chasin, Juan Alvarez-Linera, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Antonio Oliviero and Juan A. Barcia


The extent of resection is the most important prognostic factor following brain glioma surgery. However, eloquent areas within tumors limit the extent of resection and, thus, critically affect outcomes. The authors hypothesized that presurgical suppression of the eloquent areas within a tumor by continuous cortical electrical stimulation, coupled with appropriate behavioral training (“prehabilitation”), would induce plastic reorganization and enable a more extensive resection.


The authors report on 5 patients harboring gliomas involving eloquent brain areas within tumors as identified on intraoperative stimulation mapping. A grid of electrodes was placed over the residual tumor, and continuous cortical electrical stimulation was targeted to the functional areas. The stimulation intensity was adjusted daily to provoke a mild functional impairment while the function was intensively trained.


The stimulation intensity required to impair function increased progressively in all patients, and all underwent another operation a mean of 33.6 days later (range 27–37 days), when the maximal stimulation voltage in all active contacts induced no functional deficit. In all cases, a substantially more extensive resection of the tumor was possible. Intraoperative mapping and functional MRI demonstrated a plastic reorganization, and most previously demonstrated eloquent areas within the tumor were silent, while there was new functional activation of brain areas in the same region or toward the contralateral hemisphere.


Prehabilitation with continuous cortical electrical stimulation and appropriate behavioral training prior to surgery in patients with WHO Grade II and III gliomas affecting eloquent areas accelerate plastic changes. This can help maximize tumor resection and, thus, improve survival while maintaining function.