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Feng-Tao Liu, Li-Qin Lang, Ren-Yuan Zhou, Rui Feng, Jie Hu, Jian Wang, and Jian-Jun Wu

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-established therapy for patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), dystonia, and other movement disorders. In contrast to the strong positive effects that have been documented for motor symptoms, the effects of DBS on nonmotor symptoms have not been fully elucidated. Some reports suggest that stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus may improve lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with PD; however, reports of the effects of globus pallidus internus (GPi) DBS on urinary symptoms are limited. The authors present the case of a 49-year-old woman with PD who developed severe urinary incontinence after 27 months of GPi DBS. The urinary incontinence disappeared when stimulation was turned off, and reemerged after it was turned on again. After activation of a more dorsal contact in the left electrode, the patient’s urinary dynamics returned to normal.

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Alexander G. Chartrain, Ahmed J. Awad, Justin R. Mascitelli, Hazem Shoirah, Thomas J. Oxley, Rui Feng, Matthew Gallitto, Reade De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, and Christopher P. Kellner

Endovascular thrombectomy device improvements in recent years have served a pivotal role in improving the success and safety of the thrombectomy procedure. As the intervention gains widespread use, developers have focused on maximizing the reperfusion rates and reducing procedural complications associated with these devices. This has led to a boom in device development. This review will cover novel and emerging technologies developed for endovascular thrombectomy.

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Ganjun Feng, Xianfeng Zhao, Hao Liu, Huina Zhang, Xiangjun Chen, Rui Shi, Xi Liu, Xiaodan Zhao, Wenli Zhang, and Beiyu Wang


The aim of this study was to compare transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) in a degenerative disc model in rabbits to determine the better candidate for disc cell therapy.


Mesenchymal stem cells and NPCs were transplanted in a rabbit model of disc degeneration. Changes in disc height, according to plain radiography, T2-weighted signal intensity on MR imaging, histology, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG)/DNA, and associated gene expression levels, were evaluated among healthy controls without surgery, sham-operated animals in which only disc degeneration was induced, MSC-transplanted animals, and NPC-transplanted animals for a 16-week period.


Sixteen weeks after cell transplantation, in the MSC- and NPC-transplanted groups, the decline in the disc height index was reduced and T2-weighted signal intensity increased compared with the sham-operated group. Safranin O staining showed a high GAG content, which was also supported by sGAG/DNA assessment. Disc regeneration was also confirmed at the gene expression level using real-time polymerase chain reaction. However, no significant differences in expression were found between the NPC- and MSC-transplanted groups.


Study data showed that MSC transplantation is effective for the treatment of disc degeneration and seems to be an ideal substitute for NPCs.

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Alexander G. Chartrain, Ahmed J. Awad, Christopher A. Sarkiss, Rui Feng, Yangbo Liu, J Mocco, Joshua B. Bederson, Stephan A. Mayer, Neha S. Dangayach, and Errol Gordon


Patients who have experienced subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) often receive care in the setting of the ICU. However, SAH patients may not all require extended ICU admission. The authors established a protocol on January 1, 2015, to transfer select, low-risk patients to a step-down unit (SDU) to streamline care for SAH patients. This study describes the results of the implemented protocol.


In this retrospective chart review, patients presenting with SAH between January 2011 and September 2016 were reviewed for inclusion. The control group consisted of patients admitted prior to establishment of the SDU transfer protocol, while the intervention group consisted of patients admitted afterward.


Of the patients in the intervention group, 79.2% (57/72) were transferred to the SDU during their admission. Of these transferred patients, 29.8% (17/57) required return to the neurosurgical ICU (NSICU). There were no instances of morbidity or mortality directly related to care in the SDU. Patients in the intervention group had a mean reduced NSICU length of stay, by 1.95 days, which trended toward significance, and a longer average hospitalization, by 2.7 days, which also trended toward significance. In-hospital mortality and 90-day readmission rate were not statistically different between the groups. In addition, early transfer timing prior to 7 days was associated with neither a higher return rate to the NSICU nor higher 90-day readmission rate.


In this retrospective study, the authors demonstrated that the transfer protocol was safe, feasible, and effective in reducing the ICU length of stay and was independent of transfer timing. Confirmation of these results is needed in a large, multicenter study.