Recently, a series of historical reports portrayed the first women neurosurgeons in various countries. One such woman, a pioneer on many levels, remained unrecognized: Judith Balkányi-Lepintre. She was the first woman neurosurgeon in France, the first woman war neurosurgeon for the French Army, and the first woman pediatric neurosurgeon in France. Born in 1912 to a Hungarian Jewish family, she graduated with honors from medical school in Budapest in 1935, then moved to Paris where she started neurosurgical training in 1937 at L’Hôpital de la Pitié under the mentorship of Clovis Vincent, the founder of French neurosurgery. Shortly after marrying a French colleague in 1940, she had to escape the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) in Paris and ended up in Algeria, where she joined the French Army of De Gaulle. As a neurosurgeon, she participated in the campaigns of Italy and France between 1943 and 1945. After the war, she returned to work at La Pitié Hospital. In 1947, she defended her doctoral thesis, “Treatment of cranio-cerebral wounds by projectiles and their early complications.” Soon thereafter, she joined Europe’s first dedicated children’s hospital, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, and contributed to the establishment of pediatric neurosurgery in France. She remained clinically and academically active at Necker until her death in 1982 but was never promoted.
Marwan Hariz, Loránd Eröss, Gun-Marie Hariz, Botond Eröss, Laura Cif, Patric Blomstedt, and Yves Agid
Jérôme Yelnik, Philippe Damier, Sophie Demeret, David Gervais, Eric Bardinet, Boulos-Paul Bejjani, Chantal François, Jean-Luc Houeto, Isabelle Arnulf, Didier Dormont, Damien Galanaud, Bernard Pidoux, Philippe Cornu, and Yves Agid
Object. The aim of this study was to correlate the clinical improvement in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) treated using deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) with the precise anatomical localization of stimulating electrodes.
Methods. Localization was determined by superimposing figures from an anatomical atlas with postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained in each patient. This approach was validated by an analysis of experimental and clinical MR images of the electrode, and the development of a three-dimensional (3D) atlas—MR imaging coregistration method. The PD motor score was assessed through two contacts for each of two electrodes implanted in 10 patients: the “therapeutic contact” and the “distant contact” (that is, the next but one to the therapeutic contact). Seventeen therapeutic contacts were located within or on the border of the STN, most of which were associated with significant improvement of the four PD symptoms tested. Therapeutic contacts located in other structures (zona incerta, lenticular fasciculus, or midbrain reticular formation) were also linked to a significant positive effect. Stimulation applied through distant contacts located in the STN improved symptoms of PD, whereas that delivered through distant contacts in the remaining structures had variable effects ranging from worsening of symptoms to their improvement.
Conclusions. The authors have demonstrated that 3D atlas—MR imaging coregistration is a reliable method for the precise localization of DBS electrodes on postoperative MR images. In addition, they have confirmed that although the STN is the main target during DBS treatment for PD, stimulation of surrounding regions, particularly the zona incerta or the lenticular fasciculus, can also improve symptoms of PD.
Boulos-Paul Bejjani, Didier Dormont, Bernard Pidoux, Jérôme Yelnik, Philippe Damier, Isabelle Arnulf, Anne-Marie Bonnet, Claude Marsault, Yves Agid, Jacques Philippon, and Philippe Cornu
Object. Several methods are used for stereotactically guided implantation of electrodes into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for continuous high-frequency stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The authors present a stereotactic magnetic resonance (MR) method relying on three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted images for surgical planning and multiplanar T2-weighted images for direct visualization of the STN, coupled with electrophysiological recording and stimulation guidance.
Methods. Twelve patients with advanced PD were enrolled in this study of bilateral STN implantation. Both STNs were visible as 3D ovoid biconvex hypointense structures located in the upper mesencephalon. The coordinates of the centers of the STNs were determined with reference to the patient's anterior commissure—posterior commissure line by using a new landmark, the anterior border of the red nucleus. Electrophysiological monitoring through five parallel tracks was performed simultaneously to define the functional target accurately.
Microelectrode recording identified high-frequency, spontaneous, movement-related activity and tremor-related cells within the STNs. Acute STN macrostimulation improved contralateral rigidity and akinesia, suppressed tremor when present, and could induce dyskinesias. The central track, which was directed at the predetermined target by using MR imaging, was selected for implantation of 19 of 24 electrodes. No surgical complications were noted.
Conclusions. At evaluation 6 months after surgery, continuous STN stimulation was shown to have improved parkinsonian motor disability by 64% and 78% in the “off” and “on” medication states, respectively. Antiparkinsonian drug treatment was reduced by 70% in 10 patients and withdrawn in two patients. The severity of levodopainduced dyskinesias was reduced by 83% and motor fluctuations by 88%. Continuous high-frequency stimulation of the STN applied through electrodes implanted with the aid of 3D MR imaging and electrophysiological guidance is a safe and effective therapy for patients suffering from severe, advanced levodopa-responsive PD.
Eric Bardinet, Manik Bhattacharjee, Didier Dormont, Bernard Pidoux, Grégoire Malandain, Michael Schüpbach, Nicholas Ayache, Philippe Cornu, Yves Agid, and Jérôme Yelnik
The localization of any given target in the brain has become a challenging issue because of the increased use of deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson disease, dystonia, and nonmotor diseases (for example, Tourette syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorders, and depression). The aim of this study was to develop an automated method of adapting an atlas of the human basal ganglia to the brains of individual patients.
Magnetic resonance images of the brain specimen were obtained before extraction from the skull and histological processing. Adaptation of the atlas to individual patient anatomy was performed by reshaping the atlas MR images to the images obtained in the individual patient using a hierarchical registration applied to a region of interest centered on the basal ganglia, and then applying the reshaping matrix to the atlas surfaces.
Results were evaluated by direct visual inspection of the structures visible on MR images and atlas anatomy, by comparison with electrophysiological intraoperative data, and with previous atlas studies in patients with Parkinson disease. The method was both robust and accurate, never failing to provide an anatomically reliable atlas to patient registration. The registration obtained did not exceed a 1-mm mismatch with the electrophysiological signatures in the region of the subthalamic nucleus.
This registration method applied to the basal ganglia atlas forms a powerful and reliable method for determining deep brain stimulation targets within the basal ganglia of individual patients.