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Medieval neurosurgery: contributions from the Middle East, Spain, and Persia

Scott Y. Rahimi, Dennis E. McDonnell, Amir Ahmadian, and John R. Vender

✓Modern neurological and spinal surgical techniques have been developed on the foundations established by predecessors. Modern 21st century neurosurgery begins in the Babylonian period, with the Edwin Smith papyrus. Throughout history, periods of enlightenment have resulted in advances in knowledge and understanding that have served as stepping stones for generations to come. As in other fields, in neurosurgery these periods of “enlightenment” have occurred in a variety of civilizations and time periods.

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Hippocrates, Galen, and the uses of trepanation in the ancient classical world

Symeon Missios

✓Trepanation (ανατρησιζ) is the process by which a hole is drilled into the skull, exposing the intracranial contents for either medical or mystical purposes. It represents one of the oldest surgical procedures, and its practice was widespread in many ancient cultures and several parts of the world. Trepanation was used in ancient Greece and Rome, as described in several ancient texts. Hippocrates and Galen are two of the most prominent ancient Greek medical writers, and their works have influenced the evolution of medicine and neurosurgery across the centuries. The purpose of this paper is to examine Hippocrates' and Galen's written accounts of the technique and use of trepanation in the ancient Greek and Roman world. Examination of those records reveals the ancient knowledge of neurological anatomy, physiology, and therapeutics, and illustrates the state and evolution of neurosurgery in the classical world.

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From manuscript submission to publication: a tour of the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group

Jo Ann M. Eliason

.D., and David G. Kline, M.D. July issue: Ancient Neurosurgery Topic Editor: Charles J. Prestigiacomo, M.D. August issue: Tethered Cord Topic Editor: W. Jerry Oakes, M.D. September issue: Cushing Disease: Diagnosis and Management Topic Editor: William T. Couldwell, M.D., Ph.D. October issue: Adjuvant Therapy for Unresectable Meningiomas: Benign and Malignant Topic Editors: Marc C. Chamberlain, M.D., and Thomas C. Chen, M.D. November issue: Neuroophthalmology Topic Editor: Alfredo Sadun, M.D. December issue: Stereotactic Radiosurgery