American Association of Neurological Surgeons, April 14-19, 2007

American Association of Neurological Surgeon's Annual Meeting

The 2007 annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) took place April 14-19 in Washington, D.C. This was the Association's largest meeting ever with more than 8,300 attendees.

Many presentations focused on advances in treating aneurysms, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions, said Ghassan Bejjani, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, chair of the AANS public relations committee.

For example, researchers reported that the growth factor GDNF (glia-derived neurotrophic factor) slowed or halted the death of dopamine-producing cells among 12 patients with Parkinson's disease.

"These were 12 patients who had exhausted all measures and, in 9 of these 12 patients, there was a 38 percent improvement in the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)," he said.

Another exciting presentation looked at a novel recombinant protein in treating 27 adults with spinal cord injury, he said. At six weeks, 30.6 percent of patients improved by one or more grades using a standardized measure, and the 6-month patient data showed that 28 percent of patients improved by one or more grades.

"There is definitely a big promise in this study," Bejjani said. Also promising are advances in awake craniotomies, he said. "When we do surgery in the area that controls motor or speech while patients are awake, we can resect more tumor and minimize neurological deficits," he said.

Norberto Andaluz, M.D., now of the University of South Florida in Tampa, presented findings on the efficacy and outcomes in aneurysm patients treated with clipping or coiling. Andaluz conducted the study while at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio

"There is an ongoing debate about clipping versus coiling, but, in end, it will be a marriage, because what we really concluded from our studies is that the best way to treat an aneurysm is not to clip or coil but to have both available and make decisions based on the individual patient," he said. "This is probably what is already happening in most of the renowned centers."

AANS: Radiosurgery Effective for Trigeminal Neuralgia

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Linear accelerator-based stereotactic radiosurgery is a safe and effective, long-term treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, according to a report presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Washington, D.C.

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AANS: Radiosurgery Can Help Spinal Cord Compression

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotactic radiosurgery may help relieve neurological deficits in some patients with spinal cord compression due to cancer metastasis, according to a study presented this week at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Washington, D.C.

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AANS: Deep Brain Stimulation May Help Memory Deficits

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation may help improve psychiatric function and memory in patients with severe conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression disorder who do not respond to conventional therapy, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Washington, D.C.

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AANS: Alcohol, Aspirin Does Not Predict Brain Hemorrhage

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Neither alcohol nor anti-platelet use is associated with worsening intracranial hemorrhage in patients with traumatic brain injury, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Washington, D.C.

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AANS: Cortical Map Maximizes Brain Tumor Resection

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with malignant tumors near eloquent brain, cortical mapping during awake craniotomy can allow maximal tumor resection and minimize neurological deficits, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Washington, D.C.

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