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American Association of Neurological Surgeons, April 14-18, 2012

The 2012 American Association of Neurological Surgeons 80th Annual Scientific Meeting

The annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons was held from April 14 to 18 in Miami and attracted more than 7,000 participants from around the world, including neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, neuroscience nurses, clinical specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals, and others interested in neurological surgery. The conference highlighted recent advances in neurological surgery, with presentations focusing on the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of nervous system disorders, including disorders of the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, and peripheral nerves.

In one study, Zoher Ghogawala, M.D., of Greenwich Neurosurgery in Connecticut, and colleagues found class I evidence that supported the use of lumbar spinal fusion with pedicle screws in patients with grade I degenerative spondylolisthesis with lumber spinal stenosis. The investigators compared the effectiveness of instrumented lumbar spinal fusion and laminectomy alone for treating spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis.

"We observed major differences in long-term durability of these procedures. We observed a reoperation rate of 10 percent over five years with lumbar spinal fusion versus a significantly higher rate -- 35 percent over five years -- with laminectomy. This was not expected," Ghogawala said. "This potential for reoperation has not previously been appreciated and the main reason for the higher rate of reoperation is due to the development of instability, which leads to severe low back pain and, as a result, a lower quality of life. Based on the results of this trial, patients may experience improved quality of life with lumbar spinal fusion as compared to laminectomy."

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In another study, Michael Tso, M.D., of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues found that early detection with a consensus-based blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) screening protocol using computed tomographic angiography (CTA) may decrease the risk of stroke after trauma.

"In comparing the clinical data three years pre- and post-protocol implementation, there were twice as many vascular imaging studies ordered to rule out BCVI post-protocol (244 versus 121), but the number of patients with BCVI detected [was] similar (24 versus 23). The number of strokes appeared to decrease after protocol approval: 13 patients with strokes among 2,368 trauma patients between 2002 and 2005 (0.55 percent) compared with seven patients with strokes among 3,112 trauma patients between 2005 and 2008 (0.22 percent)," Tso said. "Having an institutional screening protocol for BCVI will remind clinicians involved in trauma care to be vigilant of this diagnosis. Early detection of BCVI via prompt vascular imaging may lead to early treatment and prevention of stroke. Cooperative multicenter studies are encouraged to confirm these findings."

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AANS: Vaccine Improves Survival in Glioblastoma Multiforme

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Use of autologous heat shock protein-peptide vaccine (HSPPC-96) is associated with improved survival for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to a phase II study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, held from April 14 to 18 in Miami.

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AANS: Stereotactic Anterior Cingulotomy Viable for OCD

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), stereotactic anterior cingulotomy (SAC) may be a viable treatment option, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), held from April 14 to 18 in Miami.

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