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The Wonders of the Unknown Brain

Philip E. Stieg, PhD, MD
Neurosurgeon-in-Chief

The past few decades have seen a dramatic increase in our understanding of the brain and how it works – new findings about plasticity, for example, have allowed us to revise our expectations about recovery after traumatic injury or stroke — and advanced technologies have greatly expanded our ability to treat a wide range of disorders. We know so much more now than we did 20 or 30 years ago, and yet every so often I’m struck by how much we still don’t know.

A Visit to Babylon

By Roger Härtl, MD
Director of Spine Surgery and Neurotrauma, Weill Cornell Medicine
Director, Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care

Earlier this month I was honored to serve as international faculty for a two-day seminar in Najaf, Iraq, sponsored by AOSpine Middle East. This was my third visit to Iraq for an AOSpine course, but my first time in Najaf. Although these teaching trips bear some resemblance to the work I do each year in Tanzania, the circumstances are very different. This trip especially exposed me to a great deal of Middle East history, and to the effects of international conflict on the ability to serve local patients.