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Neurosurgery Blog

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256 Ways to Be Depressed (and Finding a Path Out of It)

By Philip E. Stieg, Ph.D., M.D.

Clinical depression is profound and life-altering, and it often requires medical treatment. It’s a complicated condition, but science has agreed that there are nine signs of clinical depression, and a patient only needs five of them in order to be diagnosed.

Heroes in the Aisle

By Beth Higgins, PA-C  
Physician Assistant, Neurosurgery

I had only ever used CPR once before when I was recently called into action — of all places, on an airplane flight.

Spinal Endoscopy Offers New Options

By Eric Elowitz, MD
Vice Chairman for Quality and Patient Safety 
Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, Spinal Surgery

I’ve dedicated my neurosurgical career to finding newer and less invasive surgical techniques for relieving back pain. Advances in minimally invasive spine surgery have been truly extraordinary over the past 20 years or so, and I’ve been gratified to be at the forefront of the movement. Getting my patients back to work, back to their families and their hobbies, free of pain, is enormously rewarding.

Paul Greengard, 1925-2019: An Appreciation

Philip Stieg, PhD, MD
Chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

The entire faculty and staff of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center mourn the passing of Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Paul Greengard, PhD, who died Saturday at age 93. Dr. Greengard was Vincent Astor Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller University as well as the director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

Behind the Scenes at the Concussion Service

Dr Kenneth Perrine, PhD, ABPP-CN
Associate Professor of Neuropsychology

When a patient at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center or Concussion Clinic meets me, it usually means they need testing or consultation about a brain injury.  I specialize in neuropsychological testing – not only for patients here but also for professional and amateur athletes (including student athletes).  What patients don’t realize is how much goes on behind the scenes at an academic medical center like this one, where faculty members do a lot more than test and treat.

Successful Stenting

By Athos Patsalides, MD

It was six years ago that we treated our first patient using venous sinus stenting – an innovative procedure that widens a narrowed vein inside the brain. She was a delightful young woman who had been diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri and was losing vision due to high intracranial pressure. After the venous sinus stenting, the patient recovered her vision completely and all the other symptoms of increased intracranial pressure were also resolved. She has been doing very well ever since.

How It Feels to Make Progress Against DIPG

Mark M. Souweidane, MD
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery
Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian
and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

How do you feel? I can’t tell you how many people have asked me that recently, now that we have published the culmination of years and years of work. Embodied in the results of my Phase I clinical trial are multiple grants, kind donations, unending lab projects, thousands of emails, meeting presentations, many sleepless nights, and so much time away from my own family and two young boys. I’m not sure how to answer: I’m equal parts overjoyed, proud, exhausted – and overwhelmed by the thought my quest is not finished.

The Lazarus Effect

By Athos Patsalides, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology in Neurological Surgery

Vascular specialists, who work with patients experiencing conditions and disorders of the blood vessels, often talk of the “Lazarus effect,” a phenomenon in which a patient revives after coming to the brink of death, as happens in stroke or heart failure. Until recently I’d never witnessed it personally. Then, a few months ago, I treated a patient whose blood flow in the left half of the brain was completely blocked and who was in some sense of the word dead (or at least perilously close to it) when I saw him suddenly come back – at my hands.

The Rush of Finding a New Treatment

By Jared Knopman, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

One of the most exciting things in neurosurgery – in fact, in medicine in general – is discovering a genuinely different approach to treating a condition. It’s extremely gratifying to find a better way to treat your patients, especially when it means sparing them open surgery and offering a minimally invasive alternative. When that finding also happens to completely upend traditional thinking about a common condition, it’s quite remarkable indeed.

Facing the Neurosurgical Challenge of Tanzania

By Andreas Leidinger, MD
Global Neurosurgery Fellow
Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 It is hard to explain when my passion for Africa was born. I trained as a neurosurgeon at a beautiful hospital in Barcelona, where the standards of “western” medicine is upheld and everything was always available for my patients. During my training, I had the eye-opening opportunity to collaborate with several projects on improving health care in Africa. Initially I experienced culture shock; however, after learning to embrace a new reality, I began to genuinely relate to the local people. I felt the need to make personal compromises and to seriously get involved.