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1.  Stem Cell Therapy and Curcumin Synergistically Enhance Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88916.
Acute traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is marked by the enhanced production of local cytokines and pro-inflammatory substances that induce gliosis and prevent reinnervation. The transplantation of stem cells is a promising treatment strategy for SCI. In order to facilitate functional recovery, we employed stem cell therapy alone or in combination with curcumin, a naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), which potently inhibits NF-κB. Spinal cord contusion following laminectomy (T9–10) was performed using a weight drop apparatus (10 g over a 12.5 or 25 mm distance, representing moderate or severe SCI, respectively) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Neural stem cells (NSC) were isolated from subventricular zone (SVZ) and transplanted at the site of injury with or without curcumin treatment. Functional recovery was assessed by BBB score and body weight gain measured up to 6 weeks following SCI. At the conclusion of the study, the mass of soleus muscle was correlated with BBB score and body weight. Stem cell therapy improved recovery from moderate SCI, however, it had a limited effect on recovery after severe SCI. Curcumin stimulated NSC proliferation in vitro, and in combination with stem cell therapy, induced profound recovery from severe SCI as evidenced by improved functional locomotor recovery, increased body weight, and soleus muscle mass. These findings demonstrate that curcumin in conjunction with stem cell therapy synergistically improves recovery from severe SCI. Furthermore, our results indicate that the effect of curcumin extends beyond its known anti-inflammatory properties to the regulation of stem cell proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3928327  PMID: 24558450
2.  The Supraorbital Keyhole Craniotomy through an Eyebrow Incision: Its Origins and Evolution 
Minimally Invasive Surgery  2013;2013:296469.
In the modern era of neurosurgery, the use of the operative microscope, rigid rod-lens endoscope, and neuronavigation has helped to overcome some of the previous limitations of surgery due to poor lighting and anatomic localization available to the surgeon. Over the last thirty years, the supraorbital craniotomy and subfrontal approach through an eyebrow incision have been developed and refined to play a legitimate role in the armamentarium of the modern skull base neurosurgeon. With careful patient selection, the supraorbital “keyhole” approach offers a less invasive but still efficacious approach to a number of lesions along the subfrontal corridor. Well over 1000 cases have been reported in the literature utilizing this approach establishing its safety and efficacy. This paper discusses the nuances of this approach, including the benefits and limitations of its use described through our technique, review of the literature, and case illustration.
PMCID: PMC3723243  PMID: 23936644
3.  Neuroendoscopic Resection of Intraventricular Tumors and Cysts through a Working Channel with a Variable Aspiration Tissue Resector: A Feasibility and Safety Study 
Minimally Invasive Surgery  2013;2013:471805.
Pure neuroendoscopic resection of intraventricular lesions through a burr hole is limited by the instrumentation that can be used with a working channel endoscope. We describe a safety and feasibility study of a variable aspiration tissue resector, for the resection of a variety of intraventricular lesions. Our initial experience using the variable aspiration tissue resector involved 16 patients with a variety of intraventricular tumors or cysts. Nine patients (56%) presented with obstructive hydrocephalus. Patient ages ranged from 20 to 88 years (mean 44.2). All patients were operated on through a frontal burr hole, using a working channel endoscope. A total of 4 tumors were resected in a gross total fashion and the remaining intraventricular lesions were subtotally resected. Fifteen of 16 patients had relief of their preoperative symptoms. The 9 patients who presented with obstructive hydrocephalus had restoration of cerebrospinal fluid flow though one required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Three patients required repeat endoscopic resections. Use of a variable aspiration tissue resector provides the ability to resect a variety of intraventricular lesions in a safe, controlled manner through a working channel endoscope. Larger intraventricular tumors continue to pose a challenge for complete removal of intraventricular lesions.
PMCID: PMC3697810  PMID: 23844287
4.  MRI Findings of Causalgia of the Lower Extremity Following Transsphenoidal Resection of Pituitary Tumor 
Background. Causalgia is continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia after nerve injury with edema, changes in skin blood flow, or abnormal sudomotor activity. Here we report a case of lower extremity causalgia following elective transsphenoidal resection of a pituitary tumor in a young man. Clinical Presentation. A 33-year-old man with acromegaly underwent elective sublabial transsphenoidal resection of his pituitary tumor. During the three-hour surgery, the lower limbs were kept in a supine, neutral position with a pillow under the knees. The right thigh was slightly internally rotated with a tape to expose fascia lata, which was harvested to repair the sella. Postoperatively, he developed causalgia in a distal sciatic and common peroneal nerve distribution. Pain was refractory to several interventions. Finally, phenoxybenzamine improved his pain significantly. Conclusions. Malpositioning in the operating room resulted in causalgia in this young man. Phenoxybenzamine improved, and ultimately resolved, his symptoms. Improvement in his pain symptoms correlated with resolution of imaging changes in the distal sciatic and peroneal nerves on the side of injury.
PMCID: PMC3449111  PMID: 23008790
5.  The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi 
Nature  2008;455(7214):799-803.
Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the ‘kra’ monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia1,2. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated3, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax​4, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or ‘hypnozoite’ in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone5) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described, and it provides an opportunity for comparison with the recently completed P. vivax genome4 and other sequenced Plasmodium genomes6-8. In contrast to other Plasmodium genomes, putative variant antigen families are dispersed throughout the genome and are associated with intrachromosomal telomere repeats. One of these families, the KIRs9, contains sequences that collectively match over one-half of the host CD99 extracellular domain, which may represent an unusual form of molecular mimicry.
PMCID: PMC2656934  PMID: 18843368
6.  New Radioisotope Test for Detection of Deep Venous Thrombosis in the Legs 
British Medical Journal  1973;1(5855):712-714.
A radiopharmsceutical product, labelled macroaggregates of albumin (M.A.A.), which is in use as a lung scintiscanning agent has been noted to have an affinity for venous thrombi. With this material and an inexpensive portable scintillation detector we have attempted to diagnose and localize thrombi in leg veins. The procedure is performed at the bedside and the result is available in 30 minutes. Thirty-one patients with clinical evidence suggestive of deep venous thrombosis in the legs were studied by the radioisotope method and by phlebography. There was agreement in 18 of 21 legs shown to contain thrombus on phlebography and in 9 of 10 legs shown to be free of thrombosis on phlebography. There was, however, lesser agreement on the site of thrombosis between the two methods. The ease of performing the test combined with the rapidity of obtaining results and accuracy in diagnosis suggests that the test has a clinical application.
PMCID: PMC1588894  PMID: 4694693

Results 1-6 (6)